It should go without saying that the engine is your car’s most important component. It’s also the most expensive to replace, so a dying engine is really a sign that the whole vehicle needs to be recycled.
Here are just five signs your engine is about done.
- Smoke from the Exhaust
One of the first signs of serious engine trouble is an excessive amount of smoke from the exhaust. This is an indication of major internal damage, and you can usually guess at what’s going on from the smoke’s colour.
- Blue smoke means oil is being burnt
- White smoke means coolant is being burnt
- Black smoke means fuel is being burnt
Those fluids will burn when a crack in the engine lets them seep onto extremely hot parts.
- Knocking or Grinding Sounds
Engines contain a huge number of moving parts. When those parts become seriously worn, metal-on-metal contact occurs and the engine starts to seize up due to internal friction that it is not designed to manage. You can tell this is happening when you notice knocking or grinding sounds while driving.
- Metal in the Oil
If you’ve had your vehicle long enough for the engine to start failing, you’re going to have had a few oil changes. If the metal-on-metal contact described above is taking place, metal shavings will be produced. These seep into the engine oil, so you’ll be able to see them when you change it.
- Loss of Power
The engine is responsible for producing power, so clearly a dying engine is going to suffer from output issues. You may start to notice the engine struggling to produce enough power, especially when travelling at high speeds or up steep inclines.
- Smoke from the Hood
One of the final signs your engine is about to give up the ghost is smoke from under the hood. This usually means your engine is operating at far too high a temperature. It will only be a matter of time before it dies completely. Temperatures can actually rise high enough for moving parts to start melting.