Car Care 101: Common Engine Problems

According to some research, a new engine could cost anywhere between $4,000 and $5,000 depending on what type of engine needs to be replaced.

If you want to avoid paying that price for a new engine, you may want to keep an eye out for car engine problem signs. 

But if what are these signs a cause of? Keep reading to discover the most common engine problems you could experience. 


Car engines will overheat every now and then, and this could be for any type of reason. Sometimes, it’s because there isn’t enough coolant in the engine. 

You can fix that by just topping off the reservoir bottle. This bottle is in the engine compartment. 

If that doesn’t fix anything, then you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. You’ll know your car is overheating because vapor and steam will be coming out from your hood. You may even smell something bad coming from your air vents. 

The temperature gauge on your dashboard will also start to go up, and a warning light should come on. 

Sometimes, this can also be caused by a failing thermostat, a broken cooling fan, a faulty radiator, a clogged air filter, a blown head gasket, or a split radiator hose. 

This is one of the common BMW engine problems as well, but there are many more.

Aged Spark Plugs

Aged spark plugs are normally an issue in older vehicles. They’re designed to ignite fuel in the engine of the car to make it run. 

But if the spark plug isn’t strong enough, the engine will just keep misfiring, and it will never come on. This will leave you with an inefficient fuel economy, but you could also damage your engine.

Won’t Start

If your car won’t start, the main culprit could be a dead battery. Your battery might be discharged or dead, but you can revive it with a jump-start. If it is the battery, you should hear a clicking sound when you try to start your car.

However, the starter could also be an issue. The start is what gets part of the engine moving, and if that has a problem, your engine won’t run. 

The starter could have problems if the filter is clogged with fuel. This means that the combustion process won’t work, especially if the fuel filter is blocked. 

If neither of those is the reason, check the battery cables, catalytic converter, and ignition switch.

Oil Issues

You should be changing your filter and oil every 3,000 miles that you drive. As you drive, the oil will start to leave a sludge buildup in your engine.

If this gets deposited into an intake valve, it could damage the whole engine. 

On the flip side, having no oil in your car is also a bad thing. Without the oil, the parts of the engine will start to rub against each other, and you’ll have a worn-down engine in no time. 

Faulty Battery

While car batteries die over time, they do run flat if you leave any interior or headlights on for a long period of time. Sometimes even an in-car DVD player that’s left on will drain the battery too. 

You can try a jump start to get your car working, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the battery. Sometimes the units will be faulty, but the terminals that connect to the battery could also be corroded or poorly connected.

To see if that’s the issue, check the negative and positive terminals. You should see if there are any loose connections. If there are, tighten them. 

If everything looks good, look at the battery. Are there any signs of corrosion anywhere on it? If there is, you might have to clean it off in order for it to connect to the terminal.

To do this, you should mix baking soda with a pint of water. Make this into a mixture and use an old brush to scrub away the corrosion. To clean it off, rub it with a rag and some freshwater. 

After you’ve done that, make sure that you grease the terminals. This will help to protect them and ensure your battery lasts as long as possible. 

In the future, if you notice that this keeps happening on the negative terminal, your battery could be undercharging. If it happens on the other one, this means the battery is overcharging. 

Make sure you check and clean it about every six months or so. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, a mechanic can for you.

Clogged Radiator

While having no coolant is a problem, having dirty coolant also doesn’t help. The coolant is meant to help keep the engine at the right temperature so that it runs properly.

But if the coolant is dirty, then it won’t cool the radiator, which will stop the engine. 

Some people try and put tap water in the engine rather than the coolant, but this is never a good idea. There are minerals in the tap water that will cause the radiator to start to corrode. 

Discover More Common Engine Problems

These are only a few of the more common engine problems you might experience, but there are many more. 

Do you hate dealing with all of these car problems? Thankfully, we’re here to help you.

If you found the information in this article useful, explore our website to find even more helpful tips!

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