There is nothing more than a car owner dreads more than seeing the check engine light brighten up their dashboard. The dashboard lights are connected to sensors that monitor everything your car does and if something is not working properly, the computer will use these lights to tell you what it not performing normally. The “Check Engine” light is probably the most important light that you will want to pay attention to the most as it could mean so many different things.
The easiest way to find out the exact reason for the check engine light to come on is to hook up a diagnostic scan tool into the cars communication port inside the vehicle. Once plugged in your car will tell the tool what prompted the light to be turned on in the first place. Most auto part shops will have a code machine on hand and can easily give you a readout to help you figure out the specific issue that made your check engine light turn on in the first place.
There are many signs that point to engine trouble besides the check engine light coming on and lighting up your dash. Some of the top signs of engine issues or troubles would be where the engine jumps or jerks. This is not normal and could be due from many different things, from fouled spark plugs, a possible clogged fuel lines/filter, the main computer reading the driving situation wrong, or even other possible issues.
Another issue would be when your engine makes noises that are not normal. When you hear a grinding, tapping, or popping sound, that is a clear indicator something is not right with your engine.
Smells coming from the engine could be an indicator that there is a leak somewhere and your fluids are leaking and burning off and emitting the foul odor; or possibly a rubber hose or belt is rubbing up against something that it shouldn’t be.
Smoke is a huge indicator that something is or has gone wrong with your engine. Smoke can come from the front or back of the car, But the tailpipe will be a good indicator what the possible problem is.
Blue smoke from the tailpipe means that oil is escaping and is being burned along with fuel. When it is white smoke from the tailpipe mean water condensation or possibly antifreeze has mixed with the fuel supply. If you end up having smoke coming from under the hood, then that means your engine is or has overheated.
All of the above are clear indicators that something is or has been going wrong with your engine. It is a good idea to get it checked out by a certified mechanic and see if the problem is a small fix or a big one. Always remember, if you end up needing to replace the engine for any reason, we are here to help!