What’s that noise? I don’t recognize that smell? Why is the car vibrating? If you’re asking any of these questions about your vehicle, it’s time to do some investigating to determine if your vehicle needs servicing or repairs. Additionally, if there are fluids on the ground where you park your vehicle or if you see a dashboard warning light on, it’s a sign that your vehicle requires immediate attention.

We’ll go through some possible signs of trouble with your vehicle based on abnormal things you may observe while you are driving. Each of these should be checked by a qualified vehicle repair center.

Noises: Strange noises should not be ignored. A squealing sound coming from your tires could be an indication that your brake pads are worn and need to be replaced. Many cars, SUVs and trucks are equipped with wear indicators that will squeal when the brake pads need to be replaced. If the squealing sound is coming from your engine, it could be a sign of a bad belt or belt tensioner. If you hear a clunking sound, it could be that your transmission needs to be serviced or there is a possible suspension problem. These sounds are signs of vehicle issues. Take your vehicle to be checked by a qualified vehicle service center immediately as these noises can be dangerous or lead to a vehicle breakdown.

Odors: If you smell something that is sweet, it may mean your coolant is leaking or needs to be filled; it could also indicate an issue with your heater core. If you run your vehicle for a few minutes using the heat, but it doesn’t get hot or the windows fog, the heater core may be leaking and should be looked at. If there is a mold smell inside the vehicle, the air conditioning system may have mold or the cabin air filter needs to be changed and should be serviced. A rotten egg smell in your car often indicates a malfunctioning part in the fuel system. Your vehicle’s fuel system includes the catalytic converter, fuel filters, or fuel pressure sensors; if they are worn out or damaged, a sulfur gas can produce the rotten egg odor, a telltale sign you should have the vehicle serviced by a vehicle repair center.

Vibrations: There are a number of things that can cause vibrations in the vehicle. If you feel a vibration in the front of the vehicle while driving, that could be indicating a suspension, ignition or tire issue. An exhaust leak can also cause a vibration that may be felt through the gas pedal. Warped or worn brake rotors are very likely to cause shaking in the brake pedal when you press on it.

Leaks: Colored fluids on the ground underneath your car after it has been parked are a sign that the vehicle has a leak. This could be from the engine, transmission, brakes, cooling system, power steering or differentials, any of which could be significant problem and the vehicle should be checked to determine the cause. Sometimes, the color of the fluid can help identify the type of fluid you are seeing; however, new fluids introduced by the vehicle manufacturers sometimes make it difficult to determine the correct fluid that is leaking. For those that change their own motor oil, if you have a motor oil leak immediately after a motor oil change, be sure to check that the motor oil drain plug and oil filter are securely tightened. Here is a helpful guide on how to change your oil if you need assistance.

Warning Lights: Vehicle manufacturers provide a variety of warning lights that will illuminate on the dashboard if there is a problem with the engine or other vehicle system. Warning lights include check engine, ABS, battery, temperature and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If any of these come on, it is recommended that you have a qualified vehicle repair center provide proper diagnostics and any necessary repairs.

However, there are also lights on your dashboard indicating preventative maintenance such as the motor oil change light. This light does not indicate a problem, but rather that it is time for a motor oil change soon. When it’s time for your vehicle’s motor oil to be changed, we recommend Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils.  Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils help to extend engine life and protects your engine for up to 15 years or 800,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. Guaranteed1. Pennzoil Platinum is the first motor oil made with natural gas

A number of the items covered here such as brakes and potential suspension problems are directly related to vehicle safety and should be checked by a professional immediately. Items such as headlights that are dull or not working should also be replaced immediately due to reduced visibility in darkness or rain.

Many auto service centers that offer Pennzoil Full Synthetic motor oils can also diagnose and repair problems with your vehicle. To find a service center near you, please use our location finder.


1 15 years or 800,000 kilometers whichever comes first, guaranteed, if you exclusively use Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils. Your engine must have less than 201,168 kilometers and have been manufactured in the past 72 months. To maintain your warranty, change your vehicle’s oil and oil filter at least as often as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Enrollment required. Keep your receipts. Other conditions apply. Click here to enroll and for full details and terms..