Car Maintenance 101: Troubleshooting Your Engine for Problems (Part 7)

Note to Reader 9: My final post on troubleshooting your engine. I know that sometimes looking at these symptoms can be a bit confusing, after all, stalling is staling, whether you’re running at high speeds or idling. But the fact is, you need to accurately pinpoint your auto symptoms to find out the possible factors behind your engine problems. Remember that the moment you experience engine problems, it’s always best to clear your schedule as soon as possible for a complete auto check or tune-up.

If your vehicle uses up more oil than normal, but almost no smoke is exiting from your exhaust… You may notice this symptom between oil changes. You notice that your car’s oil level is becoming suspiciously low, too quickly. It’s never happened before, and it doesn’t seem like your engine is consuming more oil than usual. The weird thing is that you can’t find even the smallest amounts of smoke in your exhaust. If your vehicle is exhibiting these symptoms then…

Possible Cause: Your engine’s gasket seals or the gaskets themselves may be broken or damaged.

Possible Solution: Check your gaskets for signs of damage. Damaged gaskets always require replacing, so if I were you, I’d start looking around for replacement gaskets and seals. Make sure your gaskets and gasket seals meet your vehicle’s specifications and requirements. To find out which seals and gaskets will work best with your car, do consult your owner’s manual. (This little tip holds true for any replacement part you’re planning on installing in your ride.)

Possible Cause: You may have a malfunctioning or damaged PCV valve.

Possible Solution: Locate your PCV valve and look for signs of damage. Check to see if this component is really malfunctioning, and if it is, replace this part as soon as you can.

Possible Cause: Your engine’s valve seals may no longer be working as well as they should.

Possible Solution: Check your engine valve seals for signs of damage. Replace your valve seals if needed.

Possible Cause: You may be experiencing mechanical problems.

Possible Solution: Time to give your engine a check! Find out whether there’s something amiss about your engine compression. If there is, locate the problem part/s and do the necessary repairs and replacement/s.

If you experience vehicle stalling each time you step on your brakes hard or you make a quick stop… While driving, you don’t experience any engine problems. In fact, your vehicle is running quite well. That is until you decide to step on the brakes. Instead of slowing down to a full stop, or stopping completely, you feel your engine beginning to shake and then your vehicle suddenly stalls. This is indication that you may have…

Possible Cause: Problems with your computerized engine control system.

Possible Solution: This isn’t usually a DIY (do-it-yourself) job, so you may want to take your car to the shop for this one. If you’re confident that you can fix everything yourself, then all you have to do is use a scan tool or a DTC reader to check your engine control systems. After checking your engine control systems, test the circuits. Based on your findings, make the necessary repairs and replacements.

Possible Cause: You may have a really bad vacuum leak.

Possible Solution: Determine where the leak is coming from by checking your vacuum lines. Replace your vacuum lines if you need to.

Possible Cause: Your vehicle may have a broken linkage.

Possible Solution: Locate your linkage and repair it or replace it as required.

Note to Reader 10: The picture on the right side is of an engine valve.

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3 Responses to Car Maintenance 101: Troubleshooting Your Engine for Problems (Part 7)

  1. [...] Source: Auto Mechanic | Auto Mechanic Repair and Maintenance Tips [...]

  2. carlos says:

    hello,,,,i have a 1998 mazda mpv and i replace the valve cover gaskets and every since the van wouldnt star.i got spark not fuel is coming out the lines that feed the reals or the engine.dont hear the pump,and cant find the fuse for the fuel pump,,,any tips that can help me with this problem.

    • autofrankie says:

      Hi Carlos! Are you saying no fuel is coming out of your fuel lines? If you can’t hear the pump, then it’s possible that your fuel pump is damaged, hence the problem.

      I advise you to check your fuel pump directly and have a look at your fuel lines. Since I suppose you don’t really have a leaking-problem, then your fuel pump may not be generating enough pressure to send fuel to your engine. Check your fuel pressure levels. If there’s nothing, then check your pump and fuel lines.

      I also advise you to check your valve cover gaskets to see if they have been installed properly. You say the problem started after the installation? A connection might have been severed or there might be blockage going on near your engine.

      If you’re unsure about how to check these components, employ the help of your local mechanic.

      Hope that helped! Tell me what happens, alright?

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