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Bad Engine Symptoms: Things You Need to Look Out For at All Times

Bad Engine Symptoms

Without a fully functioning engine inside of it, your car obviously isn’t going to get you very far. And even if it does, there’s a good chance that you’re going to end up doing extensive damage to your vehicle while driving around in it with a bad engine. Because of this, you should constantly monitor your car for bad engine symptoms. You should look out for any signs that might indicate trouble with your engine and have them addressed by an experienced mechanic right away. Keep on reading to learn more about the many bad engine symptoms and what you should do about them.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

How Long Should a Car’s Engine Last?

One of the things that we want to talk briefly about before we get into discussing the bad engine symptoms that you might notice while driving around in your car is the expected life expectancy of your car’s engine. It should help to shed some light on how long your engine is going to last before it starts to give you fits and forces you to seek help from a mechanic.


Although every engine is different, car engines are, on average, expected to last for well over 100,000 miles before needing to be repaired or replaced. And the good news is that most engines are designed to last a whole lot longer than that. It’s not out of the ordinary for a car’s engine to last for 200,000 miles or more in some cases when it’s maintained properly over time.


Even with that in mind, though, you should be aware of the fact that bad engine symptoms will often start to rear their ugly heads much sooner. You might start to experience issues with your spark plugs, your timing belt, your fuel pump, or another aspect of your car that could cause problems with your engine. It’s why you need to be on the lookout for bad engine symptoms almost all the time since a problem could present itself at any moment.

Why Is It Important to Address Engine Issues Quickly?

If you ever experience any of the bad engine symptoms that we’re about to get into in a second, you shouldn’t hesitate for any longer than you absolutely have to when it comes to fixing them. There is a very simple reason for this: The longer you put engine repairs off, the worse your engine problems are going to get. What starts as a relatively minor engine problem could spiral out of control in no time at all and turn into a major issue.


As a result, you need to take the bad engine symptoms that you see and hear seriously and do something about them before too long. What begins as a simple knocking sound in your engine that doesn’t seem to impact it too much could lead to complete engine failure in just a week or two if you ignore it. You shouldn’t ever turn a blind eye to the bad engine symptoms that we’re about to discuss right now.

What Are Some of the Most Common Bad Engine Symptoms?

There are some serious car problems that can be difficult to detect. If, for example, your car’s wheels are out of alignment, you might not always realize it right away. It can take time for this kind of problem to present itself in a tangible way. But this is not usually the case with your car’s engine. When there is an issue with your engine, it’s not going to take very long for bad engine symptoms to start to pop up. Here are some of the things you might notice.

1. Check Engine Light

When you’re first having problems with your car’s engine, one of the things that might happen is that your check engine light will come on. It’ll alert you to the fact that there is something going on inside of your car that’s not right. You’ll be able to find out what it is by taking your car to a mechanic to have them pull codes off your car’s computer, which will indicate what the problem seems to be.


While this is a common bad engine symptom, it’s worth noting that, despite its name, the check engine light is not always an indication that you have an engine problem. Something as simple as your gas cap being loose can lead to this light coming on. But if you notice your check engine light come on and you also see any of the other bad engine symptoms listed here, it might be a cause for concern when it comes to your car’s engine.

2. Lack or Loss of Power

Does your car seem to be lacking some of the power that it usually has? Or worse, has it lost power almost completely when you’re driving it around? This is another of the most common bad engine symptoms. Your car’s engine is obviously in charge of producing the power that it needs to propel the wheels on your vehicle forward, and if it’s not able to do that for one reason or another, it’ll mean there’s something happening with your engine.


You shouldn’t ever attempt to drive around in a car with a lack of power in it. It could make it very unpredictable, and it could lead to you getting into an accident if you’re not careful. You’ll be better off taking your car in for service to find out what’s wrong with the engine.

3. Decreased Gas Mileage

If your car doesn’t appear to be getting you very far in between fill-ups at the gas station, this is going to prove to be a problem. It’s going to put you into a position where you have to spend more than you might like on fuel every month. Decreased gas mileage could be the result of a lack of air in your tires or another routine problem. But it could also be one of the many bad engine symptoms.


