If you hopped in your car and turned the key but nothing happened, or if you suddenly started seeing smoke pouring out of your hood, or if your engine has ever sputtered and died, you might have a bit of a problem. You see, engines aren’t really supposed to do any of those things (in case you haven’t heard). But they do. What do you do when your engine goes kaput?
The first thing to do is determine where the problem originated, and when the problem occurred can help solve that. Here are a few common troubles your engine might face.
Engine Shut Down on Start Up
There are several reasons your car might not start up instantly. For example:
- No Charge in Battery – If your battery was running all night or something else drained it, it won’t be able to turn your engine over. You’ll need to give it a jump start.
- Signs of Wear and Tear – If your battery cables are corroded or came loose, or if your oil filter or air filter are clogged, or your ignition switch joggled loose, or even your spark plugs are worn out, you won’t be able to get a response from your car. Proper engine maintenance should solve, or even prevent, such problems.
If a hot engine is giving you trouble on a trip, chances are it’s overheated. This one is the most likely to happen after you’ve started up. If your engine is overheating, take the proper steps to take care of it (see link above), and you’ll be on your way again soon.
Other issues that might crop up to mess with your engine include bad fuel mixes, lack of adequate compression by the pistons, misfiring spark plugs, or cut wires. All of these can damage your engine, and most likely put a big dent in your day, although hopefully not your engine. Drive carefully and be safe, and may your engine last a long time.