Most Common Engine Problems
We rely so much on our cars. We need them to accomplish most of what we do - work, eating, errands and being social! In fact, most of us probably don’t realize how reliant we are on our vehicles until we are suddenly carless due to an accident or car trouble. You may have to bum rides from friends, stay home or even pay for a rental car in order to meet your needs. This is an unfortunate potential for all car owners. Even if you buy a brand new vehicle you have to face the reality of a breakdown. Certainly new cars are safer and less likely to encounter engine trouble, but sometimes life happens. On the other hand, the older your car gets the more likely it is to have complications and engine trouble. Ideally this will never happen to you, but if you ask around you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t experienced engine trouble at one time or another. What does engine trouble actually mean?
The Dreaded “Check Engine” Light
Usually this will come on before your car experiences any trouble of which you’d be aware. That light can come on for a variety of reasons. There are sensors all over your engine which are tripped in the event that something may be wrong - and this turns on the check engine light. When you take your car in to be looked at the mechanic can get specific codes from the electronic controls in your car in order to see exactly what tripped the alert. It may be as simple as a loose gas cap or as serious as a breakdown somewhere in the fuel system. The whole purpose of this light is to alert you before more serious damage can occur, so be certain that you take it seriously. It usually is a quick and easy fix for any mechanic, but if left ignored it can mean terrible damage to your engine.
Overheating Your Engine
Many cars also have a light indicator for overheating or temperature issues. Sometimes car owners let their cars cool off or avoid driving them for long distances, assuming that it’s just an engine issue that will always exist. Usually this is just a symptom of something wrong in the engine that can be fixed. You may need more coolant or to fix a leak. There may be a kink in the hose or even a simple dirty air filter. Most of these problems are relatively quick to fix. It’s much safer and easier to get your car looked at and to take care of these issues as they pop up.
Count yourself lucky if you’ve never experienced coming out to your car with a destination and a deadline only to find that your car refuses to start. Most of the time this is a battery issue. Your battery may be low or dead, requiring a jump and to drive around for a while to reserve more power if it was just a light left which drained the battery. If your battery itself is the problem, you can replace it quite easily. Sometimes there is a different issue - such as a starter relay failure. No matter what the cause, your car can get back to easy starts without the need of a jump.
Engine trouble can surely throw you for a loop, especially because it seems to come at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. However, you can be prepared! Keep emergency supplies in your car and have an auto shop or mechanic that you trust within phone’s reach. Get regular oil changes, checkups and do your best to keep your engine in tip top shape. Consider using oil additives to keep your engine running smooth and clean for an added boost to your engine’s power. With preparation and some effort you can boost your engine performance and avoid serious engine troubles. However, if something does happen, don’t let engine trouble get you down!