Heed the warning signs
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.