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Auto Care 101: How to Tell If Something’s Really Wrong with Your Engine

Imagine you are sitting at a red light when you glance down and see your check engine light is on. If you are like many people, you keep on going choosing to ignore the light. This behavior may costs you money or leave you stranded down on a deserted stretch of road. While the best thing to do is to get to an auto parts store or a car repair garage to determine why the light is on, here is how to tell if someone really is wrong with your car’s engine.

Stop and Jerk

If you notice that your car seems to be jerking as you shift gears when driving, it is definitely time to get it looked at. There are several reasons that a car may stop and jerk from side to side or forward to backward. You may need to have the spark plugs replaced. Alternatively, the fuel line may need cleaning or it may be as simple as replacing the fuel filter. Whatever the cause, you need to get it fixed.

Do a Sniff Test

If you notice an unusual odor when you are driving the car, it may be something that you fixed for your best friend and they hid under the seat to keep from hurting your feelings. Alternatively, it could be a sign of engine trouble. The smell of burning rubber may mean that one of the belts under the hood is about to snap leaving you stranded. The smell may also be toxic gases like carbon monoxide. Do not ignore the odd because it could be deadly.

See Smoke

If you see smoke coming from the back of your car, it is trying to send you a distress signal. Blue smoke usually means oil is burning along with the fuel because you have a hose leaking. Alternatively, white smoke usually means that you need to add coolant to your car. If you dare to ignore the distress smoke signals, then you may find smoke boiling from the hood of your car as you cracked the radiator or worse yet, you blew up the motor. That one definitely hurts the pocketbook.

Costs More to Operate

If your car is determined that you need to stop at every gas station, then you need to have the engine looked at. Cars that are operating less efficiently always have a reason why, although it can sometimes be tricky to find. One of the most common reasons is that there is a leak in the fuel line somewhere. Another common reason is that your fuel filter is not producing the proper stream of gas for your automobile.

While you may think you do not have the money to fix your car when you experience these four warning signs, the truth is that it is usually more expensive to fix them after they get to be a bigger problem. Therefore, you should seek expert help as soon as possible.

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Tags: auto, car, engine


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