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Dealing with mechanical issues in an SUV, or any other vehicle, can be frustrating. However, the possibility of premature engine failure is one of the absolute worst to deal with. This is an expensive fix for anyone’s budget, and depending on the value of the SUV, some may even discard a vehicle with an engine that has failed. However, there are several engine failure symptoms to watch out for. In addition, there are routine things owners can do to prevent premature engine failure, such as getting a car oil change.

Ways to avoid engine  damage and eventual failure 

A Honda Engine
Engine failure warning signs
Honda Engine | Arthur Gurmankin/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to Car and Driver, the first thing any SUV owner should know is that sometimes engine problems can be out of their control. However, there are specific actions to make engine failure in your SUV less likely to happen. The first, perhaps most important, is remembering that the car oil change is essential. Having the engine oil changed on schedule will help prevent most unnecessary issues.

Getting regular oil changes is essential because the engine needs proper lubrication to function. Without it, the SUV could encounter several problems. Running an SUV without oil is like a human body running without food; it may work for a while, but it will eventually crash.

It’s also important to pay attention to your car’s warning signs. For one, the low oil pressure light is not an indicator anyone wants to see. If the low oil pressure light comes on, you have less oil than your engine needs. Weirdly enough, this light could come on before the oil change light does. If so, don’t ignore it because it means you need more oil for your engine to work correctly.

SUV owners can also check their oil levels regularly. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure your vehicle has enough oil. To do so, open the vehicle hood, find and remove the dipstick, clean the end with a paper towel, put it back into its proper position, and then remove it again. You’ll see the minimum and maximum indicators on the stick, and the oil level should be at least at the minimum indicator. Also, the oil color should be caramel or tan; if it’s too dark, you need a car oil change.

Engine Failure Warning Signs

A gasoline engine low oil pressure light
A gasoline engine | Arthur Gurmankin /UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Though taking the proper precautions helps, SUV engine problems are still possible or even likely to happen at some point. However, there are many engine failure warning signs that SUV owners can watch out for beyond the low oil pressure light or the oil change light. Your SUV having less power than expected is one of the most significant warning signs of engine problems. You’ll notice if accelerating feels weaker or if the car seems less stable when driving.

Another engine failure warning sign is decreased fuel economy. Sometimes it takes a while to notice a difference, but engine problems like low oil pressure often lead to your SUV using more fuel. A few mechanical issues could cause decreased fuel economy, but it’s best to take your vehicle to be checked just in case. Of course, it sucks to spend more on gas, but ignoring it could lead to a much bigger issue.

Random noises coming from the engine area are signs of problems. These sounds often come in the form of knocking, grinding, or tapping. Also, sometimes the engine will make a more labored noise, like it’s struggling to work. If you need a car oil change, the engine in your SUV is, in fact, struggling to function.

There could also be a few more significant signs indicating you may be close to engine failure. Your engine stalling regularly is one. However, this could indicate other problems. Another big one is the engine running after turning off the ignition. If this happens, get it checked right away.

For the most part, getting regular car oil changes and not ignoring the low oil pressure light will help prevent premature engine failure. However, there are other reasons your SUV’s engine may encounter this problem. Owners shouldn’t ignore abnormalities involving their vehicle’s engine because this could lead to much bigger problems.

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