You might need to use a fuel cleaner to fix this particular problem. Or you might need to have a mechanic take more extensive steps to stop your car from guzzling so much gas. Either way, you shouldn’t keep on driving around in a car that’s causing you to spend a small fortune on fuel. It’s bad for your bank account and it’s also bad for the environment at the same time.

4. Unusual Sounds

It’s good for your car’s engine to make some noise while you’re driving around. You want to hear the gentle purr of your engine, which will indicate that it’s producing plenty of power for the rest of your vehicle. But there are some sounds that you’re not going to want to hear coming from underneath your hood. This includes knocking, hissing, popping, and anything else that’s out of the ordinary.


Each and every one of the sounds that we just mentioned is a bad engine symptom. Your engine will literally be speaking to you when it makes these kinds of sounds to let you know that there’s something wrong with it. You’ll need to have it serviced so that these sounds stop and so that the parts that are creating them don’t get damaged even more than they already are.

5. Frequent Engine Stalling

Have you found that your engine is always stalling out on you when you’re sitting in traffic or stuck at a red light? More often than not, this is one of the bad engine symptoms that’s easy to fix. It often suggests that you need to either have your spark plugs replaced or clean out your air filter so that your engine gets more of the air that it needs.


But it could also be one of the more serious bad engine symptoms if you choose not to act and do something about it. When your car stalls out on you, it’s going to embarrass you and even put you into harm’s way. If other drivers aren’t expecting your car to stall, they could accidentally crash into your car and do damage to it. They could also hurt themselves or hurt you in the process. So you’ll want to address this bad engine symptom quickly and stop driving around in a car that stalls out on you all the time.

6. Strange Smells

If you’ve started to detect strange smells inside of your car when you’re driving around in it, you should do more than just hang an air freshener on your rear-view mirror. You should also try to get to the bottom of the smells and see where they’re coming from. They could be caused by noxious odors coming from your engine, and they could make it impossible for you to drive around in peace.


Instead of trying to mask the odors coming from your engine, why not have a mechanic get a whiff of them? They’ll be able to identify where these bad engine symptoms are coming from so that they can work to put an end to them once and for all.

7. Rough Idle

When is the last time you took your car in for a tune-up? If you can’t remember at this point, then you shouldn’t be too surprised when it starts to idle rougher than usual. This can be the result of bad spark plugs, a clog in your engine system, or something else. Regardless, your engine isn’t just going to stop idling rough if you ignore these kinds of bad engine symptoms. The problem is going to get worse in many cases. You’ll need to get your car tuned up to prevent this from happening.

What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have a Bad Engine?

If you think that there might be something wrong with your engine, you might be worried about what it’s going to cost to fix it (more on that in a few seconds!). That might make you want to avoid taking it to a mechanic at all costs. But as we mentioned a little while ago, that could compound the problem and make it even worse within just a few weeks, if not sooner.


Your best bet is going to be to take your car to an ASE-certified mechanic so that they can check it out. They can listen to you talk about the bad engine symptoms you’ve experienced and then inspect your car’s engine to see what the problem seems to be. From there, they’ll then be able to make corrections to it or tell you what you’ll need to think about doing next to stop the bad engine symptoms from showing up.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Bad Engine?

As we just alluded to, there are a lot of people who worry about what they’ll have to pay to have bad engine symptoms addressed. And that’s because there are some times when repairing a bad engine is going to cost you a nice chunk of chance. If, for instance, you have a bad timing belt that needs to be replaced, you could be looking at paying well over $1,000 for it. That’s going to be a tall price to pay for some people.


But there are also going to be times when you won’t have to pay all that much to get your engine up and running like normal again. If all that you need to do to “fix” your engine is get a tune-up, you might be able to have that done for under $100 in some cases. It’ll correct the issues with your engine and prevent further issues with it down the line.

Can You Sell a Car With Bad Engine Symptoms?

If your car is on the older side and you’re starting to see bad engine symptoms, you might be considering getting rid of it once and for all. It doesn’t always make sense to do engine repairs to a car that’s on its last legs. But you might also be confused about whether or not there is a good way to get rid of it and make some money in the process.


Private buyers might not be all that interested in purchasing a car with bad engine symptoms from you. But junk car buyers, like the ones from Cash Cars Buyer, won’t have a problem paying you top dollar for your car in spite of its engine issues. We would love to work out a deal with you and help take your old car off your hands. Contact us today to obtain a cash offer for your car.

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