At Phoenix Towing, we know just how crucial it is to take care of your vehicle’s engine, which is why it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a bad engine and be aware of its health at all time.
Oftentimes, especially nowadays when we all live our lives in the fast lane, it is quite common not to have time to deal with potential warning signs that your engine may be needing a couple of repair sessions, and therefore dismiss and disregard them as minor blips. Being able to recognize those signs before it’s too late is vital if you don’t want to face major engine damage later on.
So, if you notice any of the following signs of engine problems under your car’s hood, make sure you take your vehicle to your mechanic so they can see what the actual problem is. We’ll start with the more obvious signs of engine problems.
Colored Smoke Coming out of the Tailpipe
Among the major and most conspicuous signs of engine problems is, of course, excessive and unclear smoke coming from your tailpipe. When the engine runs smoothly and without any hiccups, the smoke that comes out of your tailpipe should be clear and colorless. If, however, you notice that it has any of the following hues:
…it means it is time to go see your mechanic and have it checked. Here’s what each of the above-mentioned smoke colors means.
1. Black Smoke
Black tailpipe smoke, even when the engine is warmed up, usually means that the air filter needs cleaning due to clogging. If the smoke continues to come out black even when you’ve replaced the filter, this could mean that the air-to-fuel ratio in your engine is not right and your fuel pressure regulator might be faulty. Leaky fuel injector can also cause black tailpipe smoke.
2. Blue Smoke
Blue smoke is typically accounted for as the leakage of oil. In this scenario, oil goes out of the engine and gets burned just like the fuel. If this is the case, make sure you add some more oil to the engine’s crankcase, just enough so you can drive your car to the nearest mechanic, as that should be your main propriety here. Otherwise, your car may suffer more serious damage soon.
3. White Smoke
Water condensation and/or the antifreeze leakage are the usual culprits with the occurrence of white tailpipe smoke. When water or antifreeze liquid gets mixed with fuel in the supply, the smoke turns white. The short-term fix is to pour more water and/or antifreeze, but this also calls for a visit to your nearest mechanic.
Suspicious and Strange Engine Noises
If there isn’t any smoke coming out of your engine, you should turn the music all the way down and listen for the noisy signs of an engine going bad. If you notice some suspicious grinding, thumping/knocking, or squealing/squeaks type of sounds, or your engine simply sounds different than usual, it is probably time for a checkup.
Here are some explanations on each of the sounds mentioned above:
Constant knocking or thumping sounds coming from the engine may indicate worn out or loose rod bearings.
High-pitched noises like squeaks and squeals could be coming from the faulty and worn out fan belt.
Grinding type of sounds when you change gears may indicate either a faulty transmission or a lack of transmission oil.
If, however, the noises are coming out while you drive and brake, it might mean that your front brake discs are being shaved by the metal backing plate clamps. If you hear this noise, accompanied by reduced braking effectiveness, you should pay your mechanic a visit.