You’re not imagining it: modern vehicles are lasting longer than they used to. Research from IHS Markit shows that the average age of cars on the road is 12.2 years. That’s a huge jump from 2000 when the average age was just 9 years.
While vehicles are a lot more resilient now than they were in the past, they aren’t indestructible. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions is as important today as it was before in preventing common engine problems and making sure your car, SUV, or truck runs smoothly for as long as possible.
However, accidents, daily wear-and-tear, and skipping scheduled maintenance can result in your vehicle’s engine not performing as well as it should. To stay one step ahead of vehicle problems, keep an eye (and an ear) out for these common signs that your car needs repairs.
The Check Engine Light Is On
This might not seem like such a big deal, as the check engine light can indicate something as minor as a loose gas cap. However, it can also indicate many other, more serious problems, such as a misfiring engine.
Ignoring the light increases the odds that the problem will worsen. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if the check engine light goes on, it’s best to call a Brandon complete auto care service provider for diagnostics. The technician will provide you with the information you need to determine the best course of action for your vehicle.
Smoke From the Tailpipe or Under the Hood
It’s normal to see steam coming from under your vehicle’s hood on cold, rainy days. However, if you’re on the road and see clouds of smoke coming from your engine, your engine likely needs repair.
White smoke leaking from the exhaust might mean that a radiator hose has blown and is spraying coolant on the engine. Blue smoke coming from your tailpipe may indicate leaky valve seals or other problems that are causing your engine to burn up too much oil.
Meanwhile, black smoke from the tailpipe or a smoking engine might mean anything from failed ignition components to an electrical failure.
Without car repair experience, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a smoking engine or an exhaust-spewing tailpipe. If you see smoke, it’s best to get your vehicle to an auto repair shop right away.
Your Car Engine Keeps Stalling
What’s worse than when your engine won’t start? Driving, and then having your vehicle come to a sudden halt. It’s scary and dangerous, and it can also be a sign of a serious problem with your engine.
A car stalling while being driven, if it’s an automatic transmission, could indicate issues with the torque converter, a complex piece of machinery that acts as the vehicle’s clutch. Or, it could mean a failed alternator or a busted timing belt.
With a manual, car stalling is usually caused by the driver letting the clutch out too fast. This could either be due to driver error or clutch failure.
Whether your vehicle is manual or automatic, if your car is stalling, you could set your mind at ease and prevent higher repair bills in the future by taking it to a trusted mechanic.
An Ounce of Prevention: Car Maintenance
Most engine problems can be prevented by diligently following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Instead of waiting for a problem to arise, it’s best to be proactive about your car’s upkeep.
However, if there are signs that your engine needs repair, you shouldn’t wait for the next scheduled visit. Schedule an appointment with Auto Works of Brandon. A complete auto care services provider, we provide diagnostics, maintenance, and repair solutions at competitive rates.
You can rely on our ASE-certified technicians for honest, quality work. With us on the job, you won’t have to worry about a smoking engine, car stalling, and other signs of a failing engine.
Contact us today at (813) 381-5002. You may also visit us at our Kings Ave. location.