Common engine problems and their solutions in Kenya
The engine is the heart of the car. If it has a problem, then that means the whole car has a problem. Engine problems are especially critical and sometimes, they might render your car immobile if they are not checked out and fixed in good time. The above engine problems are the most common and in this article, we look forward to explaining each of them in depth and getting to understand how to solve them.
However, if they tend to persist or get more complicated, it is best advised you see a professional mechanic check out your car engine. identifying the common engine problems and their solutions in Kenya is the first step toward knowing how to solve them.
Common engine problems
- The engine won’t start
- Steam/smoke from the engine
- Water in the engine
- Lack of a coolant
- Oil issues
- Abnormally loud engine
- Battery issues.
3 common signs of a problematic car engine and what they mean
|crazy noises from the engine
|the transmission system is faulty, and engine detonations
|smell from engine
|burning oil, clutch burning, or faulty brakes
|engine surge or stall
|clogged fuel filters, foiled spark plugs
Before anything else, it is always important to look out for signs of problematic car engines and have the problems examined and dealt with by a mechanic. Sometimes, the car might seem okay and you might keep postponing the regular service, until one day the engine just stops, and who knows, that might be the last time you drive your car. So, let’s check out the most common engine problems and their solutions in Kenya.
It is common to have some heat generated in the engine after a long time of driving. However, when it gets more than the usual small heat generated, there might be a bigger problem coming your way. A constantly overheating engine is likely to have severe damage or failure later on. Here are the main causes of overheating in a car engine;
- Low coolant level
- Clogged hose
- A burnt-out radiator
- A leakage in the coolant system
- A breakage in the engine thermostat.
- Blown up head gasket
- Crack in the head gasket
Pro tip: Do not try to fix any of these problems by yourself if you do not have any mechanic experience. They might get worse and cause more damage. They might cost a lot more!
2. The engine won’t start
This is far much the most common engine problem in cars. When you wake up to a car engine that won’t start, there are a few things you should check out first. If the ignition is on but the engine does not crank, that might mean your battery is low and therefore can’t ignite. However, the moment you turn on the engine, the engine cranks but the car doesn’t start, which means, there might be a fuel or ignition problem. Identifying those problems like so would help you know where to start. This problem is common and the following might be its causes;
- Blockage in the fuel filter
- Corroded battery cables
- Discharged battery
- Starter motor relay failure
- Ignition switch breakdown
All the above can be the cause of the failure of an engine to start.
Sometimes, however, the engine could start, run for a few minutes then stop again, this might be still one of these problems but you need to identify the symptoms and seek mechanical advice first.
Pro tip: do not force the ignition too many times if the engine won’t start. That might result in damage to the ignition system.
3. Steam/ smoke from the engine
This is usually the most shocking of all car engine problems. A smoking engine is never a good signal at all. If such a problem arises, it is best advised that you immediately take your car to the repair garage. The main reason for this is that the problem is not easy to fix unless some components of the engine are replaced or repaired. That you might not be able to do yourself unless you have a good experience doing it.
Here are the main causes of smoke or steam from the engine;
- Use of the wrong oil grade for your engine
- Worn out gaskets
- Crankcase issues
- Damaged rings
- Damaged cylinders.
As you might have noticed, all these are vital components of the engine, mostly internal components. If not handled in good time, other parts of the engine might end up being affected too. That means more trouble.
Pro tip: Take your car to an auto repair shop immediately if you notice smoke or steam from your engine.
4. Water in the engine
Water has the potential of damaging your engine completely. If you drive through high waters or drive in a heavy rain storm, such problems might arise. What happens is that your engine is likely to take in water through the intake manifold. Sometimes, the water can reach the combustion chambers which might cause the bending of the piston rods or damage the spark plugs, rendering your engine damaged. You absolutely do not want any water in your engine. Avoid driving in places where your engine can be exposed to water to secure your engine. It can cause the following problems;
- Damage in the combustion chambers
- Breakage of piston rods
- Damage to the pistons
- Filtration problems.
Pro tip: Always secure the engine from getting into contact with water as it might cause engine damage.
5. Lack of a coolant
Engine problems could often arise from coolant system issues. The coolant might get contaminated or might get depleted if you go for a long time without changing it. The coolant is better fleshed out if the engine and entirely replaced after every 30,000 miles of driving or in simple terms, three years. This might cost anywhere between Ksh. 10, 000 to 17,000. Comparatively, this is better than having to fix a number of issues arising from the same later. The following might be the causes of coolant depletion or shortage;
- A leakage in the coolant system
- Damaged plugs
- Damaged engine thermostat
- Damaged radiators
- Clogged hoses
- Broken head gasket.
Pro tip: Replace the coolant every 3 years maximum period.
6. Oil issues
Oil replacement is one of the most commonly recommended car service tips. Oil issues of course result from contamination of oil without replacement as well as oil leakages. Replacing your engine oil is cheap and simple to carry out. However if you fail to replace the engine a few times, the engine eventually starts failing and finally stops. To make sure you have a smoothly running engine, changing the oil regularly is the first step. The main problem that could cause oil issues in your car is oil leakage or contamination which can be easily fixed.
Pro tip: always use synthetic oil for your engine. It is more efficient and better for your engine health.
A car that stalls while driving is a dangerous one. You should be very careful with it and make sure it is checked ASAP. If it is a busy street or a rocky or hilly road, you are bound to cause a major accident with a stalled car. It is mostly caused by acute engine problems such as the following:
- Fuel filter damage
- Fuel line problems
- Spark plugs damage
Pro tip: Do not drive a car that has shown any signs of hesitation or stalling before taking it for a professional examination.
8. An abnormally loud engine
You might have encountered this so many times along the road. People tend to ignore such issues most time. However, they could be signaling something bigger than your car aging. Loud noise from the engine could be a sign of:
- A worn-out timing belt
- A weak starter motor
These two are most common with knocks and weird vibrations along with the noises that come from the engine.
9. Battery issues
Battery issues can cause your engine not to start. It is also one of the most common engine problems in Kenya. The battery is a vital organ of the engine and it needs to be attended to as soon as possible in case it has any kind of problem. Check for the following if your battery has problems:
- Battery terminals
- The battery connectors
- The level of power in the battery.
Pro tip: Go for a dry cell battery for your car. It works better than acid batteries and retains power for longer periods of time.
Common engine problems and their solutions in Kenya- FAQs
There are a ton of engine problems but the most common include:
The engine won’t start
Steam/smoke from the engine
Water in the engine
Lack of a coolant
Abnormally loud engine
The most likely problem that could cause engine failure could be inadequate oil in the engine.
It is therefore recommended that you check your engine oil levels regularly and add more if needed.
Check your engine light, exhaust condition, irregular noise from the engine, overheating, and any oil patches.
be prompt in responding to any unusual behavior from your engine. make sure your service your engine more frequently and lastly take good care of your car at all times.
A low battery, improper positioning of the spark plugs, inappropriate gases in the gasoline, and clogging in the system could cause poor engine performance.
All these are the most common engine problems and their solutions in Kenya. It is better to have them fixed for a few thousand shillings rather than wait to have your car become a heap of useless metal later. Yeah, that’s right, you might lose a fortune if you don’t work on them in time.