Engine Failure: 10 warning signs you must NEVER, ever ignore

Engine Failure: 10 warning signs you must NEVER, ever ignore

The engine is one of the most vital components in a car. Here are ten warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore.

Funny noises


If your engine is making excessive noise, it is a sure shot sign of concern. It could be a case of back firing or knocking. Back fire happens when the air fuel mixture don’t combust in the engine chamber and do so else where. Knocking is when the air fuel mixture ignites before it is supposed to. This is a serious problem and could even cause severe damage to the engine. Both of these are undesirable though. If you are facing excess noise from your engine, do get it checked.


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If there is smoke coming out of the back of your car, everything is certainly not all right. Depending upon the colour of the smoke, the cause varies.

Black smoke could mean that the car is running a very rich air fuel mixture. If the fuel system is pumping in more fuel than what is needed, then it will emit black smoke. A spark plug issue could also cause smoke.

Blue smoke means that the engine is consuming engine oil and that there is a leak in the system somewhere.

Heavy Vibrations


If the vibrations in your car are increasing, especially when your car is idling, there could be multiple issues. One could be weak engine mounts. The engine mount is built to take up vibrations from the engine and prevent it from entering the passenger cabin. If they are failing, then vibrations will increase. If your engine is misfiring as well, it could result in excess vibrations.

Check Engine lamp

Check Engine Light

The check engine lamp comes on when you turn the ignition on and is supposed to go off once you start the car. In case it doesn’t go off, you have some issue. The check engine lamp is an OBD tool which has been kept in place to detect change in emissions. This could be due to multiple reasons. If the lamp comes on, it means that you will be losing power and the car will release more emissions.

Engine overheating


This is more of a cooling issue, but it has a drastic effect on the engine as well. Each and every car has an engine temperature gauge or a temperature lamp. If the car has a gauge, it should stay towards the centre while driving. If it heads towards the top, it means your cooling system isn’t doing it’s job and you will end up in trouble. If you see the needle rising, shut the car for some time and allow it to cool down. Get the radiator checked as well.

Low engine oil

Low Oil Pressure light

Low engine oil is represented by the low oil pressure lamp. If this lamp comes on, it means that you are running with low engine oil. Since the engine has a lot of moving parts which move at very high speeds, it requires proper lubrication. If the engine oil is low or there is a loss of pressure in the system, chances are that all the parts will not get the lubrication they need. If driven for a long time without engine oil, this could result in the engine getting seized which will only result in a large repair bill.

Loss of power


Loss of power while accelerating could mean a lot of things. First and foremost it can mean that the engine is not getting enough fuel. That could be due to a clogged fuel filter or a problem with the pump or injector. If you have a turbocharged car, it could be a problem with your turbo. It could also be that the exhaust gases are being blocked in the catalytic converter.



A misfiring engine could mean many things. It could mean there is a problem with the electricals (spark plug/wiring). It could also be a problem with the timing. There is also a possibility of loss of compression in the cylinders which is causing the problem.

Oily spark plug


In a petrol car, the work of a spark plug is to generate the spark so that combustion can take place. If the spark plug is oily, it will mean that the combustion will not take place properly. This is mainly due to the fact that engine oil is leaking and is going to places it shouldn’t.

Weak engine braking

engine braking

Engine braking is when you downshift to a lower gear to bring the car to a halt without putting much effort on the brakes. This is done while driving downhill to prevent brakes from over heating. Engine braking is done with the help of the compression generated in the combustion chamber when the accelerator pedal is not pressed. If the engine braking reduces, it means that the engine is not able to generate enough compression which means your engine is not in the best of health.

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