When your “check engine” light turns on, alarm bells in your mind might start going off. These can be exacerbated when the engine fails and you’re stuck either replacing your vehicle or the entire engine. While sometimes this is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to help prevent this from happening. A big part of this is knowing what the top causes of engine failure are, a few of which are listed below.

1. Leaking Oil

You might notice a few oil stains in the driveway but brush them off as stains that were there before you moved in. However, if these are caused by your car, that could mean you’re losing quite a bit of oil without realizing it. Unfortunately, this means less oil for your engine to run, which can cause it to dysfunction over time. To help avoid this, always pay attention to stains in your driveway or anywhere else you notice them where your car has been. Brown or yellow are signs of oil while other colors are signs of other fluids that might be leaking.

2. Not Changing Your Oil

Oil is the most important source of energy for your vehicle, so you must make sure you have regular oil changes done. If you skip a few or never pay attention to your engine, this can result in failure later on. If you’re not sure how often you’re supposed to have oil changes done, check your owner’s manual.

Tip: It’s recommended to use high quality synthetic oil when having your oil changed. However, check with your owner’s manual to make sure what type of oil is best for your vehicle.

3. Checking Your Engine Later

Your “check engine” light has come on, but nothing seems to be wrong, so why go to the mechanic? This is never the way to think about this light. Even if it is a simple malfunction, such as with a fuse causing the light to come on, you need to know for sure. If something is causing engine failure, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. This will cost you more money down the road and can lead to possibly needing a replacement in the very near future.

4. Engine Flooding

When you drive through areas with extremely heavy rain or flooding, this can cause damage to your engine. The only way to know for certain whether or not your engine has been damaged is by going to a professional to have an inspection.

5. Ignoring Coolant Flushing

How often do you flush the engine coolant in your vehicle? If you don’t do this every few years, this can cause your engine to easily overheat, which can lead to failure. If you do notice that your car has been overheating, then stop driving it right away and take it to a mechanic. This may help prevent engine failure, although it’s not guaranteed if the damage is bad enough.

What Should You Do if Your Engine Fails?

In the event of car engine failure, go to a mechanic as soon as possible. You may be able to have repairs done or you may need to choose a more expensive alternative. By speaking with someone who has experience, you’ll save time and can avoid the stress of not knowing what’s going on.