Engine Repair

Auto Engine Repair & Replacement

Photo of a bmw engine

Vehicle engine repair is a costly but needed service that will get your car back on the road. Chicago automobiles go through rigorous weather conditions and eventually require tune-ups and repairs. Understanding the signs of engine failure will help prevent further damage from a failing engine and could prevent additional repair costs.

How Do I Know My Engine Needs Repair?

You could potentially save yourself a lot of money by getting to the repair shop before the problem gets worse and by being familiar with telltale signs of significant engine trouble. It is of great importance that you are diligent in getting your vehicle into the repair shop quickly if you encounter any of the following signs.

Top 5 Signs Of Engine Failure

  1. Excessive Exhaust Smoke– Black smoke means too much gas is being burned, White smoke could equate to a coolant leak
  2. Knocking Sounds– Low oil levels will cause a lack of lubrication of the engine parts producing knocking noises
  3. Power Loss– Gas pedal is less responsive
  4. Vibrations– Lack of lubrication (metal on metal)
  5. Lowered Gas Mileage– Failing engines will get significantly fewer miles per gallon

What Is Causing Engine Knocking Noises?

Picture of a car with engine failure

The most common cause of engine knocking, in general, is connected to the ability of the engine to work effectively. Engine problems are often identified as knocking sounds, also referred to as pinging. Sometimes knocking can be repaired easily, whereas others may imply serious engine damage.

Knocking sounds often occur when the air-fuel combination is incorrect. This causes fuel to burn in irregular pockets instead of uniform bursts. It may cause damage to the engine’s pistons and cylinder wall when left untreated.

In the upper cylinder head area, a knocking sound may also be caused by a lack of lubrication. Usually, this is a ticking noise made by valves and lifters that are loose or not receiving enough oil.

Why Is My Car Stalling?

If your car is stalling, then it means the engine has stopped working for any number of reasons. This may be the effect of a mechanical problem or an issue with the amount of air/fuel the car receives. Vehicles with engine problems will stall shortly after startup or while you’re driving, leaving the driver stranded.

Issues That Cause An Engine To Stall

  • Fuel Mixture Is Uneven- Mixture of fuel and air is inadequate (often happens in cold Chicago weather)
  • Failing Alternator- The alternator charges the vehicle’s battery (power needed to start the vehicle)
  • Low Fuel Pressure- Often a result of clogged fuel injectors
  • Clogged Ait Filter- Blocked airflow to the engine
  • Damaged Coolant Sensor- Some vehicles have a coolant sensor that will kill the engine if it believes the engine is overheating
  • Distributor Cap- This cap sends voltage to the spark plugs and may fail, causing the engine to stall

What Is The Repair/Rebuild Cost Of A Failed Engine?

Photo of car technician repairing an engine

It’s not easy to put an exact number on engine rebuild costs. That’s because the engine reconstruction cost is different for each engine, depending on how extensive the repair is.

The cost of parts and labor ranges between $2,500 and $4,000 for a standard engine repair. Every engine rebuild is unique and requires different repairs that change the cost of the rebuild.

The repair may not be as simple as changing out one part. The repair could be thousands more if the crankshaft is scored or if there is damage to the pistons/engine block.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Engine?

The cost of engine replacement depends on the size and complexity of the engine involved, the shipping cost at the facility you choose to do the job, and whether you substitute it with a used restored or a new engine.

New engines for a 4-cylinder start at around $4,000, for a V6 at about $5,500, and for a V8 at $7,000. The price changes based on the complexity of the engine and the vehicle brand. You’ll pay more for a luxury or performance engine compared to a cheaper domestic economy engine.

It is possible to buy a used engine for much less, often as little as $400 to $700. The automobile’s age, miles on the engine, and shipping costs from where the engine is located are the key factors influencing the price of used engines.

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

The check engine light illuminates when your vehicle’s computer assumes a problem that may impair or affect your car’s pollution control system.

One or more diagnostic problem codes are placed in the car’s machine when the light comes on. These codes will be stored in the vehicle’s computer, even if the check engine light goes out. You or your mechanic can recover the codes by using an OBD-II scanner. The OBD scanner will display the location of the problem.

If your check engine light is on, it usually indicates that the car’s pollution control system is flawed and that the vehicle pollutes the environment beyond acceptable federal requirements. A car will fail an emissions test or smog check in this condition.

Don’t confuse the check engine light with the service or maintenance lights. When a regular service is due, these lights light up. Mileage, gallons of fuel consumed, or some other form of vehicle-use calculation typically causes them.

What To Do When A Car’s Check Engine Light Appears?

Image of a mechanic preforming engine inspection

The first step is to read the check engine light code produced by the vehicle’s computer system. This is the information that the sensors in your engine have registered. It can be read via a link (OBD port) with OBD II scanners or readers, usually located under the steering column.

You still have to figure out what it means once you get the code. Type the code into a search engine, along with the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and you’ll typically get a problem summary and some advised fixes.

Merely having the code doesn’t always tell you exactly what the issue is. It might place you in the general area of the malfunction, but it also needs further diagnosis. A qualified Chicago mechanic would have the ability to diagnose the problems thoroughly and provide repair advice.

What Is An Engine Tune-Up?

Engines have evolved, and so have engine tune-ups. Today, engine tuning involves testing, diagnosing, and removing bad spark plugs, wires for spark plugs, caps for distributors, filters for gasoline, air filters, and oil filters.

Engine tune-ups also include checking pollution standards, fuel lines, plumbing, coolant hoses, and serpentine belts. Checking products such as ignition contact points, ignition timing, carburetors, and condensers are no longer needed because electronic ignitions and computers in today’s vehicles automatically change engine timing when required.

These tune-ups keep the engine running as effectively and avoid early engine failure. Routine tune-ups can also extend the life of your car. Chicago is full of auto body repair shops that can tune-up your engine and ensure it’s running properly.

What To Do If Your Engine Has Failed?

If the engine fails while driving, check for other vehicles, signal, and steer to the road’s shoulder. Engine failures do not lead to full braking or steering losses. However, you will have to steer harder and apply even higher pressure to the brake pedal.

The next step is to contact a Chicago mechanic and have the vehicle towed to their body shop. Once the vehicle is at the shop, the automotive technicians will diagnose what is affecting the engine.

Once you know what is affecting the engine, you will have to decide between repairing, rebuilding, or replacing the engine.