Heed the warn­ing signs

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

Although most car own­ers are aware of the need to look af­ter their en­gine – check­ing oil and wa­ter, at least – and even oc­ca­sion­ally check their tyre pres­sures, few pay much at­ten­tion to their brakes, clutch and sus­pen­sion.

Out of sight is very much out of mind in this case, and it’s only when the car is taken in for a ser­vice, or a War­rant of Fit­ness, that the me­chanic will point out a prob­lem, and the owner will say, “Oh dear, how much is that go­ing to cost?”

How­ever, ex­pen­sive re­pair work can be avoided if you pay heed to the warn­ing signs your car will be try­ing to give you.


A brake warn­ing light comes on. If you don’t know where to look, take it to some­one who does.

Brakes grab­bing. This is a sure sign some­thing is not right, and should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

A low or hard brake pedal. A sign that some­thing is not right in the brake hy­draulics.

Squeal­ing. This can be a sign that you brake pads are shot. If you don’t have it fixed right away, you’ll need ex­pen­sive brake disc re­pairs, too.


Man­ual cars are be­com­ing rarer and rarer in New Zealand, but there are still plenty around. Clutch prob­lems will leave you stranded at the side of the road if you don’t get them fixed. Again, sooner is bet­ter than later.


Shock ab­sorbers play a vi­tal role in en­sur­ing your car ‘s tyres stay firmly in con­tact with the road. Worn shock ab­sorbers will re­sult in poor brak­ing per­for­mance or loss of con­trol, and if unat­tended will re­sult in a crash. If your car seems to bounce around a lot on the road, or feels in­se­cure, take it in.

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