A little bit of understanding about your vehicle’s engine can go a long way towards fixing it yourself, knowing how to explain the problem to a licensed mechanic and even determine if you are getting a good deal on the purchase of a used car. To understand some of the basics you will want to know what the parts are and do, what some common problems are and how to do some simple repairs.
One of the main things you should understand is how an internal combustion engine works. These engines have a number of cylinders, usually between four and eight, which are pneumatic in nature, meaning that a piston is pushed or pulled through the cylinder by the pressure from fluids and gases. This piston then moves other parts to generate power, turning the axles, recharging the battery and much more. Because fluids, gasses and particulates are created by burning gas, a pneumatic drain valve is incorporated in the engine to remove them.
Some common problems that you can have with your vehicle’s engine include pitted cylinders, a stuck drain valve or even electrical shorts between the battery and the starter. Without the electricity from the starter, the engine cannot spark off the first combustion and will not turn over. Most people diagnose car problems by telling a licensed mechanic which warning lights are on, the sounds or smells coming from the engine and any changes in how it handles. For instance, a gurgling sound coming from your engine means that air and fluids are mixing somewhere, usually in the cooling system.
The best way to avoid a large mechanic’s bill is to perform regular maintenance and some small repairs on your own. You can do this by regularly checking the fluid levels for motor oil, antifreeze and even window washing fluid. It is a good idea to walk around your vehicle to look for puddles of fluid as well as to check the tire pressure and keep an eye on any chipped paint or door dings. Because each make and model of vehicle is different, you can find guides online or in your owner’s manual for how to replace sparkplugs, repair leaking hoses and much more.
Understanding how your vehicle is designed to work can help you better diagnose and fix any problems which may come up during operation. This can help you save money on a large repair bill because you can make smaller repairs before the problem gets too bad. Some common problems include dashboard warning lights coming on, low fluid levels and even pitting in the cylinders.