No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, the engine is its beating heart. The oil that flows through that engine is the lifeblood, and paying close attention to the engine and its oil is an important part of being a responsible driver and owner.
Sometimes it can seem like engine trouble comes out of the blue, but that is rarely the case. If you allow your vehicle to overheat, you might indeed blow the engine quickly, but it is far too common for engine problems to sneak up slowly. If you want to avoid that unhappy consequence, watch out for some warning signs of engine damage as you drive.
Excessive Oil Consumption
You should be checking the oil level on the dipstick every time you fill up your gas tank, noting the amount of oil and its condition. The oil should be clean and smell fresh, with no burnt odor or visible dirt or particles.
It is just as important to note the amount of oil your engine is consuming between scheduled changes. A small amount of oil consumption can be normal, but any increase in oil consumption should be cause for concern and further research. If your previously thrifty engine uses a lot of oil, you will want to call the mechanic immediately.
An Unexplained Drop in Fuel Economy
Putting gas in your car is expensive, but wasting it is even worse. It is important to track your fuel economy on an ongoing basis, noting any sudden drops and investigating the cause further.
Poor engine compression, oil leaks, and other issues can cause a drop in gas mileage, and it’s important to never ignore these warning signs. If you fail to take action right away, the price of gas will be the least of your automotive worries.
Hard starting is often the first sign of engine trouble, and it is another symptom you should never ignore. If your engine has poor compression, it may crank quickly but still refuse to start.
Any hard starting should be investigated right away. After all, you rely on your vehicle every day, and you cannot afford to have it sitting idle while you look for another way to get to work.
You can tell a lot about your engine every time you stop at a red light or stop sign. It can be hard to tell how your vehicle is idling when it is in motion, but when it stops, you have a chance to listen to the sounds and feel the way the engine is humming – or not humming along.
You should call your trusted mechanic if you notice any rough idling, especially if it’s new. This roughness could be a minor symptom, but it could also be an early sign of major engine trouble.
You rely on your vehicle for work, play, and shopping, and you cannot afford to have your engine blown. Watching out for the early warning signs just might save your engine — and a lot of money.