How to Diagnose a Weak Car Engine

When you first bought your car, you could feel its glorious power as you pressed the gas pedal. But now that your car has aged, it may feel like it has lost some of its former glory out on the road. It is possible for car engines to experience a level of decline, even in new vehicles. There are signs you can look for to better understand the condition of your car engine and determine if it needs professional attention.

Continue reading to learn how to diagnose a weakening or declining car engine and where to take your vehicle in for top-notch automotive tune-ups and repairs in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Engine Repair and Service 317-475-1846
Indianapolis Engine Repair and Service 317-475-1846

Signs That Your Car Engine is Losing Power

There are several reasons why your car engine might be losing power or performance value. Before the modernization of the fuel system, most vehicles were manufactured with carburetors and mechanical fuel pumps. Accordingly, engine power loss was easily diagnosed as a clogged filter or vapor lock. With today’s sophisticated exhaust and fuel system technologies, it can be more difficult pinpointing the underlying cause of a failing car engine.

Engine Power Loss Signs and What They Mean

To ensure you pick up on signs of engine trouble sooner rather than later, keep your eye out for some of the most common tell-tale signs. Whether you experience these scenarios every time you drive or intermittently, it is strongly encouraged to seek out professional auto service to inspect your vehicle for safety and performance issues.

Gas Pedal Inefficacy

If you feel like your gas pedal is not responding at the same rate or in the same way as it used to, it could indicate an issue with your fuel system. The most common fuel system malfunctions are caused by a clogged fuel injector, fuel line leak, gunky fuel filter, or a faulty fuel pump.

Steering Wheel Movement

Does your steering wheel shake vigorously while your vehicle is in idle or coming to a rest? A trembling steering wheel is often a sign of engine power loss, and it typically happens as a result of your cylinders misfiring. What causes cylinders to misfire? Most commonly, spark loss, dropped compression, or imbalanced air-to-fuel ratios.

Poor Incline Performance

Do you notice that your vehicle begins to show signs of struggle as you drive up an incline? If your car slows down as it courses uphill even if you are pressing on the gas, it could be due to a number of underlying mechanical problems. But in most cases, cars that struggle on inclines have a clogged fuel filter. Fortunately, this is a quick an inexpensive repair.

Check Engine Light

If your Check Engine Light is illuminated on your dashboard, it be a warning that your engine is losing power. The underlying issue could be a faulty catalytic converter, mass airflow sensor, O2 sensor, or spark plug wires. Sometimes, the issue related to a defective positive crankcase ventilation valve (PCV), which is a part of the vehicle’s emissions control system.

Not sure what’s causing your car’s performance or efficiency issues? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional automotive maintenance service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also offer a generous selection of automotive service and repair coupons, discounts, and deals!

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service
Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

5 Automotive Warning Lights You Need to Know

There are many types of warning lights that will notify you when a mechanical issue is underway within your vehicle, including problems with tire pressure, the engine, the brakes, and more. The exact types of warning lamps you have in your ride depends on the actual make and model. Older model vehicles may only have one or two types of warning lights, while newer models are typically manufactured to have most, if not all, of the most common warning lights.

The top 5 most common automotive warning lights are for anti-lock brakes, engine, oil pressure, tire pressure, and battery. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about them all.

Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

Screen display of car status warning light on dashboard panel symbols which show the fault indicators

Top 5 Automotive Warning Lights

💡 ABS Lights – ABS stands for anti-lock brakes. This means when a driver needs to suddenly brake, the ABS system will prevent the wheels from locking and losing traction on the road. It allows a vehicle to retain tractive contact with the road in order to come to a sudden stop. The ABS system is an important one for all vehicles because it significantly reduces the chances of wrecking a car or causing an accident. It is also great for winter weather and precipitation.

💡 Check Engine Light – Most drivers are familiar with the check engine light, also known as the malfunctioning indicator lamp (MIL). When this light illuminates, it could be for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor to serious. For example, a lit check engine light can signify something small like a loose gas cap, or it can signify something much more serious like a needed catalytic converter replacement. If this light comes on, have your vehicle inspected by a licensed car mechanic as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended to not drive a car when the engine light is on.

💡 Oil Pressure Light – This light comes on when a vehicle’s oil levels are low. A car needs motor oil to keep the engine lubricated and prevent overheating. Without proper oil levels, a car or truck can experience significant and irreversible damage to its engine. This is a very costly repair that can easily be avoided with regular factory scheduled maintenance.

