Mechanical Guide

6 Majors Telling Signs of Possible Engine Damage

Automobile Engine Issues

A car engine is a key part of your automobile. Analogous to the human heart, it decomposes fuel and distributes the power so every other element of your car works properly. That’s why it is super important to watch out for the health of your car’s engine. In case of permanent damage to the engine, it costs a fortune. But there are some early warning signs you can watch out for to save yourself from the misery of a wrecked car engine.

Check Engine Light (CEL) Is Turned On

To take advantage of the latest technology, you should never ignore the indication of ‘Check Engine Light’. If Check Engine Light (CEL) is turned on, your car needs to be looked by a professional, no matter what your friends and colleagues tell you about it. The problem might be as simple as a loose cap, but keeping tiny things under control can save you a lot of time and effort.

Few of the reasons why the engine light is turned on:

  • Spark plug needed to be replaced
  • Other supplementary sensors (Mass Air-flow sensor, Oxygen sensors, etc.) are not working
  • Damaged catalytic converter

If your car doesn’t have the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system, arrange it and install it on an immediate basis. It will sense your car’s issues, even if you are not there.

Hearing Unnecessary Noises

Any kind of mechanical fault in your car’s engine can produce sound. Sometimes the noise is mild and explainable. But when you hear serious and dangerous sounds, you need to tell your mechanic about it. Different noises indicate different problems, like grinding noise, which is a sign of worn-out pistons. Popping and clacking sounds point out to premature detonation in your engine. To be on the safe side, one must always discuss it while visiting the workshop.

Smelling the Danger

Different types of fluid running through the vein of your car often produce a weird smell. When things in the engine get out of hand the smell becomes stronger and weirder. The smell of burning tires, leaked liquids and exhaustion often indicate the inner problem with the engine. This also causes the engine light to turn on. The nose doesn’t lie and your engine might be at the risk of complete failure. 

Excessive smoke: The color of the smoke coming out of the tailpipe also hints a few things about your car engine condition. When the color is clear, that might not be the problem but when it changes its color to blue, white or black, there is something wrong. 

  • Blue smoke: When engine oil spills outside and burns alongside the gasoline, blue smoke is going to blow out. Quick fixes can be applied but in the long run, it’s going to damage the engine. So it should be immediately taken to the workshop. The combustion chamber should be repaired so that oil doesn’t mix up.
  • White smoke: White smoke is due to the water particle in smoke that hangs in the air. When antifreeze combines with the fuel, white smoke exhausts. Covering up the coolant can provide an instant solution but a deeper look is needed to this problem.
  • Black smokeBlack smoke is a more probable cause of air filter problems. When the air filter is stuffed with more carbon particles, then it is clogged. A simple trick can remove those thick layers in the filter.

Overheating and Extra Fuel Consumption

  • When the engine starts, it takes time to heat up. If you notice that your car is heating up quicker than the normal rate, then there is something wrong with a cooling system. Check for possible leakages, refill it if needed. Another possibility might be a broken water pump. Since water pump replacement costs fairly much higher than other parts, you should first try to clear it and place it again.
  • If the fuel tank is keeping empty at the rate never before, then it is also a warning sign. Extra fuel consumption is another warning of possible engine damage. You can reduce the fuel cost just by making minor changes. A mechanic will look for issues and consumption will drop but if the problem persists, the engine needs a serious check.

Jerking, inconsistent acceleration and performance issues

Proper engine response in a time of acceleration will not be noisy. Due to high acceleration if your car is stumping, jerking and making noise then it can be traced back to the engine. If the car is not picking up the speed and momentum, it is the same reason. The performance of a car is directly related to the performance of the engine, just like the speed of the athlete is related to the heart and lungs. Deteriorated performance and unwanted jerking signal issues much deeper. If you didn’t address the issues in time that could lead to permanent damage to the engine. 


Many of the issues related to cars often need great attention for long term performance. If you want your vehicle to be at the peak of its performance, then you need to check it regularly. It is going to save you a lot of money and can save you from the roadside wreckage of your car one day. 



saeed rana

I was the executive vice president of the General Insurance Company. With that I also mentor students to help them find and apply for international scholarships each year, Due to extensive practice in vehicle insurance, their claims, and all sorts of interest in vehicles; today it became my passion to write research articles on vehicles.

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