Something is just not right with your car. You know as you see the blue smoke coming from the tailpipe of your car as you look out your rear view mirror and as you hear the tick-tick-ticking as you wait for the red light to change, something is wrong.

Are you having engine problems? Ignoring the signs certainly won't help; something has to be done or you may find yourself walking.

What do these signs mean, and what other signs are there that all is not right under the hood? Here are some signs that your car is sick, and what might be ailing it.

Blue Smoke a Bad Sign

That's the last thing you want to see! Blue or black smoke anywhere means big trouble - washing machine, dishwasher, carpet cleaner - you know it's going to cost you and, yep, it's the same with your car. Fundamentally, smoke means that you have not been looking after your car - but more on that later. For now, what could be wrong?

If the smoke is coming from the back of your car it's a warning. If it's coming from the front of your car, you have ignored the warning! Smoke from your tailpipe is a warning of things to come. Grayish black or blue smoke is from burning oil. It means that oil is escaping into the cylinders. In turn, that means that seals are failing.

The first sign of this should be from your dipstick - if your oil is reducing faster than usual then there is a reason for that. Ignore that and the tailpipe smoke starts - or your engine stops running! You cannot afford to ignore that! That's when your car should get checked by a mechanic if you want to be driving it anytime soon. Serious damage can be prevented by having damaged or worn seals replaced.

No action will result in your engine running short of oil when you will be given a final warning - the red light or 'oil can' on the dash and the 'Check Engine' warning. That means "Stop Immediately!" If you fail to do that your engine will shortly cut out - and that can be extremely dangerous when turning, overtaking or on a freeway.

So never ignore the sign tailpipe smoke, or it will soon be coming from your engine - if it is still running!  It will wind up in your yard.

Check Engine Light Sign of Trouble

The 'Check Engine' light is often associated with a red oil can sign on the dash. That's because your engine oil has likely run out. Failing to keep your oil topped up is a recipe for disaster - not only can your engine cut out while you are overtaking, but it can seize up permanently for a lack of lubrication.

Moving parts heat up if there is friction between them. The purpose of oil is to reduce that friction, and allow parts to move together without hating up, expanding and grating together. When that happens it is possible for individual parts of your engine to weld together due to that heat.

It is important that you react to warning lights. They are there to help you avoid serious damage to your car and to your engine.

Engine Noises Another Sign in your Yard

Knocks, screeches and ticking from your engine are not good signs. They are providing an indication that your engine needs attended to. It is not just a lack of oil or proper engine maintenance that can damage your engine.

Your spark plugs could be in bad condition, and there could be any number of problems happening with the chambers, fuel mix and distribution. Your carburetor could be faulty, and there may be serious issues with the valves, bushes, bearings and joints between the components of your drive and transmission system.

The important point is that you should always keep your eyes open for something different. Something you have never noticed with your car before is a sign. A car Yard is full of cars with problem signs. Pay attention to the warning lights on the dash, it is the whole 9 yards. They should all come on when you start up the engine. They should then all go off again - if not then something is wrong. Don't just ignore it.



Heritage Advertising
4100 Bob Wallace Avenue SW
Huntsville, AL 35805
Telephone: (321) 253-0424
Email: email