common motor problems

Engine Maintenance: How To Avoid Common Motor Problems


An integral part of worry-free car maintenance is keeping an eye on the motor. Engines are vulnerable to multiple factors like overheating, oil issues, and others which normally account for the majority of common motor problems. Keeping an eye on a few key parts of your car is the best way to prevent huge troubles in the long run. Read on to make sure you keep your car running and avoid the most common engine problems.

Maintenance of Ignition System

A car’s ignition system consists of several elements, designed to supply your engine with power. When you turn the key, power from the generator is transmitted to the motor through spark plugs, placed within a combustion chamber. These plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture there.

If your engine won’t turn over, this is likely an issue with the car’s ignition system. It can be caused by a faulty alternator or starter, worn spark plugs, discharged battery, and even water in the engine (after floods, for instance). Spark plugs with excessive wear can suffer from uneven electricity distribution, which can lead to an engine breakdown.

Most cars have a special signal lamp on the dashboard, indicating spark plug malfunctions. Study the owner’s manual and look up the symbol’s meaning for your car. Never ignore this warning light and check the condition of your spark plugs as soon as possible.

Fuel System Maintenance

common motor problems

Issues related to the fuel system also contribute to common motor problems. Loss of power, faulty or clogged fuel filters, broken fuel lines, as well as rough and irregular idling are crucial factors leading to expensive engine repair bills. 

Paying attention to the fuel system is vital for successful car engine maintenance, and can help prevent issues in the future. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a loose gas cap, but you may need professional help to diagnose the issue.

Engine Stalling

One of the most dangerous engine problems is stalling. This can happen because of a clogged air filter or lack of fuel. It often comes suddenly and you can’t accelerate or continue driving. To prevent stalling on the highway and causing a hazard for motorists on the same route, make sure you aren’t low on fuel. Running out of fuel can damage your fuel pump and other critical components, and is easily the most avoidable issue on this list.

Strange Smoke or Steam from Motor or Exhaust

common motor problems

There can be a bunch of car engine problems when you see dark smoke or steam coming off the exhaust. This can inform you about the blown head gasket, damaged rings, broken pistons, or low-quality oil that doesn’t burn. To define the cause of a problem, you’ll have to inspect your car or schedule an appointment with a qualified car mechanic.


Overheating is the most common motor problem. It happens mostly in summer, as during hot seasons battery liquid evaporates faster, but can also occur in winter (when the temperature amplitude is high). The best cure is to keep an eye on the coolant and make sure the clamps or cables on the battery aren’t corroded or disjointed. Don’t forget about regular maintenance: it’s much better to prevent the problem than throw a lot of money at fixing it.

Bottom Line

Following these notes will help you ensure your car’s running condition and avoid common motor problems. If you’re looking for your first or next car and deciding on the model, we’re ready to help. Salvagebid has thousands of cars available at prices you set. Register with us to place your bid and upgrade your membership to participate in live auctions. To complete your registration, you have to upload a copy of your government-issued ID and place a refundable security deposit. We can answer all your questions and help you navigate the bidding process at + 1 (360) 347-1300 (6:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday) or via our online form.

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