Six Scary Things That Can Happen Unexpectedly While Driving
Halloween might be a spooky time of year, but nothing is scarier than something going wrong unexpectedly while you're behind the wheel. Take note of these five scary situations, and how to respond to them, to prepare yourself to stay safe if they happen to you.
An odd smell from your car - burning, sweet, or acidic - could be a result of a leak. For example, anti-freeze gives off a sweet scent when it burns, and this could be a sign of a leak or damage to your radiator.
Smoke or Steam Emanating from the Engine
Smoke and steam are both signs of a dangerous problem. Smoke can indicate a fire under your hood, while steam often indicates a sudden loss of coolant in the radiator. Pull over and do not continue driving if this happens to you
Knocking Noises from the Engine
Loud knocking noises coming from your car's engine are usually an indication that your engine has already suffered some damage, such as a broken water pump, fan, a loss of oil, or other serious injuries. If you experience these loud noises in your vehicle, pull over immediately and do not continue driving.
If your brake pedal goes all the way down easily when you push, or if a red brake light illuminates on your dash, this is an indication of a serious problem. Pull over immediately.
Sudden Loss of Power Steering
A loss of your power steering could be an indication of a broken belt. Newer model cars only have one belt that regulates multiple parts of your vehicle: the power steering water pump, alternator, and more. Because of this, if the belt brakes, it will affect other components of your car and could lead to an expensive repair, so it's important to have it inspected as soon as possible.
Lights on Dashboard
All cars are different, but lights on your dashboard typically mean that there is something unusual happening. Yellow lights are usually cautionary lights, meant to indicate that there is a problem that needs to be addressed soon. However a flashing yellow check engine light is an indication of a very serious, and potentially costly problem. It is often the sign of an engine misfire, which if left alone can result in damage to your catalytic converter, and a very expensive repair. A red light on your dashboard could mean that there is a serious problem occurring that needs to be dealt with immediately. A red light can indicate a problem on a number of areas in your vehicle - the engine, battery, brakes, oil, and more. Whenever you see a light on your dashboard, consult your car's manual to find out exactly what the warning means.
Happy Halloween, whether you're celebrating it 10/31 or 11/7!