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Signs Your Car Needs Engine Servicecar needs engine service

What’s one of the most panic-inducing things that can happen on your car’s dashboard indicator panel? If you said the “check engine” light illuminating, we agree. Millions of drivers know the sense of dread that washes over them when that small light suddenly blinks to life. Fortunately, at Escondido German Auto in Escondido, CA we have the skills and tools needed to diagnose these issues, but we still want all of our clients to know the signs of when a car needs engine service.

More Than a Light

If you see that light, it is a clear sign you need immediate engine service in Escondido, but there are other signs that engine service or engine repair is on the horizon. Let’s consider some major indicators that you may needs engine service soon:

Exhaust smoke

While this comes from the tail end of the car, the exhaust may smoke because there is oil leaking from the engine and down on to the heated parts below. If you also detect a burning smell when the car is smoking, it is a sign that your car needs engine service.

Smoke under the hood

The car must never have smoke coming from the hood. This can mean many things, but if you see that the temperature gauge is climbing and there is smoke, pull over and allow it to cool down. Your car most definitely needs engine service immediately.


Cars with leaks are common, but if the leak is towards the front and has a darker or reddish color, it could be engine oil. This is a clear indicator you require engine repair.

Transmission trouble

Does the car struggle to get to normal speeds? Does it make odd sounds or seem to surge forward all of the sudden? This means there could be an engine issue.


This is a big sign that repairs are needed, and if the engine seems to be making odd sounds, racing, or even vibrating, get it to our garage immediately.

Contact Escondido German Auto for Auto Service

If you have additional questions about the signs that our care needs engine service, or about any of the other services mentioned here, give us a call at our Escondido, CA office at 760-291-8520. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly. To learn more about engine service, read our engine service overview blog.

  • Great Service. Alex was friendly and helpful.

     Eric B.
    Audi A8
  • "I actually look forward to getting my car serviced at German Auto. I love the clean and comfortable waiting area, stocked with good reading material, coffee, waters, and snacks. The people are absolutely professional, warm, and friendly."

    Deidre C.

    Volkswagen Beetle
  • What stood out the most was the guest service! Such a friendly staff-front of the house as well as the auto mechanics. Didn't feel pressured for money, genuinely took care of me. Thanks Escondido German Auto, you've got my loyalty and recommendation!

    Rochell H.

    Volkswagon Jetta
  • "I always enjoy bringing my Mini here for service. The whole shop does a great job of ensuring that my car is functioning properly. All my issues are addressed and won't hesitate to answer any questions that I may have. I always recommend them to everyone who has a vehicle that they service. I will continue to bring my Mini here."

    -Renee C.

    Mini Cooper
  • "I could not give this shop and the people that work there higher praise and kudos! This was my first visit after having used another shop for many years. The attitude of all who helped me including being given a free loaner car just blew me away. I would absolutely use this shop again and would recommend them to anyone without hesitation. Keep up the great work and great friendly attitude guys! In this day and age where there are so many other shops to choose from, great customer service definitely makes a difference!"

    -James Walsh

    German Auto