Heart in Hands

What Causes Engine Failure?

Vehicle engines are highly engineered to perform well with relatively little maintenance. While oil changes, timing belt replacement and 30/60/90K maintenance are all necessary parts of an engine's life there are problems that can arise that will leave you stranded and wondering what went wrong. Hopefully it doesn't get to the point of complete engine failure as you will have likely had numerous symptoms of trouble. But if your engine does bring your car to a grinding halt it is likely because it didn't receive the maintenance it needed or simply because it has racked up many miles, wearing out parts along the way. These are three common things that can cause an engine to seize up.

Overheating Problems

If the engine is allowed to run at temperatures hotter than it is designed to it will begin to overheat. If this happens it can cause several parts to fail. Overheating often occurs due a coolant leak from coming from the radiator, a cooling system home or system or even inside the engine itself. Other issues that cause overheating include a faulty water pump, a bad electric fan, or a failed thermostat. It is necessary to have your cooling system flushed and refilled according to the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, as this will help prevent overheating issues as well. Overheating can cause blown head gaskets, cracked blocks and other problems, both of which lead to bigger trouble down the road.


Abnormal combustion in the engine will produce excess heat and pressure within the combustion chamber. This means that fuel will be combusting when it should not be, which will often cause a loud knocking noise. The most common reason detonation occurs is the failure of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. This system is what ensures a proper air/fuel mixture so the engine will properly operate. It may also be caused by using incorrect spark plugs, bad ignition timing, the use of low octane fuel or running a hot engine.

Improper Engine Lubrication

Likely most common causes of complete engine failure is improper lubrication, meaning there is not enough oil in the engine. The lack of oil will result in excessive metal on metal contact between the engine's moving parts, which can cause major damage to them. The most common causes of engine oil starvation is a faulty oil pump or general high mileage wear and tear. Of course failing to change the oil can also be a culprit of this problem.

Be sure to keep up with your scheduled auto maintenance to avoid these problems can often result in major engine damage. If you're suffering from a lack of power you may need an engine rebuild or replacement. For professional engine repair in Vancouver head to David's Auto Repair. Our technicians are highly trained in diagnosing problems using modern equipment in order to provide fast, accurate repairs. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and be sure to check out our special offers.

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