You've had your old car for a lot of years and it has faithfully taken you through many obstacles and to many places. Unfortunately, the engine of a vehicle is not an immortal thing, so eventually, you will see your car's engine fail completely. As the owner and regular driver of any vehicle, knowing the telltale signs that engine failure is drawing near will be helpful because this will show you that it's time to start looking for a new ride. Here is a quick look at some of the most common signs of complete engine failure in an older vehicle.
The engine is knocking.
Taps, ticks, knocks–there are a lot of ways people explain these telltale noises from a dying engine, but they all pretty much mean the same thing. A knocking engine is usually a sign that the cylinders or piston walls are tapping against the internal walls of the engine block. While any tap or tick is bound to make you a little nervous, when it is an engine knock because of major components wearing out, you will be able to tell the difference in the sound because it will radiate from deep within the engine.
The engine is smoking.
In essence, combustion of fuel within piston chambers is what causes a motor to run. While this sounds like a messy process, it is actually a highly controlled reaction that happens with precise measurements of fuel and oxygen. When an engine starts to fail, the mixture of fuel and oxygen changes, which results in a higher level of emissions from the engine and noticeable smoke most of the time. With a health engine, you should not see much in the way of emissions from the exhaust. On the other hand, an unhealthy engine nearing the end of its life will cough up some pretty ugly bursts of smoke from the tail pipe.
The engine is using oil.
If you religiously change your motor oil as you should, you will notice that oil loss is pretty uncommon. The same amount of quarts you put in during an oil change is usually what you pull out during a change with very little loss. However, as the engine gets a lot of miles on it, it will use and lose oil as it cycles through the engine. This happens because the internal structures and components in motion are not as tight, which contributes to oil leaks.
Contact a local mechanic for more information or assistance with engine repair.