Signs of Serious Engine Damage - Service Research at Shingle Springs Subaru

Even if the worst never comes to pass, it's still better to be prepared than unprepared. At Shingle Springs Subaru, we stand behind this statement, which is why we've put together information pages like this one. While your engine may never suffer serious damage (and we sincerely hope it doesn't), it's still a good idea to be aware of the signs a damaged engine may give out. That way, you can turn off the car before things get even worse. Below, you'll find five things to watch out for that may mean your engine is in trouble.

Smoke coming from the tailpipe of your engine could be a sign of great danger

5. Smoke Is Coming from the Tailpipe

There are many reasons why smoke could be coming from the tailpipe of your engine. If the smoke is white or grey, it could be caused by a blown or leaking head gasket. Black smoke could indicate a fuel-and-air mixture that's too rich. Either way, your engine could be in danger of real trouble, so it's best to turn it off immediately.

Checking the engine oil regularly can help you keep an eye on the health of your engine

4. The Engine Stalls

Even the best drivers have stalled when driving a manual transmission before. But if you're driving a Subaru with automatic transmission or CVT, or if your manual transmission is stalling frequently and you're not at fault, there could be a serious problem within the engine. If the engine doesn't seem to stall, but it does lose power, that's also a bad sign.

3. Low Engine Oil

Though anything from a leaky oil pan to a bad PCV valve could cause the engine in your Subaru to leak oil, the result is the same: danger to your engine. Oil lubricates the moving parts to keep them from suffering the effects of friction. Without enough oil, these parts could become badly damaged.

An engine that's running too hot can quickly destroy itself if it's not shut off soon

2. Overheating Engine

Combustion engines are powered by small, controlled explosions--and these explosions are hot. In fact, they're hot enough that they can quickly warp and melt the metal components of the engine. That's why your engine is equipped with a cooling system: to keep the excess heat from doing harm to the engine. If any of the cooling system components aren't working as they should, the engine could overheat. This overheating can also happen if the head gasket has failed. Keep a close eye on the temperature gauge in your Subaru; if the needle begins to go towards the red, stop your engine immediately.

1. Check Engine Light Flashing

The check engine light is a catch-all light that serves to tell you that something in your engine needs attention. If the light is solid, you need to get it checked out, but it's likely not an emergency (and could be something as simple as a loose gas cap). But if it's flashing, it's often a sign that something is severely wrong. Often, it's due to a misfire that could damage the catalytic converter.

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

  • Sales: 530-677-8771
  • Service: 530-677-8771
  • Parts: 530-677-8771