5 Common Causes of Engine Problems (And How To Avoid Them)
Investing in a newer or new vehicle is simply that, an investment. Do everything you can to extend the life of your car by avoiding these 5 common causes of engine problems.
Lack of Regular Oil Changes
Your engine has a LOT of moving and rotating parts. That's why constant lubrication is a must. Driving degrades engine oil causing it to lose its lubricating ability and to carbonizes under high temperatures.
Driving your vehicle well past the regular oil interval date causes friction to increase. That, in turn, causes mechanical wear, which causes slow engine contamination with carbon deposits or sludge.
The engine ventilation system then carries these carbon deposits into the engine intake, building up inside the throttle body and the valves. Your engine will perform poorly with a lack of power or a rough idle. You'll see the Check Engine Light come on and experience various driveability issues.
Changing the oil regularly keeps your engine clean and well lubricated. And, it saves you money!
Driving with Low Oil Levels
An engine's oil level drops over time because some of the oil gets burned in the engine itself. Driving your car with low levels of oil can cause serious damage like throwing a rod.
Check the oil at least once per month. It only takes a few minutes and can spare you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in expensive repairs!
Engine coolant leaks are common in many cars! For that reason alone, it's important to keep your engine coolant level full. Check it regularly.
Remember, do not open the radiator or coolant overflow reservoir while the engine is hot because the coolant is under pressure. If you notice the engine temperature rising above normal, get your mechanic to check it before the engine overheats.
Choosing the Wrong Oil
While many of the newer cars now require synthetic oil for the engine to run properly, it doesn't always make sense to use it. If you have a high mileage vehicle, it's not always worth the extra cost.
Synthetic oil is "thinner." Filling a high mileage engine with synthetic oil is more likely to cause it to develop leaks or to run noisier.
However, for low mileage or turbo engines, driving under severe conditions like high temperatures, driving long intervals or carrying excessive loads, synthetic oils make sense.
Choose wisely for the year and number of miles on your vehicle for extended engine wear!
Idling your car or truck longer than is necessary causes it to burn more oil. The longer you let your engine run, the more motor oil circulates and burns. That means spending more money on more frequent oil changes.
Excessive idling also decreases your car's performance. Given enough time, it can cause deterioration of spark plugs, head gaskets, and cylinder rings. And lastly, it drains your car battery. Don't do it!