Car engines are an incredible piece of engineering. We can think of it as the heart of our cars. While it beats, it gets us where we want to go, whenever we want to get there. And if it dies, so do our vehicles. But beyond that, drivers typically don’t think about their engines too much, which is why it feels troubling when something related to the engine goes out. What does it mean? How bad is it? Do I need to see a mechanic? Let’s talk about everything you need to know about engine repair.
Engine Repair vs. Engine Replacement
Engines are made up of many moving parts, which is why it’s essential to get these parts repaired as soon as you know they need to be fixed. Engines can be some of the more costly repairs, and the timing of when they get fixed plays a pivotal role. It can mean the difference between a simple engine repair or needing an engine replaced.
Engine Repair: This can include things like replacing a head gasket or belt or sealing an oil pan. Repairs must be caught early enough so that the damage doesn’t extend to other parts, leading to an engine replacement if ignored for too long.
Engine Replacement: This results from the warning signs being ignored, which causes a more serious failure. Engine replacements often cost between $2,500 and $5,000, dependent on the number of parts needed.
When Does Your Engine Need Repair?
While every component that makes up a vehicle is important, it goes without saying that the engine is critical for our cars to function. And when an engine starts to fail, it isn’t shy about it. You’ll know immediately. Warning signs are like a cry for help coming from your car. With that in mind, these are some of the signs you should keep an eye (and ear) out for:
Car Won’t Start
You tried to fire up the ignition, but instead of hearing a VROOOM, you’re met with a clicking sound and then...nothing. This is the most obvious sign your engine’s in trouble and has most likely happened to all of us at some point. While you may have a dead battery, the engine can also be to blame. A rapid clicking sound will point to this being an electrical problem, while a single click is a sign that your starter engine is the source of the issue.
Check Engine Light
When the check engine light comes on, this can mean anything from a loose gas cap to a serious problem with your engine. Although it doesn’t mean you need to pull over right away, it does mean you should get your car checked out as soon as you can. Fortunately, modern light indicators typically have warning levels to let you know how serious the problem is. Depending on the vehicle, if the light is blinking or a solid red, this is a sign that your engine needs serious help. We recommend you take your vehicle to a mechanic for a possible engine repair in Boise.
Learn More about Check Engine Lights
Clicking, grinding, whining—these startling warning sounds are never a good thing and mean it’s time to swing by for some auto repair. These sounds can be coupled with some other troubling warnings. Your car may start to shake, jerk, clunk, or vibrate, which are all indicators that your engine could be conking out. Ignoring the warnings won’t make them go away and can lead to bigger problems in a hurry.
Stalling On the Road
Another surefire sign that something’s wrong is if your vehicle stalls on the road. Engines can fail at the most inconvenient times, and a car stalling on the road means that your engine has stopped working.If possible, pull your vehicle over to the side and turn on your hazard lights. A mechanic will be able to give you a thorough engine diagnosis to determine the root of the problem.
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What Does Engine Repair Mean?
This is a common question. Depending on the extent of the repairs, it can mean a few things—from smaller repairs to an engine rebuild. In the best-case scenarios, the damage will be limited to a small area of the engine and the part can be replaced. Getting these smaller repairs as needed is much better (and cheaper) than waiting for bigger problems to happen. If your vehicle needs a total engine repair, this involves taking apart the engine and cleaning it, inspecting it for damage, and replacing different parts. These are some benefits of an engine rebuild:
- Much cheaper than getting an engine replaced
- Engine will perform a lot better than before
- Saves you money on gas by improving the car’s fuel economy
- Better for the environment by cutting down on manufacturing
Engines are extremely well-engineered parts but can also be sensitive to the daily workouts we put them through. The warning signs mentioned above won’t go away with time and will only get worse as the problems mount up. Taking your vehicle to an expert mechanic will help you get the solutions you need and keep your vehicle working for many years to come.
In need of engine repair in Boise? Book an appointment with Naylor's to get an engine diagnosis.