learning about auto repair expenses

5 Red Flags That Your Engine Needs Repair

A common phrase that people use when describing something difficult to understand is that it might as well be a car engine. While engines are complex machines with many moving parts, understanding when something is wrong can be quite easy. Here are a few red flags that can indicate something is wrong with your engine that requires repair. 

Service Engine Light

The purpose of the service engine light is to alert you of a very specific problem with your engine. The light will remain on until a mechanic shuts it off, and the light also produces an error code that can be read by a mechanic plugging in a special computer to your vehicle. This helps narrow down the problem so that you know exactly what needs to be fixed. Don't ignore the service engine light since it means something should be addressed immediately. 

Odd Noises

You drive your vehicle on a daily basis, so you know what it sounds like when it is working properly. Be concerned when you start hearing odd noises coming from under the hood. A pinging or knocking sound indicates that there is a problem with the fuel combustion process that should be addressed. This may include spark plugs that are faulty or a bad fuel injector. A grinding noise can indicate that there is an issue with the engine bearings. Squeals could be related to pulleys or belts.

Decreased Performance

Is your vehicle no longer accelerating like it used to, feels a bit sluggish, or doesn't maintain its speed well? These are all issues that shouldn't happen. You could have a problem with the fuel or ignition system, or even overall engine wear that will require a tune-up. Know that ignoring a problem will only cause it to become worse over time, which will lead to a more extensive and expensive repair.

Exhaust Problems

Is the vehicle producing more exhaust than it typically does, or the exhaust is a different color? Black smoke typically means a problem with the fuel system, such as a clogged fuel injector. Blue smoke means that there is an issue with the oil, such as a leak through a worn piston ring. White smoke is from coolant getting into the engine's combustion chamber.

Fluid Leaks

Pay attention to the fluids that are leaking out of your vehicle. Transmission fluid, coolant, and oil should never leave the system and pool under your vehicle, since it means there is a leak that needs to be fixed. You can identify the fluid by its color to narrow in on what the problem could be.

Reach out to a local engine repair shop to learn more.