Common Engine Problems


How familiar are you with the common engine problems that you may experience with your vehicle?  If you are on the road often, it is important to have a baseline understanding of problems that may impact your vehicle’s engine and your overall driving performance.  In this month’s blog post, we review some of the more common problems you may experience with your engine.  All these issues should be addressed promptly by a service professional to avoid complications to your engine or its components.

  • Overheating: Your engine’s cooling system protects the components of your vehicle from the extreme temperatures of your combustible engine.  As liquid coolant circulates your engine, it absorbs the heat.  When coolant is low or leaking, this may cause your vehicle to overheat.  Other reasons for overheating may be clogged hoses, a head gasket problem, or a faulty thermostat.
  • Smoke: Smoke is never a good sign coming from the engine.  In many cases, smoke may mean there’s some type of leak, and the fluid such as oil, is burning off on the hot engine components.  Dark smoke from the exhaust system is also something you may see if there are engine problems.  Dark smoke can mean that your engine is burning excessive fuel or there is a contamination somewhere in the engine.  A dirty air filter or faulty fuel injector may be the culprit.
  • Stalling: If you are experiencing a significant amount of stalling, there could be a range of reasons why this is happening.  A lot depends on when you may be stalling – for example, if you are stalling right after ignition.  Or are you stalling when your vehicle is idling, say at a traffic light?  Stalling can be the result of many things including fuel and ignition problems, a clogged air filter, exhaust system issues, or electrical malfunctioning.  Take notice when it is happening and what you are experiencing.
  • Sounds: Every engine has normal sounds during operation.  But most drivers are familiar with the ones they should be hearing and are usually in tune with those that are new or unusual.  If you start to hear knocking sounds, that may be from an improper air/fuel mixture or fuel injector issue.  Thumping or banging may be from a loose belt.  Pay careful attention to when you hear the sounds, what type of sound it is, and where it is generally coming from in the engine.
  • Oil Consumption: While there is some normal oil burn off in your engine, any excessive consumption of oil is an indication of a problem.  If your oil levels are continuously low, check underneath the vehicle for a possible leak.  The main culprit of oil leaks is faulty or worn seals and gaskets.  Another possible cause is that the oil has leaked into the combustion chamber and is being burned off by the engine. If this is the case, you may have a crankcase issue.

Your vehicle’s engine is a complex piece of machinery.  When one of the components fails, it can create a chain of other issues that grow over time.  If you notice anything unusual with your engine, have it inspected by a service professional. It’s much easier to pay a small amount for proactive service, then end up with costly repairs for ignoring potential issues.

If you would like to have your engine inspected, contact the service professionals at Shade Tree Garage to schedule an appointment.



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