Engine troubles can be a big hassle for any car owner. It can cause major disruptions to your vehicle use and overall be troublesome for auto repair.
A car’s engine should be checked regularly at scheduled intervals but there are a few ways to determine if your engine is starting to act up and if it needs to be taken to a car service shop. If the check engine light turns on, you hear a knocking noise, have worsening gas mileage, experience a loss of power when driving or have excessive exhaust smoke coming out the back of your car, then you should consider having your engine checked.
Engine performance is an important factor in any new or used car. Maintaining it is necessary for your safety but also for the wellbeing and value of the car. To be better informed on your car’s performance, here is a guide to 5 common engine issues that you may encounter.
1. Oil deposits and debris
Old oil that is not changed often enough can cause a build-up of debris in the engine. These deposits commonly clog spark plugs, intake valves, and combustion chambers. To prevent the debris from becoming lodged in the engine, automotive technicians should change the oil filters regularly.
2. Leaking engine coolant
If the coolant is leaking from your engine, you will be able to diagnose this by looking at the temperature gauge on your dashboard. If it shows that there is a high temperature, indicating that your engine is hot, it is an indication that the coolant has been leaking and needs to be replaced. The cooling system should be kept free of debris to help maintain a safe operating temperature for your engine. The leak may be caused if the radiator cap has been removed, a radiator hose has blown, a head gasket has warped, or if one of the hose clamps are damaged. An automotive professional should be able to help you mend or replace these parts.
3. Failing oil pump
Oil pumps assist with the lubrication of your engine and help absorb heat when your engine is running. Some of the signs that your pump may be faulty is if there is a reduction in oil pressure or if the engine is overheating – usually, a check oil symbol will show itself on your dashboard. Failure to fix this can cause severe wear on your engine. If you notice any of these signs consider having your vehicle checked and topping up the oil until you are able to see a professional.
4. Aged spark plugs
Spark plugs ignite compressed fuel in the engine. If the spark plug has aged or been worn down it will create a weak ignition that may prevent your engine from turning over. This is also known as a misfire, essentially when one or more of the engine cylinders is not producing power. This problem is more common with older and second-hand cars. A weak spark plug can affect your fuel economy and cause long-term damage to the engine.
5. Prolonged engine detonation
Engine detonation is caused when there is too much heat and pressure in the engine. This issue is usually located in the combustion chamber and causes damage to the pistons and piston rings. You may be able to diagnose this issue if you hear a knocking noise coming from the engine area while you are driving.
Engine issues can be a part of the life cycle of a car but they do not have to be if you look out for these common signs and symptoms of damage or wear-and-tear.