Common Engine Problems In Older Cars


It is no surprise that older cars require a lot of maintenance work. As time passes, a vehicle’s factory-fitted components tend to wear out, cause problems and eventually stop functioning. It is important to identify these problems beforehand. One such important component that always needs attention is the car’s engine.

The engine is the heart of the car; it makes the entire vehicle move. Without it, you just have a useless piece of metal. So how do you manage to maintain an older vehicle’s engine? Well, we are here to teach you how to do just that. This article will talk about different engine problems and how to manage them.

Engine Lubrication:

Engine oil is essential for an engine to function at its best. An engine that has old oil which has oxidized, or if it has a lower quantity of oil as recommended, it will severely harm your engine. Engine oil makes sure that the engine parts are well lubricated when they move.

This prevents the parts from overheating and ensures that each part moves as smoothly as possible. Poor lubrication is the number one cause of an engine seizing up. Ensure that your older vehicle has good quality engine oil with the recommended viscosity when changing engine oil. Get your engine oil changed regularly so that your engine can function at its optimum level.

Engine Overheating:

Engine overheating is a common problem faced by many owners of older vehicles. Overheating can be caused due to many reasons. Your engine will overheat; if you have low coolant levels, a damaged radiator, blown head gasket loss, clogged hoses, or old engine oil.

An overheating engine shouldn’t be ignored. The heat can cause severe damage to your engine parts. The first thing to check if your engine heats up is the coolant levels. Low coolant level is the most common problem that can lead to engine overheating.

If your coolant levels are fine, it could be more complicated. It would be best to take the vehicle to a service center and get the issue checked.

Old Combustion Parts:

Older vehicles have combustion parts that have been running for many years. The long period of usage exposes the combustion parts to a lot of wear. If your combustion parts are worn out, you will notice a decline in your vehicle’s power.

Common problems that can occur with your combustion are; holes in the cylinder, worn-out piston rings, and worn-out valves. If you notice that your car isn’t generating the same power it used to, you should get it checked by your mechanic because you may have combustion problems.

Timing Chain Issues:

The timing chain is an important engine component; the engine can’t function properly if the timing chain doesn’t rotate around the gears. Timing chain issues will lead to the engine making a rattling sound, it will produce low power, the acceleration of the car will not be as smooth, and it may also cause it to misfire.

If you observe any of these signs in your engine, then take your vehicle to a mechanic because the timing chain issue can only be resolved by a professional.

Fuel-Air Separator System:

If you have a vehicle that runs on diesel, you definitely have a fuel-air separator system. This system separates water/vapor from diesel and provides pure fuel to the engine. If your fuel-air separator is faulty, then your engine will give you some issues.

You will observe that the engine will have difficulty starting, or it may not run at all. In this case, you need to replace your fuel-air separator. Make sure to buy the best Fuel-Air separator systems available in the market. If you choose a low-quality product, you’ll end up damaging your engine even more.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor:

A faulty oxygen sensor can be detrimental to your engine. Your vehicle’s engine has many sensors in it that help it to perform better. One such sensor is the oxygen sensor. This measures the un-burnt oxygen present in the exhaust and adjusts the air and fuel mixture in the engine accordingly.

A faulty sensor will convey the wrong message to the system, which will result in the wrong proportions of air and fuel being burnt; this will lead to bad mileage and lowered power generation from the engine.

Spark Plug Problems:

A common issue in older vehicles is the spark plug issue. Spark plugs are present in an engine to ignite the fuel and cause the combustion reaction to start. The combustion of the fuel is what gives the engine the ability to produce the power to move the vehicle.

Old spark plugs can experience carbon deposits which make them less efficient at igniting the fuel. This leads to poor ignition, misfiring, and poor fuel mileage. A simple solution to this problem is to replace the spark plugs. This can be attempted at home, or you can take your car to the service station and get it done there.

Old Coolant:

If you have an older vehicle and have never gotten the coolant replaced, then you most probably have dirty coolant in the reservoir. This is because, over the years, dust accumulates in the coolant and causes it to be contaminated. This dirty coolant will cause your radiator to become clogged and lead to your engine overheating.

If you’ve driven your car for over 100,000 miles or have had the car for over 5 years, then you need to get your radiator flushed and replace the coolant with fresh new coolant to ensure the engine doesn’t overheat.

Final Thoughts:

If you take good care of your vehicle, and especially of the engine, then your vehicle can last you your entire lifetime. You just need to make sure that you get your engine maintenance done regularly, take it to the service station to get it tuned, and always make sure the engine oil doesn’t get too old.



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