Look Out for These Engine Warning Signs when Driving in Winter

Nov 28, 2019 10:48 AM EST | Staff Reporter

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Look out for these Engine Warning Signs when driving in winter
(Photo : Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash)
If these engine warning signs crop up while driving, check if the car can run further. Knowing these signs are critical especially in wintertime.

During wintertime, even the best winterizing is not foolproof, because by nature combustion engines are problematic when it is cold. Even the best-maintained car can be done in by excessive cold temperatures, especially, if the car is exposed in the open or not parked in a garage. We need to double-check and never take for granted these early engine warning signs

It does happen unexpectedly when driving along, something starts getting weird, with the car. When this happens, the only choice is to know, if the problem can be remedied easily. Chances are if you are not a mechanic or an experienced troubleshooter, the car will soon stop running. Either that or you can force the car to keep on running, which could do more harm than good!

One way to mitigate damage to the car when driving is to know what these signs are. They are more on basic car functions, that seem abnormal. Aside from setting the warning flares to let other cars know, you are parked especially on low visibility situations and the car must stop, here are some of the early warning signs to look out for.

1. The engine icon is lighting up like a rave party.

 If the dash is okay, then the engine lights start flashing like crazy. It should not happen if there is nothing wrong unless there is a problem that is causing it to light up. 

2. Power feels sluggish and the engine pull is weakening.

 Most gas engines need to burn fuel to create power, if there is a problem with the fuel-air mix, then a power lag comes next. Another is there might be a leak in the engine manifold or in the exhaust system. 

Read: Winter Driving Tips: What to Do When The Car Will Not Start During Cold Mornings

3. The car uses more gas than the usual mileage.

 Answers to this problem are to clean the fuel system or have a tune-up if a service station is nearby. Otherwise, this is not a serious problem though fuel blockage can be solved easily.

 4. Every sound is coming from the hood.

  Noise is not normal for a car, and the louder means trouble. Either keep on going or stop to avoid further damage to the engine. Pullover and get a tow, which might be hard in the wintertime.


5. There is stalling when driving the car.

Similar when a car loses power, stalling threatens to stop the engine from running. A very bad time when wheels need constant power to keep traction and engage safeties like ABS with traction control. 

 6. Smells are coming through into the cabin.

 If there is a leak in the exhaust system or the engine manifold, an odor will be smelt inside the cabin. Carbon monoxide is dangerous, when in winter this should noted and checked!


7. The engine is running with ignition at off!

These problems can be attributed to improper fuel is used, with a bad solenoid that needs replacement or repair. If the car is old, then it might be the carburettor as the problem. Better find the nearest shop or call a tow if the car breaks down.


Related Article: Eight Engine Performance Warning Signs

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