Owning a car for the first time can be challenging, especially for new drivers. Apart from mastering driving, they must also learn all the ins and outs of their vehicle to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
One of the areas they must fully understand is the basics of engine maintenance. Many will refer to the engine as the heart of the vehicle. That’s why missing out on all the signs could lead to severe vehicular issues that would cost more money and time, which could be overwhelming for first-time drivers.
It’s best to understand all the signs when they occur. The following are some of the most common engine problem symptoms for new drivers and car owners.
Check Engine Light Flashing
The check engine light is an indicator lamp or warning display on your dashboard that illuminates once it detects any issues with the engine. Modern vehicles have various sensors that can detect minor to severe problems inside the car. Once you notice your check engine light is on, immediately bring your vehicle to an expert to run tests. Some car owners disregard this warning since it detects even minor issues in the engine. However, ignoring even the most minor problems in your car could escalate into more costly repairs.
Engine stalling is when your car suddenly stops. Sometimes, stalling also feels like the vehicle is jerking or bucking as if it’s out of gas. This phenomenon typically occurs in manual transmission vehicles when drivers don’t use the clutch or gas pedal at the right speed. When this happens, the driver must restart the car.
Meanwhile, cars with automatic transmissions don’t stall as often as manual ones. Once they do, it could indicate a problem with the engine. Get your car checked by a professional immediately, even if it’s a manual transmission. If it frequently stalls, see a mechanic.
Unusual Noises and Smells
Noises like a rattle, clank, hum, screech, or backfire while your car runs could indicate an engine problem, especially if you feel a vibration while you hear such unusual sounds. They could represent multiple issues, like problems in the engine brakes, transmission, wheel bearings, and suspension. Once you hear these alarming noises, bring your car to a mechanic for a checkup.
Meanwhile, you should also be alert for unusual smells from your car. These odors are typically signals of severe issues inside the vehicle. If you smell smoke, burning fluids, fumes, or any stench you’ve never encountered in your car, bring it to a trusted expert and have it checked.
Increased Fuel Consumption
Your car’s engine consumes a certain amount of fuel when in use. If you notice that your vehicle consumes more fuel than usual, then there could be an issue with how your engine consumes it.
Fuel consumption could also depend on how the driver handles the vehicle. However, a sudden increase is noticeable and might not be the driver’s fault. Observing and comparing your typical fuel consumption with your current one helps determine this issue.
Over time, if you notice that your vehicle feels rough to drive or when your car is idling, it could also indicate an engine problem. A rough engine is typically represented by uncomfortable sensations like vibrations, even in excellent road conditions.
Know the Telltale Signs
As a beginner driver, it’s vital to remember all the signs that indicate issues with your car. Knowing the above indicators and other symptoms can prevent problems that require costly repairs.
Stay safe out there.