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It’s hard to tell when your engine is acting up. Common problems can range from the pesky “check engine” light, to a total lack of power. While we leave oil changes to the “other guys,” when you need to know exactly what is wrong with your engine, we have the expertise to diagnose and repair engine problems, and even replace it if needed.
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If you are having trouble starting your vehicle it could be an indicator of a simple problem such as a failing battery, or something more serious such as a broken timing belt, engine compression problem, fuel system or ignition problem, or it could be your security key malfunctioning. Today’s complex vehicles require a good, healthy battery for the electronic controls to operate correctly so start with that. If the new battery fails to help, seek out a professional. Continued cranking with a failed timing belt can do serious damage to the engine, so be cautious and don’t keep trying to start your engine if you think there’s a problem.
Not only is stalling or lack of power a sign of engine trouble, it can be dangerous, especially if it happens in the middle of an intersection or on a freeway. If your vehicle stalls or has no power when you try to accelerate, it can point to a failing fuel pump, fuel injector problems, a clogged fuel filter or your vehicle could be in a fail-safe mode where the computer limits power and gears.
A check engine light usually accompanies this, or it will very soon. If the light is flashing, a temperature light is on or the temperature gauge shows above normal, don’t drive the vehicle and get it to a specialist as quickly as possible.
If your vehicle is making a shaking, skipping or slipping sound while idling or upon accelerating this is another sign of potential engine trouble. The vehicle may also idle below its regular speed or display inconsistent RPMs. This is also typically accompanied with a check engine light and could be a sign of a serious internal engine problem, or something less serious such as a bad coil, a vacuum leak, or a wire or connector problem.
Poor fuel economy may also be a sign of engine problems. This could be something as simple as a failing oxygen sensor or it could be something a bit more serious such as ignition or fuel injector system issues. You may even see black smoke coming from the tailpipe. Make sure you have followed the manufacturers recommendations on replacing your air-filter, spark plugs, and fuel filters to avoid problems and maintain your fuel mileage.
Tailpipe smoke color is a good indicator of how your vehicle is running. Blue smoke from the tailpipe indicates that the engine is burning oil due to an internal oil leak, damage or severe wear. White smoke is a sign of an internal engine coolant leak that is allowing antifreeze into the cylinders, while black smoke means the engine is ‘running rich’ and is burning too much gasoline. Each of these issues will ultimately lead to larger more expensive problems and should be checked out as soon as possible by a professional.
Your engine oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It will also slowly degrade and become less protective with mileage and time. As your oil ages, it also becomes contaminated with worn material and other contaminants that will accelerate wear and lessen the life expectancy of the engine.
Every vehicle owner should have an owner’s manual and maintenance guide that came with the vehicle from the manufacturer. This guide will outline when, and how often, your vehicle’s fluids should be serviced. A good rule of thumb is that the vehicle’s engine oil should be exchanged anywhere from 3000 to 10,000 miles depending on how you drive, what you drive and what kind of oil you use. Fully synthetic oils can allow for extended time between oil changes, but follow what the manufacturer recommends for your style and conditions of driving. Check your engine between service intervals to make sure you don’t have a leak or low oil as this can cause damage to the engine.
Your engine oil is the lifeblood of your engine and it will slowly degrade and become less protective with mileage and time. As your oil ages, it also becomes contaminated with worn material and other contaminates that will accelerate wear and lessen the life expectation of your engine.
Every vehicle owner should have an owner’s manual and maintenance guide that came with the vehicle from the manufacturer. This guide will outline when, and how often, your vehicle’s fluids should be serviced. A good rule of thumb is vehicle’s engine oil should be exchanged anywhere from 3000 to 10,000 miles depending on how you drive, what you drive and what kind of oil you use. Fully synthetic oils can allow for extended times between oil changes but follow what the manufacture recommends for your style and conditions of driving. Check your engine between service intervals to make sure you don’t have a leak, or the engine is burning oil when it shouldn’t and do damage by running low.
If an engine is regularly maintained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and kept under good conditions, it’s not uncommon for them to last anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 miles or more. Some types of engines are more durable than others so check your maintenance schedule for the proper service intervals to help it last as long as possible.
Many Manufacturers of Hybrid Vehicles continue to use smaller conventional engines to assist in propulsion and charge the batteries. Pure electric vehicles do not use gasoline engines, instead replacing them with electric propulsion motors attached directly to the axles or wheels.
You should take your vehicle to a service provider that you trust and has experience with the type of services you are looking for. You are not required to take you vehicle back to the dealer for maintenance and repairs, and AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care centers can provide you with all repairs and service you need to maintain your vehicle and satisfy any warranty requirements. AAMCO has been servicing transmission and other complex automotive systems for over 50 years and is the place to go for all your drivetrain and maintenance services.