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Recognizing the Signs of Vehicle Engine Damage

Working Hours
  • Mon 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Tue 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wed 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Thu 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Fri 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed

Recognizing the Signs of Vehicle Engine Damage

It's not always easy to recognize when your vehicle is suffering from engine damage as symptoms can be overlooked and seen as "normal." While not all sounds and smells may threaten the life of your engine, there are some obvious warning signs that require a vehicle inspection right away, according to the Car Care Council.

"Early diagnosis of engine damage can most likely be treated, but it is important to be aware of potentially damaging symptoms and have the vehicle inspected if something doesn't seem right," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "By acting quickly and making necessary repairs as soon as possible, you could be saving yourself from the cost and hassle of breaking down along the road."

One of the signs of engine trouble is an illuminated check engine light. This light indicates that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. Ignoring the check engine light can negatively impact your fuel economy or cause damage resulting in more costly repairs.

Many motorists are familiar with the noises their vehicles make on a daily basis. However, any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate a problem, including a high-pitched squeal, grinding or thumping. Sounds under the hood, such as hissing, can also indicate that your vehicle is in need of attention.

Although all cars burn fossil fuels that create undesired emissions, these odors should remain outside of the car. Unusual smells that could signal engine damage include: burnt rubber, hot oil, gasoline, sweet smell of syrup, burning carpet and rotten eggs. When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it.

Another symptom of engine damage is excessive amounts of smoke or steam. Although some smoke is normal, excessive amounts of dark smoke in particular indicates that oil is leaking into the combustion chamber and is being burned along with the gasoline.

To help you stay on track with essential auto care intervals, sign up for the Car Care Council free custom service schedule.

Source: Car Care Council

What People Say About Us

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    , 08/10/2021

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Dale's Automotive! First, they understand that each vehicle has a person and their lifestyle attached to it! That's so much more important than just being able to do repairs and maintenance! Two Cadillacs, three Lexus, one Toyota, three Chevrolets, one Honda's my personal list of vehicles that my family and I have entrusted to the hands of Dale's mechanics to keep our valuable transportation safe and sound and on the road as both my family and our cars and trucks age! They know what they are doing period! Here's the best part. They absolutely will not overcharge you! As a matter of fact, time after time they have saved me money compared to a traditional dealerships overwhelming hourly rates and even steeper price mark up on parts. These guys are great. And I don't recall any service that they could not provide! Inspection, oil and filter, tires, brakes, engine analysis, emissions, air conditioning, electrical issues are all within their grasps! Thank you Dale and Family (that's how they function), for all that you've done for us down through the years!

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    I highly recommend Dales Automotive. It's a family run repair shop, and I've been going to them for nearly 10 years now. My parents have been getting their cars repaired here for longer than that. You see, I don't trust mechanics...but I definitely trust Dale. I drive an older car, which means I need a trustworthy mechanic who won't charge me for more than I need, and he doesn't. I dropped my car off about 2 weeks ago because I noticed my breaks felt squishy and I wasn't stopping quickly enough. (I usually drop my car off the night before and pick it up before they close.) At first glance, they couldn't really find anything wrong, so they called me to find out exactly what it was doing. I explained to them how it was acting and they put it up in the air to recheck it. They found out the problem and fixed it and my breaks are good as new! They always take good care of my vehicle, and will let me know (in english) when something looks like it's going to need to be repaired in the future. I've never been charged for something I didn't need...unlike other places. Sure, it can be expensive...but I don't feel like they're using me. Some things are just more costly to repair, especially when my car has over 200,000 miles on it! But thankfully they accept the autopride card. That thing is a lifesaver. It allows me to make payments over the period of several months...interest free.

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    I will never go anywhere else with my car again. I came here after taking my car to Monroe Muffler Break to have my oil changed. Monroe cracked my oil pan while changing my oil, all of the oil leaked out, and not knowing any of this I drove. When my oil light went on I panicked and drove back there where I was treated awfully and told it was my fault. They told me that I needed to buy a new oil pan which is very expensive. As a full-time student with no income I had no idea what to do or what kind of damage that I had done to my car driving on it with no oil. Panicked, upset, and not knowing anything about cars I had my car taken here to Dales. I was treated wonderfully and my car was taken excellent care of. They were able to fix my oil pan and assure me that my car was ok. Every single time that I need something done on my car, they do their best to squeeze me in. These men do excellent work and really care about what they are doing. If there is anyway for me to get my car to Dales, I will continue to return time and again.

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    This shop has consistently provided excellent service at great prices. They've always been very friendly and accommodating. They do only the work requested, without digging for other issues that may or may not actually exist. Wonderful local business!

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    Knowledge, integrity, and determination to do the job right. That's what you will find at Dale's Automotive. And reasonable prices, too. I know that sounds a bit like a commercial, but it's all true. Sadly, it is NOT true of the vast majority of big company service places that loudly advertise their typically terrible service (I'm looking at YOU Tires Plus!).

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    Thanks for getting the inspection done! And I really appreciate you telling me which stuff didn't need to be replaced right away, saving me hundreds in the process! And Dale, thanks for letting me drive my car home with you in tow to drive it back to the shop so I didn't need to call a cab from your shop, that was priceless!

Call us for service: 717-564-5110

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