Finding out that your engine is out of commission is always bad news. Not only is your car inoperable but it can be difficult to diagnose your engine’s ailment and even more tricky to repair the problem. Whether the issue is stemming from your vehicle overheating, a misfiring or the engine light pops on, the systems in your car usually exhibit unique warning signs that signify impending failure.
Many people see the “check engine” light and instantly envision impending doom rather than viewing it as a useful tool that indicates possible engine trouble. An engine diagnostic service may find any one of the following issues:
- Poor lubrication – Low oil pressure can often be one of the causes of engine failure since oil is the lifeline for any engine. Oil not only reduces friction but also lubricates the engine and absorbs heat. This is why failing to regularly change oil at the recommended intervals will eventually severely damage your engine. Improper lubrication can cause overheating and may result in your engine seizing. Oil reduces corrosion and prevents harmful deposits from building up so maintaining appropriate levels is essential.
- Oil pump failure – If a vehicle’s oil pump is not functioning, the engine will fail from oil starvation which will almost always cause irreparable damage. The pump provides the oil needed to lubricate your engine while it runs. In general, when the oil light is on, it’s a warning that the oil pressure is too low.
- Dirty oil – When motor oil is dirty, instead of providing a barrier between intake valves and combustion chambers, it leaves deposits that cause overheating. It can also damage a car’s bearings when foreign matter becomes lodged on the surface. A clogged air filter can cause serious damage to your engine as well as reduce your car’s fuel economy.
- Spark knock – A spark knock, also known as a detonation, is a form of combustion that occurs when there are excessive heat and pressure in the engine’s combustion chamber. When this happens, a metallic knocking or pinging noise can be heard. A small degree of knocking typically won’t cause serious damage, but a persistent or heavy detonation will be a significant problem for your vehicle. When a knock is present, the camshaft is no longer working in conjunction with the pistons. Unfortunately, in these situations, it’s time to buy another engine.
- Broken oxygen sensor – The sensor measures how much oxygen has been burned in the exhaust. It monitors the car’s data system by gauging how much fuel is left in the tank. A faulty O2 system means the vehicle is receiving incorrect information. Often, this will result in higher fuel consumption.
- Low compression – If the air and gas are not properly mixed together, the engine can’t perform its combustion process properly. There are several factors that contribute to poor compression including a hole in the cylinder, an air leak, an inadequately sealed valve or worn piston rings.
- Coolant loss – In many cases, coolant loss is due to a poorly maintained cooling system and is a frequent cause of overheating. The resulting high temperature can destroy your engine and is expensive to repair. Prevention is the best method for extending the life of your engine so follow your vehicle’s recommended schedule for flushing the coolant system.
- Clogged radiator – Old or dirty coolant is the most common reason for a clogged radiator and can cause multiple issues. Sediment from dirty coolant prevents air from passing through the radiator which will likely cause the engine to overheat. Corrosion can also occur when hard water is used.
- Worn spark plug – A spark plug is a small but crucial component of your car’s framework as it propels a vehicle to move. It ignites compressed fuel by sending electricity from the spark plug’s tip to the electrode in the engine. Old spark plugs can cause the electricity to escape which creates a weak spark. This can make the engine misfire or prevent ignition entirely. A faulty spark plug raises the emissions from your vehicle and decreases its fuel economy.
- Loose or missing gas cap – One of the simplest car related issues to solve is a loose or missing gas cap. Nevertheless, it should be taken seriously. Loose gas caps release fuel vapors into the economy which will decrease a vehicle’s gas mileage and possibly increase the amount of money spent on gas.
If your “check engine” light pops on, don’t stress. The critical systems in your car usually exhibit specific warning signs so contact an auto repair specialist as soon as possible. Utilizing the above information will give you a framework to determine why your engine is malfunctioning. If you eventually have to replace your engine, contact us and we’ll find the best quote from our network of Johannesburg scrap yards with little or none inconvenience for you.
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