Knowing when to get your car serviced and fixed is an art form in itself, making sure that it isn’t getting wrecked during your use of it. Getting the most use out of your car means knowing when it is hitting its breaking point, but that isn’t always easy. Servicing your vehicle costs money, but driving around in something falling apart is going to cost you more than repairs anyway.

If you aren’t sure when to service your vehicle, there are plenty of tell-tale signs when you should do it. Here are some answers for how often and when you should do it.

How Often Should I Get It Inspected?

This is the main question you want to be answered, and there isn’t a definitive answer to it, but realistically, you want to get a car serviced every 6 months. This shouldn’t shock or scare you into thinking you are going to be spending a lot of money; they may give it a quick look to see if everything is okay and charge you a minor fee for the hassle. This is actually even better for diesel engine maintenance as diesel cars last longer and are more reliable, so you likely won’t see any problems in that short of a time, not to mention you might not even need to get it serviced. You only need to get it checked out if you think there is something wrong.

There are a lot of hints that your car gives you when something is wrong. Like an animal, it won’t be able to tell you what’s wrong verbally, but sometimes you’ll hear, see, smell, or feel it. This next section will help you determine what signs will indicate troubles with your car.

When Should I Get It Done?


You’ll be able to see or smell these in your driveway or while out. If you see leaks coming from your car, be sure to check what kind of leak it is. Sometimes it could just be water from the exhaust, which is no big deal, but if you spot leaks coming from below the engine, you must get it checked out. It could be spillage from a loose cap on your washer fluid, but it could be coolant or oil, so it’s never bad to be safe.


If your car is smelling something fierce, you will likely need to get it checked out. It could be something in the AC/heating vents, but if it emanates from the engine, pop the hood and see if anything is leaking. A weird smell could be nothing, or it could be trouble again, never a bad idea to be safer than sorry.


Many cars will deal with this problem, and it’s hard to tell whether it’s serious or not. Rattling cars could be from wind, it could be the frame is just old, shoddy manufacturing on the design, or it could be that there are loose struts. If you notice the car rattles all the time, get it checked out.

Odd Noises

This falls under rattling to an extent. Cars make plenty of noise. Squealing, chopping, chugging, etc., and many of them are just like mechanical being a touchy thing. Your car likely makes noises all the time, even when it’s in perfect condition, but if you think the sound is something indicative of bigger problems, it can’t hurt to see what is going on inside the engine.

Bad Performance

Cars sometimes start to lose their luster. It might take longer to heat up or accelerate, or it could be that the car isn’t able to perform its normal tasks like the lights working. It might be a battery issue, which of course, is a simple fix you can do yourself by replacing it for relatively cheap. But if your car is sporadically dying, slowing down, or not working the way it should get it checked ASAP. However, just because a few steering or suspension parts go bad on your vehicle doesn’t mean it’s time to junk it. Consult your mechanic. He’ll instruct you on whether to buy a stock part or an aftermarket part. Then go online to a site like AutoNation Parts to find what works best for your budget.

Uneven Handling

When you move the steering wheel, it should be a smooth motion, but a bad handling situation will either make it feel incredibly loose or super stiff, which means something is up with your steering system, the steering wheel parts, or the axels of your car. Never play around with this and always get it checked.

Keeping your car working fine and dandy on the road means being aware of the signs that the vehicle needs servicing. As you can see, there are plenty of things to keep an eye, ear, or nose out to make sure it is working well.