Poor maintenance often leads to engine trouble. Neglecting to check the oil is a common cause of engine issues, according to ABC News as damage can occur from very low oil levels. Oil can also degrade substantially and stop providing adequate engine lubrication.
According to Bell Performance, ethanol is a major problem for car engines because of its ability to bond with and absorb water. Engine parts such as fuel lines, cylinders and the injection system can become damaged as the water is released and corrodes them. The safe way to use ethanol is to ensure it includes fuel additives. Another common problem is not replacing fluid when it wears down. Car engines depend on fluids such as motor oil, brake fluid and clutch fluid, and these fluids need to be checked regularly to avoid damage.
Starting the car up in extremely cold weather can damage a vehicle's battery, alternator, pistons and starter, notes Bell Performance. An engine heater is a good solution for warming up the engine during cold temperatures to minimize wear and tear. ABC News notes that air filters that get dirty reduce the performance level of vehicles. Dirty air filters may cause an engine to overheat.