tires-puyallup-waUnlike simple brake repair jobs or outfitting a car with seasonal snow tires, engine-based automotive maintenance is not an outpatient procedure. Consider it the open-heart surgery of the car world.

Without a strong engine, a car can’t operate — period. And projections current estimate an increase in demand for auto repairs in the coming year, especially if polar vortexes keep popping up to complicate our daily commutes.

When a person is experiencing heart problems, there are always warning signs. Shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pains can all be symptoms that something’s not entirely right inside your chest. Though they’re completely different machines, cars also exhibit warning signs that all might not be well under the hood. It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on these symptoms just in case they end up leading to larger problems that require serious engine repair down the road. For example:

1. Keep an eye out for smoke.
Smoke is never something you want to see pouring out of your car, especially when it’s emitting from your tailpipe. Excessive smoke can be a very bad sign for a car, as it can signal that the engine is working overtime (thereby producing more heat) to make up for a deficiency in another area. The color of smoke can also play into what’s wrong with your car. Blue might be symptomatic of burning oil, gray could mean it’s time for transmission repair and black almost always signifies burning excessive amounts of fuel. At the first sign of smoke, it’s a good idea to bring your car in to a shop for a proper look by mechanics.

2. Keep an ear out for strange noises.
Cars are modern mobile miracles of moving parts, so there are always noises at play when they’re in motion. But loud rattling, banging and knocking noises are frequently signs that your ride is in serious need of engine repair — and the sooner, the better. A car’s pistons are what makes its engine operate in the first place, and loud sounds can indicate a failure of one or more bearings that connect these pistons to the engine rods. And the more work you make the engine do, the louder these noises are going to get, which means the more your engine is going to suffer.

3. Watch for decreases in power and performance.
You’ve likely heard the term “rough running” before. And you’re probably familiar with what happens when your car begins to accelerate up a steady hill. But in a situation like that, the power loss is warranted; when you’re driving in flat, everyday, open-road conditions, decreased performance can actually be a sign of serious engine trouble on the horizon. Something has probably failed inside your engine or in the moving parts surrounding it, so get your car into a shop as soon as you can to discover what’s happening.

Treat your car’s engine repair like you’d treat your own cardiac health, and see how much more mileage you get out of it.

If you liked this post, you may like these related posts: