5 Warning Signs of Engine Failure You Should Not Ignore

Team CARS24
Team CARS24

Updated on: 2nd February, 2024 IST


One of the primary reasons for engine failure is lack of timely maintenance - failing to replace the engine oil, coolant, and filters during regular intervals leads to reduced engine performance before turning into a catastrophic failure. Also, failing to check on parts like clutch and spark plugs for wear and tear could lead to a damaged engine.

Before the engine fails, it gives certain warning signs you can't miss! Let's go through the 5 warning signs of engine failure listed below to get a clearer picture.

1.     Check engine light.


Every car has a check engine light on its dashboard. Whenever something goes wrong with a vehicle's engine, any component or sensor affecting the engine's normal functioning, the warning light flashes on the dashboard. Nowadays, cars have an onboard self-diagnostic setup that works as a  reporting system. This system triggers the warning signal whenever there is a problem, minor or major. Depending on the issue, get your car checked by an expert!

2.     Smoke coming out of the exhaust.

Smoke coming out of the exhaust.

A little bit of smoke coming from the vehicle once in a while during winter is very normal, but if your car emits black, blue, or thick white smoke whenever the engine is running, you might have to get it checked by an expert! Black smoke suggests a problem with the fuel supply or a disproportionate fuel mix. If the smoke tends to be somewhat grey, it indicates that the petrol/diesel is entering the combustion room, which is not a good sign. Thick white smoke indicates the burning of engine oil along with the fuel.

3.     Problems while driving.


A smooth car is a good car. When a vehicle starts facing problems while driving, there might be an underlying issue. Fuel lines getting clogged, spark plugs fouled, damaged ignition coils, and dirty fuel/air filters are all causes of a car's poor performance. Cars nowadays have well-equipped systems to manage air-to-fuel ratio and airflow sensors, but to leave them alone to work is not a good practice. Regular checkups and cleaning can help you avoid major engine failures.

4.     Loss of mileage and poor performance.

Loss of mileage and poor performance.

Over time, a car tends to lose its mileage (fuel economy) and power gradually due to wear and tear. However, if the car loses its power drastically or mileage drops significantly, the car's engine needs attention. Sometimes minor problems might be lurking behind the engine, causing significant damage to the vehicle over a period of time.

5.     Engine knocking.

Engine knocking is when a small portion of the air-fuel mixture starts burning independently without ignition. It may not be a loud sign, but if you can hear a constant knocking from the engine, it's best to get it checked immediately. If ignored, it can result in a lot of damage to the engine hence, costly repair.

Apart from these, there are many other signs that you can look out for before engine failure as well, like foul smells coming out of the car, oil patches on the ground below car parking, excessive overheating, loud noise, and excessive vibration of the vehicle. Trivial issues can be rectified easily, but when it comes to issues such as drastic mileage drop and poor car performance, it is best advised by experts not to ignore them. It's highly advisable to go to your nearest car service center and get your car's engine checked by a professional.

Servicing your car at regular intervals and timely replacement of engine oil, oil filter, coolant, air filter, and plugs are the key to the engine's longevity. CARS24 offers expert car service at the lowest prices, that too with a free pick up and drop! Try now

Happy driving!

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