If your car ever breaks down or won’t start at all, it’s almost certainly some sort of engine failure. Regardless of the make of vehicle or how many miles it has done, engine problems can occur at some point. Keeping your engine well looked after with regular professional checks can help, but it’s no guarantee that the car will never break down.

Sometimes the cause is simple and other times you may be looking at a steep repair bill. If your engine service warning light appears, do not ignore it!! We can’t stress enough how important it is to get it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible, to prevent further damage. The light could indicate a number of issues so you need to identify the problem and fix it.

Here are some of the most common engine failures and what you can do to prevent them happening to your car.

image of a broken tire Overheating

Engine overheating can occur when there is a problem with the coolant or the thermostat. A leaking radiator or a clogged radiator can also be a cause of overheating. If the engine has overheated then you will more than likely need something replacing, whether it’s the thermostat or the cooling system.

Long journeys and hot weather can contribute to overheating, so always be prepared with water and coolant to top up if needed. You should also keep an eye out for any leaks under the bonnet which could indicate leakage from radiators. Motorists also have a temperature gauge near the steering wheel which lets them know if the engine is getting too hot – ignore it at your peril.

Oil Lubrication Problemsimage of an engine

If you don’t ensure the car has enough oil, you could experience catastrophic engine failure. It’s not just about topping up the oil and checking the dipstick regularly – oil starvation can be caused by a faulty oil pump or not changing the oil filter as directed. This is why it’s particularly important to get your car serviced as recommended once a year, as the oil and filters will be replaced.

Dead Battery

If your engine won’t start at all, then it’s usually down to a faulty battery. Cold weather snaps can cause batteries to go flat, so make sure you don’t put extra strain on it. Batteries will need replacing every few years, so if you’ve had a couple of non-starts then it’s time fit a new battery so you don’t get stranded somewhere.

Remember, the most common cause of engine failure is neglecting to take action when the car tells you something is wrong. Whether it’s a warning light or a strange noise under the bonnet, get it checked as soon as you can because engine repairs are some of the most expensive.

Most Common Engine Failures