Every car driver has experienced an issue with their car. Some of these issues require a professional diagnosis and repair that can cost a lot of time and money. There are lots of engine issues that you can diagnose yourself without taking your car to a mechanic. This article will highlight the most common issues you can deal with yourself.
The Engine Will Not Start
This is perhaps the most stressful car engine issue you can have. When it happens, you might wonder if the issue is a simple one or if you need professional help with it. The most common cause of this issue is a dead battery. If this is it, you will not hear the alternator turning, as this is what turns the engine to get it going. You can check the amount of charge left on the battery using a voltmeter, and a charged battery should read 11.5 to 14 volts.
If the battery has enough charge, the other issue might be terminal connections. These are the connections that connect to the wires that connect to the engine and the body. You can twist these terminals around or remove them entirely to clean them and then put them back.
If the car does not start, check if the check engine light is on when you turn the key. If it is on, there could be several issues that could cause this, including a faulty catalytic converter, low oil pressure, faulty sensors, or a faulty ignition switch.
Modern cars have a way of helping you know what the issue could be using the vehicle’s diagnostic system. This system stores codes for various issues and faults with modern cars, and these codes can be read to diagnose the issue. To do this, you need an OBD scanner. The OBD reader is a tool that connects to the OBD (on-board diagnostics) interface on your vehicle to access the data stored in the vehicle’s memory and tell you what the fault codes mean. OBD scanners created by companies like Carly send the information to a smartphone app (Carly app) to help you not only diagnose these codes, but also clear them. The Carly Universal OBD Scanner works with numerous car makes and models and allows you to learn a lot more about your vehicle than the issues it currently has. Check out their blog to find out more — What is an OBD Reader?
Engine parts would rub against each other during operation if there was no lubrication or cooling available. Cars routinely overheat in the summer when the outside temperature is so high that the engine cannot effectively cool itself. However, if the engine overheats frequently, there could be an issue with the lubrication or cooling.
For the lubrication, the issue could be the oil level, the oil pump, filters, or sensors. These issues can be coupled with an oil leak due to blown gaskets or structural issues. Different engine lights and codes can help you diagnose these issues.
The cooling system consists of the coolant and the physical parts. The best way to prevent overheating is by ensuring you top off the coolant. Even when you do this, the issue might not be solved because of physical issues. These include a damaged thermostat, coolant leaks, failed radiator or hose, and a faulty cooling fan.
The belt in your car’s engine connects different systems and pulleys to distribute energy between them. A common issue you will encounter with the belt is a high-pitched squealing sound. This sound is produced as the rubber belt slips around different pulleys while the engine runs.
If you are curious about what causes a serpentine belt to break, you might want to broaden your knowledge through searching. There are several reasons for that so read carefully.
The issues can also be caused by a misaligned AC compressor bearing, pump, or alternator, all of which can cause even new belts to produce the squealing sound. A worn or loose belt or one that has been contaminated with oil or other materials can also produce this sound.
A visual and physical inspection of the belt coupled with a wear gauge and some water can help diagnose the issue. The visual inspection and wear gauge will help you know if the belt is worn. If it is, you can replace it.
The next step if this is not the issue is to spray some water on the side of the belt that is ribbed as it goes around each pulley. Misalignment will cause the issue to disappear for a few minutes and then come back. This issue requires a mechanic.
If the noise gets louder after spraying some water on the belt, it could be too loose. Fortunately, many modern vehicles have automatic belt tensioners that can help. If not, use manual tension adjustments and then retest.
Engine issues can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you are trying to get somewhere in the morning. You can diagnose many of these issues at home, but if you do not feel like you can or you don’t have the necessary tools, it is always best to leave it to the auto repair professionals at a nearby auto repair shop. If you own a Mercedes Benz it is advisable to ask help from a mercedes-benz repair expert.