We all know that taking care of your car’s engine is crucial, but it can be easy to neglect, disregard or dismiss possible warning signs as ‘just a blip’ or something you don’t need to get checked out until later. But, before it’s too late and you risk significant damage to the engine, it’s worth noticing and remembering the signs that could mean that your engine isn’t all right.
And a short note before we get into the guide: in general we would encourage you to look for a qualified mechanic if your car is having any of these problems. The earlier you can get treatment for engine damage, the easier it will be to get fixed; both cost savings and hassle along the way.
If you’re spending a lot of time with your car, you’re going to get attuned to the noise it makes and you’re going to probably say when it sounds different. Here are the noises you need to worry about.
If it’s a form of noise that knocks or thumps, the chances are that the rod bearings have worn out or that they have become too loose. The bearings are likely to fail early, and moving around in this form of the condition is not recommended until it is thoroughly inspected and repaired.
Hitting those high notes and letting out some ear-splitting squeaks and squeals from your engine, the fan belt is taking some real punishment. The belt stops moving at the same pace as the pulleys controlling it when it gets loose and worn down, resulting in a high pitched grating noise. If it’s not too loose, you can fix it yourself-look at any repair procedures in your car’s manual to tighten it up. If it is too worn out otherwise you would need to repair it.
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A grinding noise not only irritates the ears, it probably means that each time you hit the road, but your front brake pads also get shaved away. The metal backing plate clamps directly onto the brake disk when the last bit of the pad is gone, thereby dramatically reducing the braking capacity of the vehicle. When things get this bad we will strongly advise you not to get in your car.
Clear smoke from your tailpipe isn’t a concern, but if your engine starts pumping out blue, black, or white smoke, your car has a problem that you want to fix as soon as you can.
If it’s blue, it means oil leaks out of the engine and burns alongside the gasoline. A quick fix would be to keep adding engine oil to the crankcase but you should really take the car in to repair any worn or damaged seals.
White smoke is a warning that it has mixed either water condensation or antifreeze with the fuel supply. Topping the coolant or antifreeze is a temporary remedy and prevents overheating, but it would be a smarter decision to get a professional check-up.
When you begin to see black smoke and it doesn’t clear when the engine warms up, it may mean that the air filter has been clogged up. A simple replacement will do the trick, but if the problem persists then the ratio of air to fuel is likely off-balance.
Do you spot an oil or fluid patch beneath where your car was parked? It may mean a significant problem with the engine, such as a leak of oil or coolant/antifreeze.
Use more than normal fuel
Did you find the MPG is lower than average in your car? Or maybe you earlier seem to run out of fuel during your daily commute?
Some defects can lead to more fuel burning in your engine, including
- Injectors blocked or faulty
- Locked Air Filter
- A leak in the fuel
- Defective air sensor in the combustion chamber
- Bad Spark Plug