Car Repairs You Should Not Put Off

Posted on: 22 December 2014

You've heard the adage, "why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?" If you're a bit of a procrastinator, you might live by the opposite of this credo! As you have undoubtedly learned at some point through the School of Hard Knocks, sometimes putting off a task can lead to a big headache. When it comes to car repairs, it's always best to err on the side of having them done immediately, even if you don't think it's serious. Take a look at these common problems that seem like no big deal at first, but can rapidly escalate into a big hassle.

Chipped Windshield

You're driving along on the highway minding your own business, when suddenly a tiny rock is kicked up by the truck in front of you. You hear the "ping" sound and see a tiny chip in your windshield. "No biggie," you think, figuring that it's barely noticeable anyway. A few days go by and you forget about the damage. After a few weeks, however, you notice that the chip has spread, and within hours or days, you have a big damaged area resembling an intricate spiderweb on your windshield!

What happened? Anything from moisture and dirt, to the sun or a cold snap can cause a small windshield chip to spread rapidly, explains Auto Glass Rescue. The best course of action is to get your car to a place that can do windshield repair as soon as you notice a chip. Once the damage begins to spread, it can't be reversed, so acting quickly to get your windshield repaired can save you a lot of trouble, as well as a lot of money.

Dead Bulb in the Headlight, Taillight or Signal

If you are driving at night, you might periodically notice a "one-eyed car," or a vehicle that has a headlight that isn't working. You've probably also encountered cars with broken tail lights or signal bulbs. It's annoying and dangerous not to know what a person is planning on doing when a brake light or signal goes out. On the other hand, having a bulb replaced can seem like a silly thing to worry about. It takes time out of your day and will cost you money that you might not have been planning on spending.

One expensive problem that is likely to occur when you don't have a dead bulb replaced is not due to the car itself, but to the law enforcement in your area. In most areas, it's illegal to drive a car that isn't maintained, and having working lights is a big part of maintenance. A ticket is going to cost more than a new bulb. Even if you get off with just a warning, it's likely that you'll not only have to have the problem fixed, but also show proof of the repair to someone at the police station. Talk about taking time out of your day for something that could have been avoided!

Worn Brake Pads

As time goes by, your brake pads, the pieces of rubber that are designed to stop your car when you step on the brake, wear down. In most late-model cars, you'll either hear a sensor that sounds like a high-pitched whine or you'll see a "check brakes" light come up on your dashboard when they need to be repaired. If you don't have them fixed right away, you might figure that it's not a major issue, since your brakes still feel and react the same as before.

Unfortunately, neglecting your brakes not only raises your risk of getting into an accident, but it also makes it likely that your rotors and calipers will begin taking some damage that thick brake pads could have prevented. Having rotors and calipers replaced costs much more than having brake pads replaced. Also, if your brakes were to fail, your insurance deductible will likely cost even more than that, not to mention the raise in your insurance premium rates after an accident!

Do yourself a favor and forget about procrastinating when it comes to car repairs. If you notice a problem with your vehicle, make an appointment at a repair shop as soon as possible. Don't let small problems grow into the need for a large, expensive car repair!