Without a properly functioning engine, your car can’t run, but if you know the warning signs of impending failure, you can have it serviced before catastrophe strikes. Fortunately, when in distress, an engine exhibits unique symptoms, so read on to learn the top 8 signs to watch out for.
The Check Engine Light Comes On
An active check engine light tells you something is amiss; don’t ignore it and continue driving. Although possible issues can range in severity, type and cost, most professional diagnostic tests are inexpensive (and sometimes free).
Your Car Loses Power
Most modern vehicles use an internal combustion engine, which operates on a four-point cycle for converting gasoline into the power needed to run: intake stroke, compression stroke, a combustion stroke, and exhaust stroke. If any of these gets out of whack, your vehicle will lose power. If this happens, have it towed to a licensed mechanic right away.
Fuel Efficiency Decreases
If you see a drop off in gas mileage, it could indicate a problem with the compression stroke. Generally, having the fuel system serviced or using a fuel cleaner will solve the problem. If not, consider taking it in for professional evaluation, as something deeper could be going on.
Things Get Noisy
The normal hum of an engine tells you all is right under the hood. However, hissing, spitting, popping, backfiring, or any other abnormal sounds usually mean trouble. If you start hearing more from your engine than normal, head to an expert as soon as possible.
The Engine Stalls
With an automatic transmission, a car shouldn’t stall. If it does, it usually means engine dysfunction. When this happens, have the vehicle towed and serviced immediately.
Things Get Smelly
When the exhaust stroke of an engine gets weakened, it can give off intense odors. As with the disheartening sounds of a sick engine, these smells will indicate imminent failure. Once again, having an expert take a look is your best option.
The Engine Keeps Running After the Ignition is Turned Off
This phenomenon, known as dieseling or run-on, tends to happen when a high-performance vehicle receives low octane gas. However, it could also mean a failing solenoid or hyper-active carburetor.
The Engine Feels Over-Worked
If you notice an idling or rough-running engine, a quick tune-up could be all it takes to get things back to normal. A licensed professional might diagnose a clog, worn out spark plugs, or faulty battery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t wait to have your vehicle serviced. Increased awareness and good judgment can help save you time and money in the long run. And remember, keeping up with scheduled maintenance is your first defense against disaster.
For all your vehicle’s needs, call University Auto Repair today!