Signs My Car is No Longer Safe

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Brandon L. Beagley with Sloan Firm.

Signs My Car is No Longer Safe
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It can be hard to recognize the signs that a prized car paid for with hard-earned money may no longer be safe to drive. However, it’s important to maintain an awareness regarding the state of your vehicle. There are a variety of signs which may indicate that a vehicle should no longer be on the road. It’s important to take these signs seriously and have a qualified mechanic evaluate the car before deciding what to do with it. In some cases, it may be time for a new ride.

Signs indicating that a car is no longer safe to drive include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Smoke coming from the exhaust
  • Smoke coming from anywhere else in the car
  • The smell of gasoline
  • Issues starting the car in conditions other than cold weather
  • Bad acceleration
  • Vibrations for unknown reasons
  • Squealing, grinding, or other noises coming from the brakes
  • A warning light or check engine light
  • Tapping, clicking, or other sounds coming from the engine
  • Difficulty steering
  • Running out of oil too frequently
  • Overheating even after an oil and antifreeze check
  • Uneven tire wearing
  • Visible leaks, especially from radiator or transmission fluid

Each of these symptoms could come from a variety of causes. While some of the causes of these signs may be easy enough to fix, others might be too expensive to warrant keeping the vehicle. In some cases, it may be essentially impossible to fix the problem. Keeping an eye on your insurance policy and updating it as needed is a good way to ensure your protection in case the car doesn’t function properly and you find yourself involved in an accident. Some insurance policies even cover routine and other maintenance for your vehicle, including replacement costs if the vehicle is no longer viable.

If your car begins experiencing any of these problems shortly after purchase, you may be eligible for reparation via a lemon law.

Lemon laws refer to the many laws in place across the country that protect consumers from finding themselves stuck with a faulty vehicle beginning to exhibit safety or functioning problems shortly after purchase, aka a “lemon”. Even leased vehicles can be eligible for reparation under lemon law. To qualify for help under a lemon law, it’s important to take your car only to a dealership for repairs. Taking the car elsewhere for maintenance could negate your eligibility for compensation under lemon law. If your car begins to show signs of disrepair shortly after purchase, you could be eligible for monetary compensation from the manufacturer in order to choose a different vehicle.

Don’t wait to have your vehicle checked.

It’s easy enough to dismiss a warning light or a strange sound from the brakes, but this could result in costly accidents. It’s important to take a vehicle in for maintenance as soon as you notice a problem beginning. In some situations, catching a problem early can actually make it easier and less expensive to fix. Waiting to address a problem with a vehicle can result in the problem worsening to the point where repairs are either impossible or astronomically expensive. If your car is showing any signs you suspect may indicate it is no longer fully safe, have a mechanic look at it as soon as possible

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