Friday, May 26, 2017

Recognizing the Signs of Engine Damage

The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road due to engine damage.  Not only is it inconvenient, it's also expensive!  The best thing to do is watch for signs that a problem is emerging and fix it before you are stranded.

Here are a few things to watch for:
  • Illuminated Check Engine Light, or if you've waited too long, a flashing check engine light. Your check engine light could turn on even IF your vehicle SEEMS to be running well.  Even if this light turn out, have your vehicle checked because one or more systems is likely not running correctly.
  • Noises.  Listen for rattling or clunking noises.  Listen for RPM noises that do not seem normal.  You drive your vehicle a lot, so you are probably pretty familiar with any noises your vehicle makes.  Especially if you hear a high pitched squeal, grinding, thumping or hissing.  
  • Smells.  Every person's car has it's own smell, but you are going to be paying attention to anything that isn't normal for your car.  Note if your vehicle smells like burnt rubber, hot oil or gasoline.  Be aware if you smell burning carpet or rotten eggs.  Any of these smells could indicate engine trouble.
There are also a couple of steps you can take to help prevent engine damage. (This may not prevent all engine damage, but will help.)
  • Get regular maintenance.  Have your timing belt replaced based on the manufacturer's recommendations.  Get regular oil changes.
  • Inspect your vehicle for visible damage.  In other words, if you accidentally hit something, check underneath your vehicle for leaks or damage.  If there is damage that you can see, don't drive your vehicle any further until you have a certified auto technician inspect it. Regularly check for leaks underneath your vehicle.  This could just be growing puddles underneath the engine, or slight drips.
Often times, if you pay attention to your vehicle, you will be able to recognize when there is a problem as it begins, not when you're left stranded somewhere.  So watch for things, and if you have any questions, always give us a call at Jake's Auto & Truck Repair.

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