💡 Battery Lights – There are several reasons why a vehicle’s battery light may illuminate. It could signify a problem with the alternator drive belt, the slack starter, or complete alternator failure. These are serious and should be addressed immediately before driving the vehicle again.

💡 Tire Pressure Lights – When this light comes on, a driver can assume that their tires need more air. Low tire pressure can reduce gas mileage, but more seriously, can cause tire blowouts, hydroplaning, and car wrecks. Always be sure your tires are in good condition and full of the appropriate amount of air. Never over-fill tires with air because it can cause them to pop or blowout as well.

Trusted Indianapolis Auto Service at Affordable Prices

Northeast Auto Service

Northeast Auto Service 317-475-1846

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 when your automotive lights come on. We are ASE licensed and certified Indianapolis automotive shop that provides a wide range of foreign and domestic auto repair services, as well as, free estimates, automotive service coupons, and more. We offer quality service at the most affordable prices in town. Request a free estimate, today and see for yourself!

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Your vehicle is more than just a valuable asset; it is a significant investment. For this reason, regular automotive maintenance should be at the top of your priority list. It is a primary part of protecting your investment. If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, reduce costly repairs, and ensure your safety and the safety of others, factory scheduled maintenance is key. Common consequences of poor vehicle maintenance are engine problems.

One of the first indicators that your engine is having issues is an illuminated check engine light, appropriately named the malfunction indicator lamp. It happens in a blink of an eye. One minute your dashboard is clear, and the next minute the check engine light is lit up. If this has happened to you, it is important to take prompt action and diagnose the problem. Continue reading to learn why your check engine light may have come on and what you can do to confirm the true problem.

Car Engine Service 317-475-1846

Car Engine Service 317-475-1846

Did Your Check Engine Light Just Come On?

There are several reasons why a check-engine light illuminates, all of which range in severity from very minor to quite major. Some causes of an illuminated engine light are very easy to repair and can be solved on your own. Other causes can be more serious and require professional automotive service. For example, a loose gas cap can cause a check engine light to appear. This is obviously something you can fix yourself by simply tightening the cap back up! On the other hand, a check engine light can come on if the catalytic converter is deteriorated or faulty. As one of the most significant parts in a vehicle, it would require professional service by a licensed mechanic.

Additional Causes for a Lit Check Engine Light:

⚙ Loose Gas Cap
⚙ Faulty Oxygen Sensors
⚙ Wet or Flooded Engine
⚙ Faulty Air Flow Sensors
⚙ Blown Gaskets
⚙ Faulty Spark Plugs and Wires
⚙ Pinched Fuel-Injector O-Rings
⚙ Cracked Hoses
⚙ Loose Manifolds
⚙ Sticky Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valves
⚙ And More

Do You Need Engine Repair?

If your check engine light is on, do not waste another minute ignoring it! Quickly contact a licensed mechanic for professional automotive repair and diagnostic services. They retain the proper equipment, resources, and training to accurately read check engine light codes. You can also purchase code readers at your local auto parts store that plug right into your car and read its data. You then look the codes up online to see what’s keeping your check engine light on. If it’s something easy like a loose gas cap or O2 sensors, you can maybe do it yourself; but for more complicated issues, you will need professional service and inspection.

Indianapolis Car Engine Repair and Service

Northeast Auto Service

Northeast Auto Service 317-475-1846

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis car engine service and repair you can trust. Our ASE certified car mechanics provide a wide range of automotive services for all make and model vehicles, foreign and domestic. Call 317-475-1846 to schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime. Don’t forget to ask us about our auto repair coupons and discounts!

Early Diagnosis of Engine Problems is Important

Indianapolis Engine Repair 317-475-1846

Indianapolis Engine Repair 317-475-1846

For almost any situation, it’s true that catching and repairing a problem early on is helpful because it reduces the inevitable buildup of damage down the line. This cause-and-effect theory also applies to automotive engines. Early diagnosis of engine problems is important because during this time, engines are more repairable. If a problem is neglected, it will worsen, and eventually cost a driver thousands of dollars in repairs. And if it becomes severe, they could possibly require a complete engine replacement.

