Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Driving Tips | 0 comments

A Beginners Guide to identifying common Engine Problems

There are certain things that must happen in life such as catching a cold. The same is true when you own or rent a car; it is almost inevitable that you will develop engine problems no matter the model, age, or mileage of the car. Although, not everyone is a trained as a mechanical engineer, troubleshooting common engine problems is not rocket science. Knowledge on common Engine problems will goal will effectively prepare you on the right strategies to take whenever you are faced with such problems.

The most common engine problems are usually caused by one or a combination of the following: overheating, misfiring, power loss, oil pump failure, wear and tear, running with little oil, and bad fuel mix. Whenever there is a problem, it should NEVER be wished away. Doing so might mean total breakdown resulting in heavy losses. The following are some of the common problems likely to occur:

Popular Engine Problems

The engine rotates, but fails to turn

Likely causes: No fuel, the battery is discharged or the terminals are loose, the fuel injector is leaking, the fuel is not reaching the injection system, incorrect or worn-out plugs, ignition component is faulty or it is damp.

Engine starts, but immediately stops

Likely causes: there is a problem with the engine control system, less fuel reaching the injector, faulty electrical connection with the alternator or distributor.

Oil leakage under the car

Likely causes: valve covers leaking, Engine oil seals leaking, or oil pan gasket is leaking.

Knocking engine sounds

Likely causes: Faulty fuel injection, faulty spark plugs, vacuum leak, low coolant levels, or a faulty thermostat.

Excessive use of Fuel

Likely causes: Clogged air filter element, fuel injection problems, incorrect tire or low pressure on the tires.


Likely causes: insufficient coolant, problems with the radiator cap, faulty thermostat, dry filter or inaccurate temperature gauge.

Engine not Accelerating

Likely causes: catalytic convertor faulty or low levels of transmission fluid.

Foul smell

Likely causes: coolant or oil leaking, gases leaking from the car engine, or a burnout in the engine.

Other likely problems (not related to the Engine)

The alternator light fails to respond

Likely causes: charging circuit or alternator has problems, alternator bulb is defective.

The horn is weak or does not work

Likely causes: Bad fuse, loose wiring circuit,

Window problems

Likely causes: problem with the fuse, faulty wiring, and problems with the switch controls.

Wobbling when driving

Likely causes: wrongly fitted tyres, or low pressure.

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