Watch out…the metal sign that shows your car is running hot may be a sign of trouble.
The sign is part of a metal sign system that’s been in place since the early 1970s, but is now being phased out.
The system has been criticized for the increased noise, heat and even vibration from cars that aren’t running.
There are several reasons why you may not see metal signs on your car when you’re driving.
They’re usually installed in the back of the car, just above the door handle.
Or they’re located at the very bottom of the rearview mirror, behind the passenger side mirror.
Or the sign may be hidden under a metal grill or panel on the roof.
You could also be able to spot them on the underside of the wheels or under the bumper of your car.
In either case, it’s best to keep the signs off the road, or avoid them.
“We’ve got a number of different things that are being considered,” said Rob Hildenbrand, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
“What we’re looking at is, ‘How do we eliminate them?'”
Some of those options include installing signs on the ground, behind a curb or even in the trunk of your vehicle.
Other options include painting metal bars over the metal signs and adding additional metal hardware like an air compressor.
And sometimes, there’s a problem with the sign itself.
It can cause a crash.
“It’s a safety hazard,” Hildert said.
“But there’s always a risk of people walking into it.”
That’s why he said it’s important to be vigilant.
“The more we can warn people, the more people are going to be safe,” he said.
If you see metal sign problems, it could mean a problem in the system.
“Some of these signs have metal hardware on them, so they can be damaged,” Hieldenbrand said, “and you don’t know what could happen.”
If you’ve had trouble spotting metal signs, the best thing you can do is check your vehicle’s odometer.
It will tell you when your car was last inspected.
If it’s not, check your mileage.
If your mileage is above the maximum, it can be a good sign that you need to upgrade your vehicle or have a mechanical issue.
The DOT recommends you get a new car, which means that you can expect to pay a deductible.
“If it’s $250,000 or less, it probably doesn’t need to be done,” Hildebrand said of your deductible.
That’s because the DOT says it’s still assessing how much the costs of replacing the metal parts would cost, including maintenance and vehicle repairs.
“So, that’s something that you have to weigh up,” Houlderbrand added.
The last thing you want to do is buy a new vehicle that costs more than it needs to.
Hilderinger said the DOT is looking into adding new options to the metal system that could cost $5,000 to $10,000.
“That would be a great way to offset the cost of a new truck or something like that,” Holderbrand explained.
“For a $5k truck, it might be worth the additional expense to do it.”
Read more stories from North Carolina, home to Tesla, at caranddriver.com