Many drivers have found themselves stranded on the side of the road at one point or another. Whether the culprit is engine trouble, a flat tire or another issue, finding oneself stranded on the side of the road in need of assistance is an often helpless feeling that no one wants to experience twice.
Even drivers whose automotive clubs or insurance companies provide roadside assistance services want to avoid using such services. One way to do just that is to learn about potential indicators of engine trouble.
Vehicle warning lights exist for a reason. According to the automotive retailer Pep Boys, a check engine light typically illuminates when vehicle sensors detect there are issues stemming from a loss of power. This can be dangerous, and Pep Boys recommends drivers pull over and call for a tow the moment the light comes on. In addition to check engine lights, drivers should heed warning lights referring to oil pressure and oil levels.
Poor gas mileage
An easy way for drivers to monitor vehicle performance is to keep gas mileage in mind. If a vehicle suddenly feels like it’s not getting as much mileage out of a tank of gas as it used to, this might be indicative of engine troubles. A fuel additive such as a fuel injector cleaner might be helpful because it can clean clogged fuel injectors that can affect performance and lead to poor acceleration. However, the automotive retailer Advance Auto Parts notes that such products are not a one-size-fits-all cure. If vehicles continue to suffer from reduced gas mileage, drivers should bring them to a mechanic for a thorough examination.
Some signs of engine trouble are not as subtle as reduced gas mileage. Vehicles that begin to jerk while they’re being driven are likely suffering from some form of engine trouble. Jerking might put a scare in drivers, but it’s not necessarily the result of a major problem, even if it is one that should be addressed immediately. A jerking vehicle that stalls puts drivers, their passengers and other motorists at risk of accident, so bring this issue to the attention of your mechanic immediately. Poorly functioning spark plugs may be the culprit behind jerking, and that’s a relatively inexpensive and quick fix. However, other issues can cause jerking as well, so don’t delay in speaking with your mechanic.