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5 Silent Signs Your Vehicle is Failing

Understanding when something is wrong with your vehicle, including silent signs, can save you money on repairs and prevent a long stay at the auto repair shop.

Only 39 percent of Americans can comfortably cover an unexpected bill of $1,000, according to Bankrate, an online financial resource. Regular car maintenance is key to preventing breakdowns and ensuring your ride delivers you safely to your destination. Despite saving customers money, many Americans put off car maintenance, especially during the past year. Hectic work and childcare schedules can make it difficult to put car care on your to-do list.

Following the outbreak of the pandemic, many Americans did not keep up with maintenance schedules. They were driving less and coping with the stress of telework and remote schooling. According to the Hankook Tire Gauge Index, a survey of 1,094 randomly selected Americans over age 18 who have a valid United States driver's license, nearly half delayed or canceled a vehicle maintenance appointment. More than 73 percent did not top off fluids, and 70 percent did not check tire pressure.

The Vital Signs

While regular maintenance will keep your car running smoothly and help maintain resale value, it’s not the only task drivers should stay on top of to keep their cars in tip-top shape. Car owners know if the brakes squeal or it takes a couple of times to get the engine to turn over, they need to head in for a tune-up. Did you know that there are many silent signs your car may be failing?

Dim Headlights or Malfunctioning Radio

If you notice it’s harder to see at night while driving, it may not be a sign you need to make an appointment at the eye doctor. Dim headlights or a malfunctioning radio can be an indicator your battery is low on charge and may need to be replaced. Other signs you might need to get your battery strength tested include trouble starting the car, or your battery light comes on.

Trouble Staying in Your Lane

If you notice when you’re driving on the highway that your car pulls in one direction rather than staying in the center of the lane, you may need to get it checked out. Pulling can be a sign of a problem with suspension or alignment. If your alignment is off, your tires will experience uneven wear and tear and need to be replaced sooner.

Bad Smell

Once you’ve determined that the bad odor in your car isn’t from a discarded sippy cup of milk under the seat or a stray bag of workout gear, it may be time to have a mechanic take a look. A bad odor could indicate a coolant leak or mold in your vents. A rotten egg smell may be a sign of a problem in the fuel system.


It takes a variety of different fluids to keep your car running smoothly. If you notice a puddle in your garage when you pull out in the morning, your car needs to be serviced. Common car leaks include transmission fluid, oil, and brake fluid. If your transmission fluid is low, it can lead to gear slippage and sluggishness. Low brake fluid can result in uneven wear and damage to your brake pads over time. An oil leak can cause engine damage.

Check Engine Light

Your check engine light is a silent but effective indicator that there is a problem with your vehicle. Don’t ignore the light when it comes on. If your check engine light comes on and there are no outward signs of a problem, drive to your nearest trusted location to determine the source of the problem.

About Roadrunner Transmission

Roadrunner Transmission and Gear is a drivetrain specialist serving all of Denver County with transmission and diesel automotive issues. With over 18+ years’ experience, we can help repair your transmission at affordable and fair prices. Don’t get duped, our honest team strives to earn your business and works hard to get your car or truck on the road at a fair and affordable price.

Transmission Repair Centennial