While driving your car, you may have noticed that it does not seem to be running as well as it should be. On top of that, the check engine light has started to come on intermittently, leading you to suspect there could be a serious issue. One such issue that could be affecting your engine is a problem with one of the rocker arms that open and close the valves inside. Below are some signs that you should look for to determine whether or not this could be the problem.

1.  Engine's Performance Has Decreased Dramatically

One sign that your car's engine has a loose or broken rocker arm is when the engine's performance has dramatically decreased. When you step on the gas to take off, your car may hesitate. Eventually, the engine may start stalling altogether.

When a rocker arm is not working properly, the valves inside of the engine are not opening and closing correctly. The perfect timing and movement of the arms are essential parts of fuel delivery and combustion for the engine.

When either of these is disrupted, complete combustion cannot occur, and your engine will not be able to perform correctly. However, since poor engine performance could also be a sign of a cracked block or blown headers, you should keep an eye out for other signs as well as have your motor looked at by a car repair service.

2.  Ticking Sounds Are Constantly Heard While the Engine Is Running

After noticing a change in your car engine's performance, pay attention to the sounds that it makes while running. If you hear a constant ticking noise, this is most likely caused by a failing rocker arm.

Just as the name suggests, a rocker arm rocks up and down to open and close the valves. When it becomes loose or broken, it is no longer able to move smoothly. The ticking noises may be caused by pieces of the rocker arm itself or by the valves not moving in alignment with the holes in the combustion chamber.

If you have detected either or both of the above signs, the rocker arm inside of your car's engine is most likely either loose or broken. If you do not have it fixed, the part could eventually break free and either jam up the other arms or even penetrate the block. Take your car as soon as possible to a car repair service to have your engine inspected to see if the rocker arm is the actual cause so that the part causing the issue can be either repaired or replaced.