Your engine is the heart of your vehicle, and when it goes bad, it can cost you a lot of money to fix. That’s why it’s important to know the signs that indicate your engine needs to be replaced.
As summer gets warmer, your engine can get very hot, which can cause serious damage. If you notice your temperature gauge or the dashboard warning light starts to rise toward “H” and/or the red zone, it’s a sign that your engine is overheating. Steam (often looking like smoke) is another ominous sign of an overheating engine, as is the presence of strange smells coming from the hood. Leaking coolant typically has a sweet smell, while oil leaks produce a burnt odor. If you pull over and let your engine cool down, you can often add more coolant to help solve the problem and then drive it safely to a mechanic. However, it’s important not to ignore the problem, as it will only get worse.
If you are hearing a loud engine noise, it’s important to take your car to a mechanic right away. This will help you determine what is causing the noise and how to solve it. If your car is making a clicking or ticking sound, it could be from the valve train. This is the part that opens and closes the cylinders to allow air and fuel in and exhaust gas out. This type of noise can be caused by worn or faulty parts in the valve train. It also can be caused by low oil pressure. Generally, a lifter tick can be fixed by using oil additives. However, if the problem persists, you may need to replace your hydraulic valve lifter. A piston slap is another common engine noise that can be caused by a worn or faulty rod bearing. This condition is more serious than a lifter tick and requires immediate attention to prevent damage to your crankshaft.
Your engine is a complex assemblage of multiple parts that must work in tandem to provide drivetrain propulsion, steering and stopper functionality. A single component malfunction could wreak havoc on your odometer and your wallet. The most impressive and slickest solution is probably to get an auto shop to run a diagnostics test to see what’s what. This should reveal the obvious – a computer code that signals a problem or an error in a system that’s critical to your vehicle’s operation. If it’s a good mechanic who isn’t shooing you off the lot in a hurry, you might be able to catch the problem before it leads to expensive repairs down the line.