Most cars and trucks today are extremely reliable, but they can still develop problems. Many modern engines provide 100,000 miles or more of service before breaking down, but issues can crop up at any time.
Being aware of common symptoms of engine trouble will allow you to contact Sir Car Part before much disruption can follow. Every driver will do well to become familiar with the following seven signs that an engine needs repair.
1. It Won’t Start
A properly maintained engine should normally spring to life almost as soon as the key turns in a car’s ignition. Sometimes, though, an engine can be cranked over and over again without catching.
That can suggest anything from problems with the vehicle’s fuel delivery system to electrical issues. Should turning the key yield only silence, a dysfunctional starter will often be the culprit.
When an engine simply won’t start at all, the need for a repair will normally be clear. Sometimes, though, something as simple as reconnecting a battery cable will reveal a less expensive solution.
2. It Idles Roughly
An engine that is running well should normally be quiet when idling. An unusually loud or rough idle is often a sign that an engine needs adjustment or even repair.
Allowing a harsh-sounding idle to continue can even expose an engine to the danger of additional damage. In most cases, the cause of a rough idle turns out to be easy and inexpensive to diagnose.
3. It Leaks Oil
The internal combustion engines found in passenger vehicles typically hold at least five quarts of lubricating oil. When any of the various seals within an engine deteriorate enough, oil can start being lost.
One of the most common ways to discover that an engine is leaking oil is to find puddles of the substance on the ground after parking overnight. Oil ending up inside a formerly clean engine compartment can suggest similar problems.
4. It Lacks Power
When an engine no longer accelerates like it used to, a lack of compression or another problem will often be to blame. This typically becomes most obvious when trying to pass on the highway or hauling an unusually heavy load, as everyday driving will not always make the deficit clear.
5. It Guzzles Gas
Drivers who consistently keep track of fuel economy figures can accomplish more than saving money-; they can also spot engine problems earlier than others. When an engine starts using significantly more fuel to travel the same amount of distance, a problem with its internals will often be the cause.
6. It Makes Knocking Noises
Both diesel and gasoline engines are designed to tolerate thousands of small explosions every minute. These power-generating pops, though, need to be timed perfectly in order to prevent damage from ensuing.
Distinctive knocking noises often signal that an engine’s combustion events are no longer as rhythmic as they should be. Take your car to a mechanic right away and potentially expensive damage can be avoided.
7. The Check Engine Light is On
Almost every car built in the last few decades includes a dashboard light meant to highlight engine problems. Unfortunately, some drivers become accustomed to dismissing such warnings because of false positives. In many cases, though, a check engine light that illuminates when everything else seems in order will be indicative of a developing problem. It pays to check out issues as soon as they occur to avoid further complicating a situation.
Awareness Pays Off
These are seven of the most common signs that a vehicle’s engine needs attention. Being alert for symptoms like these can make dealing with engine problems less expensive and disruptive.