Car Maintenance 101: Troubleshooting Your Engine for Problems (Part 4)

Note to Reader 5: Apologies to you guys for not being able to update my blog too often. Been down with the flu and up with all the excitement of the elections and all… But what I do have for you is more tips on troubleshooting your engine for possible problems. Don’t worry, there’s just a few more posts regarding this topic. But if you do have any questions, please feel free to ask away.

**BTW: That’s a close-up of the EGR Valve.

If your engine stalls each time you try idling while the engine is still cold, or if the engine refuses to idle smoothly… When your engine is still a bit cold, usually immediately after starting your car in the morning, it naturally runs a bit rougher than usual. But if it tends to be overly rough or if you experience jolting and stalling then that’s indication of a bigger problem—even if your engine does run fine each time you drive at higher speeds.

Possible Cause: Ignition timing issues.

Possible Solution: Minor adjustments should do the trick!

Possible Cause: Problems with some of your ignition parts.

Possible Solution: Conduct a full ignition tune-up. Meaning, check your distributor rotor and cap (if you have them), spark plugs and ignition wires. If there is damage on any of these units, replace them as soon as possible. I usually keep a spare ignition tune-up kit with me, in case I forget to purchase a kit until my next tune-up. This way, I won’t have to wait for my kit to get delivered before I could go about my usual vehicle maintenance procedures.

Possible Cause: **If your car has a carburetor, then you may have a malfunctioning power circuit or a faulty accelerator pump.

Possible Solution: Check your accelerator pump and power circuit for signs of damage. Replace either your entire carburetor or just the accelerator pump depending on which part requires prompt replacing.

Possible Cause: Bad EGR Valve. The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve basically controls and times your vehicle’s gas flow. EGR when used in a diesel engine, should reduce your engine’s peak operating temperatures ensuring better engine efficiency. A properly working EGR valve should also decrease the amount of fuel that is burned by your engine in the power stroke. When used in a spark-ignited engine, however, a great EGR valve should not only help in lowering your engine’s combustion temperatures but also in minimizing your car’s throttling losses.

Possible Solution: Because of the importance of your EGR valve, a bad valve must be replaced as soon as possible.

Possible Cause: Vacuum leakage.

Possible Solution: Check and replace your vacuum lines if you need to.

Possible Cause: Problems with your onboard computerized engine control system.

Possible Solution: Using a DTC reader or scan tool, locate problem spots and causes. Test your circuits and replace the engine parts that need replacing. Once again, since we’re dealing with an incredibly sensitive onboard engine computer, this is a job that’s beset left to the pros.

Possible Cause: Idle speed problems.

Possible Solution: Check your idle speeds if they have been set correctly. If the speed’s not right then adjust according to your specs.

Possible Cause: Worn or dirty fuel injectors.

Possible Solution: Avoid restricting fuel flow by replacing a faulty fuel injector immediately!

Possible Cause: Mechanical issues with some of your engine components.

Possible Solution: Find out if your engine is working well by checking its compression. If it’s not then try to locate the unit that’s not doing its job properly and make the necessary repairs or replacements based on how extensive the damage happens to be.

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One Response to Car Maintenance 101: Troubleshooting Your Engine for Problems (Part 4)

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

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