Experiencing major car issues while on the road is stressful and scary. Roadside assistance can help move your vehicle and take you into town, but it's best to learn the signs of car trouble before you have to call for help. Below are five signs that you should pull over before the problem gets worse. 

How Do You Know When to Pull Over?

1. Red Dashboard Lights

There are many warning lights on your dashboard, and they all give you crucial information about how your vehicle is functioning. Most of the time, these lights are green—indicating a healthy and functioning system—or yellow, meaning something's wrong but not urgent. However, if a light turns red, it means that something has critically failed and must be addressed immediately. When it is safe to do so, slow down, put on your hazard lights, pull over, and call roadside assistance. 

2. Flashing Dashboard Lights

Another sign of a serious problem is a flashing light on the dashboard. The most common light to be equipped with a flashing feature is the check engine light. While you should always resolve the issue with your check engine light as soon as it comes on, it doesn't always mean an immediately dangerous problem. A flashing light does indeed need to be addressed as soon as possible. 

3. Smoke or Flames

If you see smoke, or if you notice flames coming from any part of the vehicle, you should vacate the vehicle as soon as it's safe to do so. Pull over and get everyone away from the car right away, because you may have been exposed to dangerous fumes. If the car is on fire, you should not attempt to put out the flames by yourself. Instead, stay away from the car and call 911. 

4. Unexpected Noises

Strange, grinding, or loud noises coming from your car are never a good sign. If you hear a very loud popping sound and feel the car pull to one side, you may have blown a tire. Strange sounds coming from the front of your car may indicate a serious problem with the engine, and grinding sounds coming from your brakes likely mean your brake pads are worn out and damaging the rest of your braking system. If you experience any of these unexpected noises, get off the road and call for roadside assistance. 

5. New Scents

Any new or unusual scents, from exhaust to fuel to burnt rubber, could mean an issue that needs to be addressed right away. You may be experiencing a gas leak, an electrical issue, or a problem with the cooling system. These scents are usually the precursor to a larger failure, so getting off the road safely but promptly can save you further damage to the car and keep everyone around you safer. 


If your car exhibits any new, strange, or unexpected symptoms like those above, contact Groton Auto Body & Sales. Based in Groton, CT, these automotive experts provide 24-hour roadside assistance and emergency towing throughout New London County. Learn more about their services online, and call (860) 449-9120 for immediate help.