How to Tell When Your Car Needs A Service

Jul 9, 2019

How to Tell When Your Car Needs A Service

Unfortunately, life does have its ways of sneaking up on us, whether this be with good news or bad news. We all know this is very true when it comes to our cars. We all want a healthy, working car that we commute or do the school run in. The last thing we want is something to go wrong! As the saying goes, “prevention is the best cure”, again, truer words have never been spoken when it comes to our cars!

One thing we all want to know, especially for us individuals who are not as mechanically minded, how exactly do you know when your car needs a service? Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for! Many car dealerships also recommended a car service every year or for example, every 10k miles.

Here’s what you need to look out for:

Dashboard warning lights:

This is one of the more obvious signs that your car requires attention sooner, rather than later. Car manufacturers have configured these lights to automatically illuminate when the area/part they are monitoring begins functioning incorrectly. Other lights may appear on your dashboard, but don’t ignore them! Even though you may not notice a change in performance, it doesn’t mean that they don’t require attention!

Smoke, smoke and more smoke!

NEVER should you see smoke coming from under the bonnet, however it is normal to see only a minimal amount of smoke coming from your car’s exhaust. White smoke in the wintertime is water vapour and completely normal for this time of year! Smoke from under the car’s hood could stem from an overheating problem. Excessive amounts of smoke coming from your car’s exhaust can be due to an oil leak or an exhaust system problem. Urgent attention is required if you have any abnormal smoke.

Other signs and symptoms can be found here >

What’s that strange noise?

Make sure you get any new noises coming from your car checked before they become more serious, remember, prevention is the best cure! Common noises you may hear can be:

  • A loose timing belt creates whining from the bonnet, if left untreated it can cause issues such as overheating or battery issues.
  • Cracks or holes can lead to a louder exhaust noise, if left untreated your exhaust pipe could fall off.
  • Scraping noises of any kind need to be checked ASAP, a broken part could be scraping against another part and you could end up with two problems to fix.
  • Squealing noise when you’re braking? Sign of worn brake pads.
  • An uneven engine noise heard when the car is idling could mean the engine is misfiring. Get this looked at as soon as you can.
  • Our gearboxes get a lot of wear and tear, if there’s a crunching noise as you move through the gears, it’s time for a service.

Feeling a vibration or pulling when you brake?

If this is the case, your car is not safe to drive and needs a service pronto. These symptoms are linked with worn brake pads/discs, steering or suspension problems. When was the last time you replaced your tyres? If your answer was ‘a long time’, check they’re at the 1.6mm tread and sort the issue!

Uncomfortable driving?

We all hate speed bumps anyway (don’t forget they are designed to aid safe driving), but if they are becoming more of a problem and you notice your car is riding lower than normal, get it checked out. This could be due to a problem with your suspension.

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Get a quote for a service with our local garages today!


Don’t forget, at, we never want you to miss an important date - such as your next service, insurance renewal, brake or tyre replacement. Join or log in to today and take advantage of our Key Date Reminder service!

Share this post

Car Service

Car Service

Need a basic, interim or full service? Compare quotes.

Get Quotes