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Top Signs Your Car Needs a Holiday Tune-up

With the temperatures becoming colder with each passing day, you may start to notice that it doesn't run or operate as smoothly as it did during the warm weather months. Naturally, you might panic a bit when your engine doesn't seem to want to turn over smoothly at first, but it doesn't mean that it's the end of the room for your vehicle. You might simply need a tune-up, and it's a good idea to get that taken care of before the busyness of the holiday season sets in.

Here are five signs it might be time for a tune-up:

Rough Starts

If your car is having a hard time starting, it's probably time to have a trusted mechanic or your local dealership take a look at it. Your car can't operate properly without a smooth running engine. If your car chokes when you try to start it, or it takes several tries to get it to start when you turn the key, don't wait to have it checked. You never know, it could be that your battery needs to be charged or replaced. You might also need to have the starter checked.

Flashing Lights

No one likes to see flashing lights when they're in the car- be they in your rearview mirror or on the dash. Remain aware of the warning lights on your dash. Get to know where they are and what they indicate when they flash on. Some lights may be orange or red, and often times, the vehicle will display words indicating the problem, such as 'check engine,' etc. Even if it seems the light might be on for no reason, it's not something you should ignore. It may be nothing, but better safe than sorry.

Ignoring Your Oil Changes

Regular oil changes are so important to the health of your car. You'd be surprised by how many people go hundreds if not thousands of miles over their recommended mileage before their next needed oil change. Letting your car run too far beyond recommended mileage for oil changes can lead to a host of problems. Make the time to take your car in for regular oil changes to help it stay in the best working shape possible.

Unexpected Noises

Not long ago, I was driving down the road, and noticed a strange knocking sound. As it turns out, I needed to have my axels checked, along with the car's alignment (it was severely out of line). Daily driving in and out of traffic and on rough roads can do a number on your car's alignment, so it's a good idea to have that checked every so often. If anything at all sounds different or strange, take it into the dealership or shop to have it checked as soon as possible.

Tire Tread and Pressure

While you're having your car tuned-up, have the tread and pressure checked for each tire. You can eyeball this yourself and you should be able to tell whether or not your tires need to be replaced. Most cars have automatic tire pressure gauges, which will indicate low tire pressure. Having your tires regularly rotated will also help with the life of your tire tread and balance your vehicle.

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