For many, this would mean that their vehicles are totaled because the cost of a new car engine is more than the value of their vehicle. To avoid the possibility of having to buy a new car engine, be sure you are detecting and addressing problems early on.

Common Signs of Engine Trouble

The most common sign of engine trouble is an illuminated check engine light. This is usually your vehicle’s first attempt at warning you that something is wrong. Although it could also just mean that your gas cap is loose, a check engine light is a good indicator that your vehicle is experiencing a problem that is related to the engine. When this light comes on, it is time to call your local mechanic for diagnostic service.

Another common sign of engine trouble is strange noise. Your car engine should purr and trill, not rumble and roar. If your car is making strange sounds or loud noises, it could be a major clue that your engine is in trouble. Frequent engine trouble sounds include knocking, banging, thudding, grinding, squealing, and hissing.

Aside from check engine lights and strange sounds, be on the lookout for unusual smells. If you can smell odors like burnt rubber, smoke, gasoline, burning carpet, rotten eggs, and even maple syrup, you can bet there is a problem under the hood. In this case, you would need to take your vehicle into an auto shop for service and repair.

A big red flag for engine trouble is smoking or excessive emissions. If your car is producing large amounts of smoke, either from the engine or muffler, it is in need of some critical repair. Driving a vehicle in this condition is extremely dangerous, so it is strongly encouraged to pull over and call a tow truck to take you to your mechanic.

Indianapolis Automotive Service

Northeast Auto Service

Northeast Auto Service 317-475-1846

Call Northeast Auto at 317-475-1846 for car engine repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are conveniently located on East 65th Street, just off of Binford Boulevard. Our ASE certified mechanics provide a wide range of auto repair services for all make and model vehicles, foreign and domestic. We also offer auto repair coupons and discounts! Call 317-475-1846 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis auto service, today.

How to Detect Transmission Problems

Your transmission speaks up when it’s not feeling well. So when something is wrong, you will get the message. And since your transmission is among the most vital components in your vehicle, it is wise to listen. Fortunately, it is not as difficult as you think to diagnose basic transmission malfunctions on your own. Continue reading to learn how to detect transmission problems in your car or truck, and what to do if you discover an issue.

Loud or Strange Noises

When your car is being verbal, it is best to pay attention. Different sounds can mean different things. In gear, strange sounds generally indicate manageable problems, like low fluids and dirty filters. If your vehicle is noisy in neutral (whining, clunking, and humming), then you may have serious mechanical problems like a worn reverse idle gear or worn gear teeth and bearings. Mechanical problems are likely to require part replacements, so it is important to take your vehicle into a licensed mechanic if you hear sounds like this when your gears are in neutral.


Whenever you see fluid leaking from your vehicle, you have reason to be alarmed. And it is critical to give it attention as soon as you are aware of any leak. Detecting a transmission fluid leak is easy since transmission fluid is red, translucent, and sweet-smelling. If you see a suspicious liquid with these characteristics, then it’s probably transmission fluid. In most cases, transmission fluid leaks are a result of a more serious issue so it is necessary to bring your car into an auto repair shop for professional service. If you check on your transmission fluid, and it is dark or smells burnt, it is time replace it with fresh fluid.

Burning Smell

When you can smell burnt transmission fluid, which smells a little sweet, it is a sign of overheating. One of the common causes for this is low transmission fluid, but it can be caused by other issues too, such as dirty filters or leak. This problem requires professional service from a licensed mechanic.

Check Engine Light

When your check engine light illuminates, it can mean a long list of things. And this can be frustrating. You must look for other clues to give you an indication of why it came on. Sometimes a simple open gas cap is the cause, while other times it can indicate something more serious. In terms of your transmission, the check engine light might come on if your vehicle’s computer picks up on some irregularities in the engine. An auto repair shop has the proper diagnostic equipment to identify the reason for your check engine light lighting up.

Indianapolis Transmission Repair

Northeast Auto Service

Northeast Auto Service 317-475-1846

Call Northeast Auto at 317-475-1846 for Indianapolis transmission repair you can trust. We are ASE certified car mechanics that have decades of experience servicing and repairing domestic and import vehicles. We are a full-service shop that offers a wide range of factory scheduled maintenance and repair, all at the most competitive prices in town. We also offer auto repair coupons! Call 317-475-1846 to request a free estimate for transmission service in Indianapolis, Indiana today.