10 Signs It’s Time to Bring Your Vehicle into the Shop: A Guide for Laconia Car Owners

When you depend on your car for almost everything, from getting to work to running daily errands, ignoring the early warning signs of vehicle issues can lead to bigger problems down the road. As a Laconia car owner, understanding when to take your vehicle for a checkup is crucial not only for your safety but also for the longevity of your car. Sanborn’s Auto Repair brings you the top ten signs that indicate it’s time for a professional inspection.

Sign 1: Strange Noises

Vehicle noise is usually the first sign that something’s amiss. If you’re hearing unfamiliar noises like grinding, squealing, or clunking, it could mean trouble. These sounds can signal anything from brake issues to engine troubles, and they shouldn’t be ignored.

Sign 2: Check Engine Light

A lit check engine light can be unnerving and frustratingly vague. This light can indicate a spectrum of problems, from a minor issue like a loose gas cap to a more serious engine malfunction. Visit your mechanic to read the diagnostic code and understand what your car needs.

Sign 3: Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks can compromise the functionality of your car and even damage other integral parts. Whether it’s brake fluid, oil, or coolant, each leak has a unique color and texture, and recognizing them will help you describe the issue to your mechanic accurately.

Sign 4: Vibrations or Shaking

Your vehicle should drive smoothly, so if you start feeling vibrations or shaking, especially at certain speeds or during specific maneuvers like braking, it’s time for a checkup. This could point to anything from tire alignment issues to suspension problems.

Sign 5: Warning Lights

Modern vehicles come equipped with a range of warning lights, each indicating specific concerns, such as tire pressure, oil levels, and battery health. Familiarize yourself with your dashboard’s symbols and take immediate action when they light up.

Sign 6: Reduced Performance

If your car struggles to accelerate, maintain speed, or seems less responsive in general, these are clear indicators that your engine isn’t performing optimally. These symptoms shouldn’t be disregarded as they can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly.

Sign 7: Braking Issues

Your brakes are critical for your safety. If you notice a spongy feel to the brake pedal, hear persistent squeaking or grinding, or your car pulls to one side when braking, it’s time to have your brakes inspected immediately.

Sign 8: Electrical Problems

Difficulty starting the car, dimming headlights, and electronic features malfunctioning are signs of electrical issues. Since a car’s electrical system is interconnected, problems can escalate quickly.

Sign 9: Overheating

An overheating engine is a serious concern and can be identified by steam coming from under the hood or an overly high temperature gauge reading. Don’t attempt to diagnose or fix this on your own—bring it in for professional service immediately.

Sign 10: Worn Tires

Tires with uneven wear, low tread depth, or bulges need to be replaced. They are vital for maintaining traction and ensuring safe driving conditions, especially in areas like Laconia with variable weather.


Being vigilant about these warning signs can save you time and money, not to mention keep you safe on the road. Don’t wait for a breakdown to take care of your car. Trust the professionals at Sanborn’s Auto Repair in Laconia to provide reliable service and maintenance. When in doubt, bring it in—your car and your safety are worth it.

We encourage you to also take advantage of a special treat while waiting for your car to be serviced – spending time with our shop dogs, LuckyBear, SmokyBones, and Diamond in the Ruff. They’re always ready to provide extra pet therapy, making your wait more enjoyable. At Sanborn’s Auto Repair, we not only prioritize your car’s needs but also strive to offer a comforting and delightful experience for all our customers. So don’t forget to stop by, let us handle your vehicle’s needs, and enjoy some time with our charming canine crew.

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