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How to Diagnose an Engine Problem - Autospace Corp.

Troubleshooting your engine - that's a large arena. After all, most of your car is engine. Or at least the part that you need. Your car's engine is made up of many systems that all have to work together in order to make your car run the way it should. The best way to troubleshoot your engine is to observe the problem and the symptoms, then trace those symptoms to the most likely repairs. We can help you do just that.

Observation is the key to engine troubleshooting. You know your car better than anyone. This means that if it's making a sound or a smell that's not normal you will most likely notice something's awry. Many times a strange smell or sound is no big deal, but when you know that something is wrong these clues can be the key to proper troubleshooting.

Possible causes for Engine Misfiring or Surging:

  1. If you have a carburetor (there are still a few out there), the choke may not be set properly, or the choke may not be working correctly.
    Solution: Check the choke plate and make sure it is opening completely.
  2. The engine may be running too hot.
    Solution: Check and repair cooling system.
  3. The fuel pressure regulator may be operating at low pressure.
    Solution: Check fuel pressure with a fuel pressure gauge. Replace fuel pressure regulator. (Generally not a DIY job)
  4. The ignition timing may be set wrong.
    Solution: Adjust ignition timing.
  5. Ignition system problem.
    Solution: Check and replace distributor cap, rotor, ignition wires and spark plugs.
  6. There may be a fault in the computerized engine control system: Check engine control systems with a scan tool. Test circuits and repair or replace components as required. (Generally not a DIY job)
  7. The fuel filter may be partially clogged.
    Solution: Replace the fuel filter.
  8. Torque converter (automatic transmission only) may not be locking at the right time, or it may be slipping.
    Solution: Check lock up circuit or replace torque converter. (Not a DIY job)
  9. There may be a vacuum leak.
    Solution: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.
  10. Possible internal engine problems.
    Solution: Check compression to determine engine condition.
  11. EGR valve may be stuck open.
    Solution: Replace EGR valve.
  12. Drive axles may be loose or worn.
    Solution: Check and replace CV/universal joints as required.
  13. The fuel injectors may be dirty.
    Solution: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

Possible causes for Engine Hesitating:

  1. Dirty air filter.
    Solution: Replace the air filter.
  2. The spark plugs may be dirty or worn.
    Solution:Replace spark plugs.
  3. The ignition wires may be bad.
    Solution: Inspect and replace ignition wires.
  4. Ignition system problems.
    Solution: Check distributor cap or rotor. Ignition module may be bad.
  5. You may have water in the gasoline.
    Solution: Drain the gas tank and flush with fresh gas and refill. (Generally not a DIY job)
  6. If you have a carburetor (all 3 of you), you may have a bad accelerator pump or power circuit.
    Solution: Replace accelerator pump or replace carburetor.
  7. The fuel filter may be clogged.
    Solution:Replace the fuel filter.
  8. Your catalytic converter may be clogged.
    Solution: Replace catalytic converter.

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545 Oak Street, Copiague NY 11726 ( Locate Us )