The engine is the heart of a car. Without it, your vehicle is just a big piece of metal. As a result, it’s important that you keep the engine healthy. Regular maintenance is one way to make sure this crucial component continues running smoothly. It is also necessary to understand the signs that something is wrong with the engine so that you can make the appropriate repairs.
There are several telltale signs that your engine is breaking. Some symptoms indicate issues with other parts of the car, but it is best to take it in for a diagnostic anyway. Read below to learn about the biggest signs that your engine is in trouble.
Automobiles normally make various noises. However, certain sounds are indicative of a problem. An engine with an issue will often make unusual sounds that you are not used to hearing.
Knocking sounds are common among broken engines. This noise typically changes as you speed up or slow down. It is often due to the engine’s bearings which support the engine’s moving parts. Ignoring this issue can leave your non-working vehicle stranded on the side of the road with a severely damaged engine.
Other sounds to look out for include:
The Check Engine Light is On
One of the biggest red flags that your engine needs attention is seeing the check engine light turn on. While this light doesn’t always mean that the engine is about to seize, it does mean that a certain component or components need repair before the problem worsens.
Sometimes, a check engine light can turn on from a simple loose gas cap. This problem is easily remedied by tightening it yourself. However, if this is not the issue then you will need to take the car to a mechanic to diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
Don’t be nervous about how much the repairs might be when you see this light come on. The longer you wait to address the issue, the more problems will arise.
Noticeably Reduced Car Performance
If you’ve noticed that your car is using up gas more quickly than before or acceleration speed has decreased, then your car’s performance has reduced. While these things might take some time to notice and be a result of other vehicle issues, they are still important to get checked.
Your engine is connected to all of the other essential parts of the vehicle such as the exhaust and power system. Thus, an issue with an engine piece can create gas-usage problems or cause the car to stall or shake at high speeds.
These issues are not just an inconvenience, they are a sign that your car might need repair.
You should not be able to smell your car’s emissions from the inside. Smelling exhaust, gas, rotten eggs, rubber or burning is never a good sign.
The scent of oil is especially dangerous since it is an indicator that oil is leaking. Oil can ignite in extremely hot areas such as near the exhaust and a fire can erupt. The smell of rotten eggs can be coming from a broken catalytic converter, which is dangerous and causes your car to stop running.
Thus, it is imperative that you do not ignore any new strange smells emitting from your automobile as they can be a warning sign.
Changes in Exhaust Color or Amount
Unlike cars of the past, you’re not really supposed to see your exhaust smoke emitting from a vehicle unless it’s winter. White, blue, and black smoke are all indicators of an issue. White smoke, while not as dangerous is a sign that either water or coolant has entered the combustion chamber.
Blue smoke, on the other hand, is a sign that oil is burning in the engine due to worn out or damaged parts. Finally, black smoke means that too much fuel is burning and there could be mechanical damage in the engine.
The Engine is Shaking
A shaking engine is a sign that something is malfunctioning. A normal, health engine remains stable. If you notice that your engine is shaking, it might just be worn out spark plugs or wires that need replacement. Alternatively, the timing belt can be faulty, which is a more serious issue.
The Engine Won’t Start
One of the biggest and most obvious indicators that there is something wrong with your engine is that your car won’t start. Although a car might not start due to a bad battery or ignition issues, a blown engine will definitely cross your mind.
In this case, it’s best to take the car to a mechanic and rule out the possibility of a broken engine.