10 Signs Your Car Engine Needs A Checkup

Modern technology has enabled manufacturers to produce car engines like never before. But not all of us are lucky enough to have a brand new car with a beautiful new engine. Like with us humans, the older it gets, the more likely it is to start creaking, smelling, and wearing. The more miles your engine does, the quicker it will go downhill. This short and informative read is going to highlight some of the warning signs you should be looking out for that show your car's engine needs some TLC.

Warning Lights

The good thing about cars is that they like to let you know when something is wrong. It takes a near-perfect environment for car engines to function right. Each part needs to perform exactly how it should do for the engine to run without any issues.

As soon as one part of the engine begins to fail, the warning signs will start to show. Luckily, a warning light will literally show, highlighting an issue with your motor. The next best thing to do is book it into mechanics such as those at Hamm's Tires to discover why the check engine light has come on. The warning light can indicate a whole host of problems that you might not be able to fix on your own.

Strange Noises

Strange noises are the second most common indicator that something is going wrong with your car engine. If you can hear a squealing noise that sounds like someone is torturing your car, it is a sign your engine fan belt is taking a beating. The fan belt is an essential component of your engine, and it will need replacing.

Another common sound is a clunking, knocking sound that sounds like there are rocks stuck under your car's hood. This is the sound that a rod bearing makes when it's worn out. Typically, any strange noises that your engine makes is a job for a specialist, so don't try it at home!

Funny Smells

There are a few different smells that your car engine can produce, and none of them are a good sign. If you notice a sweet smell, it is a sign that there is coolant leaking. Coolant, as you would imagine, helps to keep your engine cool. It needs to be kept above a specific level to stop your engine from overheating.

If you can smell gas, it may be a sign that either fuel or another liquid is leaking from the engine. This is a hazard, and you shouldn't drive your car if it is producing a gas smell. There is a higher risk of an engine fire, especially if you drive the car for a long period and allow the engine to get hot.

Unwanted Smoke

If the exhaust is clear, it is not a problem, and it is common for clear exhaust to come out of the tailpipe on a cold morning. However, if the smoke is any other color, it is something that needs to be addressed by a mechanic. Typically, smoke can be black, blue, or white if there is a problem. Each color of smoke indicates a different issue.

If it is blue, it means oil is escaping from the engine. If it is black, there is a chance the air filter needs changing. If it is white, it can mean that some of your antifreeze has mixed with the fuel supply.

Poor Fuel Consumption

Car Maintenance

It is common for fuel consumption to reduce over time as the parts of a car engine age. But, if you are noticing a sharp decrease in your car's fuel consumption and are filling up a lot more than you used to, you need to book it for a checkup. There are a few things that could be going wrong:

  • Fuel leak
  • Blocked air filter
  • Block injectors
  • A faulty spark plug

Oil or Fluid Spots

If you pull off your drive and notice a spot of fluid, the common culprits are oil or fuel. It is easy to ignore a splash or two of fluid on the floor, especially if the car is still driving perfectly. However, that spot or two of fluid can indicate a big engine problem. Engine oil might be leaking everywhere, and once it runs out, it will cause more damage to your engine. If you are noticing spots of fluid on the floor and poor fuel consumption, you can bet that the engine is leaking fuel which is an even bigger problem. There's always a risk of an engine fire due to leaking fuel.

Hard Starts

Your car should start the second you turn your key far enough. If you are finding that you need to turn the key two or three times before your car rattles to life, it is a sure sign of needing a checkup. Hard starts happen for several reasons, and some are engine-related while some aren't. Fouled spark plugs are the most common cause of hard starts, and they are usually dealt with during a routine tune-up.

No Engine Power

Having no engine power is the last thing that you need when you are on that mad dash to work in the morning. If you feel like you are putting your foot down and getting no power, or if there is a long delay between pressing the accelerator and finding the power, your car engine needs a checkup. You might also notice your car dipping in and out of having power, which is also a sign that your engine needs a checkup!

Overdue Service

Car services are essential but not a legal requirement. Since you won't be chased down for not booking your car in for one, it is easy to forget about the importance of them. A car service checks your engine oil, air filters, spark plugs, and everything in between. It is the TLC that every car should have at least once a year.

Engine Age

The older the engine, the more likely it is going to need something repairing. It is a natural part of owning an aging car. If your engine is old and you do a lot of miles, you should take extra care to make sure you are getting your motor serviced yearly. You should also make sure that you drive with care.

Checkup Is A Must

It is no surprise that so many things can go wrong with the engine. Many components have to function perfectly for the car to run smoothly. If you notice any of the problems above, get your car booked in for a checkup ASAP!

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs