3 Vehicle Issues That Should Not Be Ignored

Your vehicle may be running smoothly enough to get you from one point to another, but that doesn't mean ignoring small issues is a viable long-term solution. Here are three potential problems that drivers should not ignore.

1. Windshield Chip or Crack

A chip or crack in the windshield caused by loose gravel or some other debris striking the glass is usually easy enough to see around and still operate the vehicle safely. However, ignoring that tiny fissure can lead to much bigger problems. 

Most people understand that even a tiny chip or crack can grow large enough to break the entire windshield, simply by changes in temperature, weather, and seemingly small bumps along the road. Driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous because the structural integrity of the glass has been compromised, meaning even small bumps can result in shattered glass. 

Driving with a chipped or cracked windshield is also a safety concern — especially in a collision. Cracked windshields not only shatter in a collision, but they also increase the likelihood of injury in a rollover accident, ejection from the front of the vehicle, and can even interfere with front airbags deploying properly. 

2. Low Tire Pressure

Most vehicles have an indicator light to notify drivers when the tire pressure is low. Similar to a fuel light, it simply means that it's time to add more air to the tires. However, if you find yourself needing to add air to the tires more frequently than usual, there might be a more serious problem. 

There are a few reasons for leaky tires. They may be old and worn, not fit to the wheel rim correctly, or have a small puncture. All of these issues make a flat tire much more likely. Flat tires may not sound like a serious problem, but if it blows out while driving down the highway, you and the drivers around you are in danger. 

It's best to replace tires every 6-10 years depending on the vehicle type and driving habits. But if you notice that your low tire pressure indicator light is frequently on, it's worth a safety check with an auto service professional to determine if the tires are safe to drive on. 

3. Exhaust System Leak

You may not realize there is a leak in the exhaust system, but it is one of the most dangerous vehicle issues to ignore. The exhaust system's job is to funnel harmful carbon monoxide and other by-products from the engine out and away from the vehicle. If this system leaks, especially if that exhaust gets into the cabin of the vehicle, you and your passengers are at risk. 

One of the first signs of an exhaust leak is a popping or hissing sound while the vehicle engine is running. Check the tailpipe for any high-pitched whistling that could indicate a leak. If there is a smell of exhaust inside the vehicle, address the issue immediately. 

To keep your car in the best shape possible, contact an auto repair shop near you.