Signs You Need to Visit a Mechanic
There are some obvious signs that your car needs to be taken to an auto mechanic shop, including extreme pulling or other difficulties steering the vehicle, lack of braking power, struggling to turn over the engine, and so on. However, many signs of needed repair are not that obvious; note a few of them here, so you know when to take your car to the shop and what it might need by way of fixes or replacement parts.
Decrease in acceleration
If you need to give your car more gas than usual in order to accelerate, this can mean that the brake pads are worn down and sticking, a brake calliper is not opening as it should, or that the exhaust is clogged and oxygen is not being vented from the engine properly. Over time, worn brakes may eventually seize up, and a clogged exhaust may cause the engine to outright fail. When you notice any decrease in acceleration from a full stop, take your car in for a check-up and repairs.
All the fluids in your vehicle should remain inside their reservoir tank, in the hoses that circulate them, or inside the parts they lubricate or power. The only dripping you should then see under your car is condensation from running the air conditioner on a hot day. In every other case, have a car checked as soon as you notice any fluid leaks under the car or on any part under the hood.
When you apply the brakes, the vehicle should come to a smooth stop. If you feel shaking, vibrations, grinding, or any other odd sensations in the steering wheel or on the brake pedal, this often signals damage to the brake pads, rotors, callipers, or other such pieces. There could also be soot, dirt, and debris in the brake lining. This problem is also likely to get worse over time so that the brakes eventually lock up, so have them checked when you notice this issue.
Smell and smoke
A car should never smoke, either from under the hood or out the exhaust, and you should never notice burning or other pungent odours. These both might mean that the car has a fluid leak or is burning fluid unnecessarily. Gears in the transmission or brake parts could also be failing to move as they should so that you notice a burning smell or odour. Have these problems checked out as soon as possible, so the vehicle doesn't lose more fluid and you don't burn up the transmission or ruin the brakes altogether.