Identifying Engine Trouble Using Sights, Sounds, and Smells

June 16, 2015 5:54 pm Published by

Technician_1In order to help identify potential problems, we at Jiffy Lube want to share some important information for how sights, sounds, and smells can help catch engine issues before they get out of hand. Here are the most common.

Oil System Issues

Ignoring oil system warning signs puts your entire engine at risk. Signals to look for include:

  • Oil stains underneath the vehicle. This can indicate a leak in the oil pan or drain plug.
  • A clicking sound in your engine, which can indicate low oil levels or low oil pressure.

A good way to avoid these issues is to keep up with the recommended vehicle manufacturer’s oil-change schedule.

Tip: Leverage the expertise of Jiffy Lube in Sacramento by getting your oil changed at one of our many locations. While here, we will look for issues that could evolve into bigger problems. If you’re planning to stop by, be sure to download a discount oil change coupon.

Serpentine Belt Issues

The serpentine belt connects the engine’s crankshaft to the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and air conditioning compressor. If it breaks, these components will stop running and the engine can overheat.

Check for serpentine belt issues by:

  • Opening the hood and looking for cracks or fraying on the belt.
  • Smelling burned rubber can indicate too much belt friction.
  • Listening for a growling or whining noise when revving the engine can indicate belt misalignment.

Tip: Our Serpentine Belt Replacement includes a visual inspection as well as a removal of the old belt and installation of a new belt when needed.

Coolant/Antifreeze System Issues

Cooling systems circulate antifreeze/coolant through the engine and radiator. In normal weather, this reduces engine heat levels. In extreme cold, antifreeze prevents engine fluid from freezing. If your vehicle has a coolant system leak, the engine can overheat and fail. In cold weather, the vehicle may not start.

Telltale warning signs for this system include:

  • A bright colored stain – typically green or orange – under the vehicle.
  • A sweet odor like maple syrup emitting from the engine.
  • Steam or hissing sounds coming from the engine.

Tip: Prevention is the best defense against coolant/antifreeze leaks. A Jiffy Lube Radiator Service will evacuate the fluid and refill new in the appropriate amount.

We hope this article enables you to detect future car troubles before they happen. For more tips and information, you can check out our blog on vehicle maintenance advice, as well as other useful topics. In the meantime, please come by a local Northern California Jiffy Lube if you need an oil change or any of our other comprehensive preventive maintenance services.

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