4 Common Engine Problems & Solutions

Your engine is a complicated piece of machinery crucial to transporting you from Point A to Point B. When properly maintained, an engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, but few of us ever see that happen.

Despite our best efforts, engines break down and require repairs, and some engines need more attention than others. If you believe your car may have been sold to you with a defect, reach out to us at 833.4.CARLAW for a free consultation and we will investigate the problem.

Warning Signs and Solutions to Engine Problems

To extend the lifespan of your vehicle, keep a close eye out for warning signs. Common issues include:

The engine won’t start.

If you hear clicking when you turn the key, you may actually have a battery problem. Try getting a jump or replacing the battery. If the engine still refuses to start, you likely have an ignition or fuel problem.

Possible solutions: There are a variety of issues your dealership will look for, including:

  • a clogged fuel filter
  • a defective fuel pump
  • a starter motor relay failure
  • An ignition switch failure

Resolving one of these issues may get your engine running again.

The engine keeps overheating.

Overheating generally means there’s an issue with the coolant. Though your temperature gauge will show you how hot your engine is, many of us don’t notice the change until it’s too late—typically when there’s smoke or the engine begins to shut down.

Possible solutions: To prevent overheating, keep a close eye on your coolant level. If you notice a sudden drop, you may have a leak. Add more coolant and head to the dealership for repairs. Your dealership should also check for a blown gasket or a cracked heat—both of which can lead to leaks and overheating.

The Check Engine light is on.

A check engine light doesn’t mean you need to go to the dealership immediately, but you should get it into your calendar sooner rather than later. Putting it off—even if you aren’t noticing any symptoms—could cause serious damage.

Possible solutions: The first thing you should do is check your gas cap. When properly screwed in, the cap maintains consistent pressure in your fuel system. Once that’s ruled out, you may have issues with:

  • worn spark plugs
  • the oxygen sensor
  • the catalytic converter
  • the air flow sensor

Smoke coming from the engine.

Smoke can come in a variety of colors, including white, blue, or black. Each one is bad. There is some good news, however: the color can help you determine the problem. White smoke means a cracked cylinder head or a blown head gasket. Blue smoke means there’s an oil leak or worn valve. Black smoke isn’t very helpful, as it could have a number of sources.

Possible solutions: Your dealership will check for the above issues, depending on the color of your smoke. If you’re lucky, you’ll only have a clogged air filter. Other problems could include a malfunctioning emissions system or an issue with the ignition timing.

Seek Legal Assistance for Your Engine Issues

If you have constant issues with your engine, you may have been sold a lemon. Robison Lemon Law Group can help you navigate both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and lemon laws to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.