Common Engine Issues
Bad Spark Plugs
Your spark plugs are responsible for creating an ignition, which causes your engine’s individual cylinders to fire. If you have dirty or damaged spark plugs, then your engine will misfire, which will greatly reduce the efficiency of the engine. And over time, a bad spark plug can wreak havoc on your engine, since the cylinders will be out of sync. Avoid premature wear and tear if you think that you have damaged or dirty spark plugs — let us clean or replace them! Keep an eye out for odd engine noises, poor gas mileage, and reduced vehicle performance or acceleration.
Your radiator should pump coolant throughout your engine in order to keep its components cool. If your system lacks sufficient coolant, if your fan isn’t operating, or if you have a clog in the radiator line, then your engine is liable to overheat. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge of your vehicle, and never run your engine when it’s overheating. The temperature of your engine should level off and remain fairly stable as it is running. If you have an overheating engine, or if your engine temperature fluctuates, check your coolant level or bring your vehicle into the shop. You may have a coolant leak, a cracked radiator, or a gunked up coolant line. Feel free to learn more about our radiator services.
Leaky Combustion Chamber Seals
Your combustion chamber (which houses the pistons that fire in your engine) should be under compression as air and fuel are pushed into the individual cylinders. However, your combustion chamber and the seals around the chamber are liable to leak. If you’re experiencing a leak, you’ll lose fuel and air that should otherwise create the small firings that drive your engine. With a small leak, you’ll notice poor engine performance and gas mileage. With a large leak, your engine may not work at all.
Oxygen Sensor Malfunction
Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor should accurately sense how much oxygen exists in the exhaust released from your engine. After sensing the oxygen in the exhaust, this information is relayed to the air intake, where the intake of air can be adjusted to adapt to the current engine usage. If your vehicle’s oxygen sensor isn’t working, it may not properly throttle the air intake, which is tasked with creating the proper air-to-fuel mixture for the firings at your engine’s cylinders. Your check engine light may come on if you have a faulty oxygen sensor, or you may see poor gas mileage if your oxygen sensor isn’t calibrated.
Engine has a service life, and it won’t perform as it should after a few months or a few thousand miles of use. Be wary that you should stick with the recommended oil change interval for your vehicle (read more about that in the section below). If you have old, dirty oil coursing through your engine, you could see higher temperatures (since there will be more friction throughout the engine), and your engine will endure faster wear and tear.
Faulty Oil Pump
Your oil pump cycles oil through the engine, which keeps the oil cooler while ensuring that all parts are properly lubricated. If you have a faulty oil pump, you could have oil that remains stagnant, which means your engine’s components can overheat and rub together. Be mindful that your oil pump can fail, which may trigger a check engine indicator. Proper oil pump operation is especially important in overhead engines with valve trains and cams that are far away from the pump.
If you’re hearing a knocking noise from your engine, it should be cause for concern. Knocking is an indication that your combustion chamber is building up too much pressure and/or heat, which can cause the pistons to slam out of position as combustions last longer than they should. If you have bad enough knocking, your engine could be severely damaged with broken pistons or rod bearings, cracked rings, or even a blown gasket. Bring your vehicle into a shop right away if you hear engine knocking.
Poor Fuel and Air System Performance
Balancing the air and fuel fed into the combustion chamber of your engine is a complex and delicate process. And unfortunately, components are liable to fail in your fuel and air systems, which can create a bad air-to-fuel mixture. If you have an engine that’s rich with too much gas, or lean with too little gas, then you may have any number of issues along the fuel line and throughout the air intake system. Feel free to learn more about your vehicle’s fuel and air systems.
Cracked Engine Block
Your engine has an exterior housing that is responsible for containing the explosions that operate the pistons within the block. If that housing cracks, your combustion chamber will no longer create adequate pressure to drive the pistons as it should. A cracked block is a major issue, and it may cause your vehicle to overheat, produce white smoke, or cease to operate altogether. You may also notice a coolant or oil leak.
Engine Component Failure
Your engine consists of a number of components which generate engine power and ultimately transfer that power to the transmission and on down the line to your wheels. Firing power starts in the combustion chamber where the cylinders, rings, and pistons all work in coordination to drive your engine. Your pistons also rely on rods, pins, and bearings as they fire. Any one of these components is liable to fail due to wear and tear or misuse. If you’re experiencing loud noises, high running temperatures, metal in the oil, white smoke exhaust, or complete engine failure, then you may have a failed engine component, which means that your engine is blown. Repairing or replacing an internal component means that we’ll have to tear your engine apart and rebuild it.