Engine Maintenance: Understanding Common Engine Problems

Engine Maintenance: Understanding Common Engine Problems

Without a properly functioning engine, your car cannot operate smoothly. Engine maintenance and its overall health are important for your car’s optimal performance.


Just like components of any other intricate system, engines will experience problems over time. You must understand their causes and solutions so you don’t have to go to the mechanic every time.


In this blog, we will talk in detail about some of the most frequent engine issues and highlight the essential maintenance practices to keep your engine running smoothly.


Common Engine Problems To Look Out For

1. Overheating

One of the most prevalent engine problems is overheating. Although the causes can be many, the most common causes include the following:

  • Cooling system breakdown
  • A broken or faulty thermostat
  • A broken or faulty radiator fan

As the symptoms of overheating are observed by the driver quite late (smoke or car turning off on its own), it must be addressed quickly and promptly. This would usually require you to let the engine cool off for a bit, whilst pouring water on it now and then. As for the maintenance practices, regularly checking coolant levels and the overall cooling system maintenance is crucial to prevent overheating.


2. Poor Compression

Sometimes, you may notice that there is a loss of power or increased fuel consumption in your car. This can be due to poor compression, which in turn is due to one or more cylinders having low compression.
Compression is a vital element in ensuring the working of a healthy engine. Common causes of poor compression can include worn piston rings, damaged valves, or a blown head gasket. Regular engine compression tests can help detect and address this issue early.


3. Ignition Problems

A problem-free ignition system is indicative of a problem-free engine. If you have difficulty starting your car, or the engine misfires constantly, ignition system problems might be the culprit. Replacing spark plugs and ignition components as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer is crucial for optimal performance. However, they should ideally be changed every 30,000 miles to every 100,000 miles.


4. Oil Leaks

One of the less frequent but equally dangerous engine problems is oil leakages. They can generally arise from one or more of the following parts of the engine:

  • Gaskets
  • Seals
  • Oil pan

The oil leaks must be dealt with immediately as not only do they create a mess in the engine, but they also contribute to decreased oil levels.

Moreover, it can also decrease lubrication in the engine. This can in turn cause unnecessary and excessive friction, thus damaging other engine components. Regular inspection for oil leaks and attempting to fix them immediately is imperative to a healthy, working engine.


5. Prolonged engine detonation

Primarily occurring during long road trips or high temperatures, if you happen to hear your engine making a knocking noise, it can quite possibly be due to too much heat within its combustion chamber. This mixture of overheating and high pressures is called engine detonation. As it can cause long-term damage to pistons, you must look out for it, especially if the weather has been quite hot recently or you’re planning to go on a long trip in your car.


Preventative Engine Maintenance Practices

With all those big problems out of the way, let’s dive into some of the routine practices that can work as a long-term deterrent for these problems.

1. Oil Changes: As oil is one of the engine problems that can escape notice, consistent oil changes are necessary for engine maintenance. Engine oil not only lubricates moving parts but also reduces friction and carries away heat. Over time, however, oil becomes contaminated and loses its effectiveness. Hence, when you follow up on engine maintenance with regular oil changes, you are making sure that the engine works at its optimal level.


2. Air and Fuel Filters: As it is common knowledge, air, and fuel filters prevent dirt and contaminants from entering your engine. If the filters are left on their own, they will get dirty over time. This can then restrict airflow and fuel delivery. Ultimately, all of this can lead to decreased engine performance and efficiency. Hence, having them regularly cleaned or replaced can ensure proper engine function and fuel economy.

3. Cooling System Maintenance: The cooling system prevents your engine from overheating. As mentioned before, you must take necessary engine maintenance steps to ensure you don’t run into this trouble much at all. For that, you can:

  • Conduct checks on coolant levels
  • Inspect hoses and belts
  • Flush the cooling system

4. Drive Smoothly: Whether it is your aggressive driving habits, such as rapid acceleration and sudden braking, or you often run into long and dense traffic, there can be an unnecessary strain on your engine. This can lead to increased wear and tear and potential engine problems. Adopting smooth driving techniques or avoiding dense traffic hours can contribute to your engine’s long-term welfare.

5. Regular Inspections: As we ended the discussion related to the problems with engine noises, it logically follows that regular inspections of your engine are mandatory.

These inspections can be for:

  • Signs of leaks,
  • Unusual noises
  • Worn-out components

If you conduct these inspections yourself, you must be confident in your abilities to catch out even the slightest of things. Otherwise, it would be wiser for you to consult a mechanic for expert engine maintenance.

About CarTronics Auto Repair

With all that information, all those subtleties, and all those factors to consider, you might be wondering: is there any engine maintenance and repair workshop near me?


Well, you are in luck!


With years of fleet and car repair expertise, CarTronics Auto Repair aims to ensure that our customers have peace of mind both when they are with us and when they leave us. Our team of highly trained staff, coupled with our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment will ensure that you get the highest quality of service! We perform free advanced diagnostics at our location in Elgin, Illinois. So, give us a visit or book an appointment today!