Nothing spoils your day better than engine problems in the morning. The dreaded misfiring or sputtering of the engine can drive you up the wall. But what does it mean, and what can you do about it?
A purring or humming sound is the best indication that every component in the engine is working correctly. Don’t ignore the sputtering noise, and take action as soon as possible. Such a problem does not go away on its own.
What you can do about a Sputtering Engine
The health of your engine depends on an efficient combustion chamber, where air and fuel mix effectively. The ignition system components and the fuel must work together in a couple of series for everything to run smoothly in the combustion chamber. Misfiring happens when the ignition and fuel system components no longer function properly, and a replacement is due.
Ideally, you should replace these components as recommended by the manufacturer.
In some cases, the sputtering can be from low fuel levels that need more than a tank refill. The injectors in the fuel system must shoot sufficient fuel amounts into the engine cylinder for efficient combustion. Unfortunately, the injector sprays can somehow break down, get clogged, or wear out. The result is insufficient amounts reaching the cylinders, and the engine must work harder, hence the sputtering.
Replacing or repairing injectors for your Mercedes-Benz or BMW can solve the problem. However, you can save a handful of bucks if the problem is just a clogged injector sprout or nozzle. The component could be dirty, and a replacement may not be necessary.
Some other Causes of Sputtering Engine
A problematic component in the fuel or ignition system is not the only cause for a sputtering engine. Problems in the exhaust system are another common culprit. For example, a worn-out gasket in the exhaust system can cause your BMW to sputter. Worn out spark plugs can also cause the same problems.
Deteriorating gas mileage is one of those problems that you may encounter as a vehicle owner. But does it mean that age is catching up with your Volvo or Mercedes? Is there something you can do to remedy this?
Leading Causes of Poor Fuel Economy
Dirty fuel injectors and air filters are among the major causes of poor fuel economy. Deposits of carbon inside the injectors can inhibit the delivery of healthy fuel doses. As a result, this can cause a waste of fuel and misfiring.
Fuel injector cleaners can do the trick if the problem is the clogged injectors. If that doesn’t work, you can go for professional cleaning of the fuel injectors, or even a replacement if necessary.
On the other hand, a dirty air filter can choke the engine of air. The result is a reduced fuel economy because of unbalanced combustion. Check the air filter and replace it if it is too dirty.
Another cause is slipping transmission or clutch. This can happen for both manual and automatic transmission. If this is the case, it means that the engine cannot effectively reach the wheels, and the fuel economy deteriorates.
Without a doubt, engine misfires are fuel wasting, and the culprit for this may be dirty or worn spark plugs. Iridium and platinum plugs can go for up to 100,000 miles. Unfortunately, stop and go driving or short trips can cause spark plug fouling. Inspect the spark plugs and clean them if necessary. You can install a new set of spark plugs to be sure.
But engine misfiring can also come from other fuel and ignition system problems. For example, it can be weak ignition coils, or even vacuum manifold leaks. Low fuel pressure can also be the leading cause of poor fuel economy.
Also, If you tend to use a higher viscosity motor oil, the fuel efficiency of your motor vehicle will suffer. Some vehicle manufacturers tend to mention the recommended viscosity, and it’s best to stick with it.
There is nothing as frustrating as waking up early in the morning, ready to go to an important meeting, only for the vehicle to fail to start. Of course, there are various reasons why a car would fail to start, such as a significant part failure. However, it can also be because of corroded battery terminals.
Modern vehicles feature computer-controlled systems, and corrosion on battery terminals can strain it significantly. Cleaning the terminals is the best insurance against such problems.
How to Clean Corroded Battery Terminals
The first thing you need to do is to switch off the vehicle to reduce the chances of grounding the terminals. Then loosen the nut on the negative cable clamp and do the same for the positive. Carefully check for any cracks on the surface of the battery. If you find cracks, you will need to replace the battery. Check for tears on the clamps and cables and replace them if you see large rips.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water in a bowl and mix it with baking soda. The next step is to dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and carefully scrub the corrosion off the terminals. You are free to immerse the battery cables inside the hot water. Keep soaking the toothbrush in hot water as much as possible.
After you are satisfied with the results, rinse the ends with cool water. Wash away all traces of baking soda and corrosion and use a clean cloth to dry the battery. You can use a protection spray or petroleum jelly to lubricate the metallic parts.
Finally, reattach the positive terminal and tighten the nut. Repeat the process for the negative clamp and make sure that it is tight in place.
Should you need any help in diagnosing problems with your car battery or any other issues, don’t hesitate to contact A1 Performance Auto Repair.
For most of us, automobiles have become an essential part of life. They are an extension of our homes. Some folks even live inside their vehicles, and they are ok with it.
To keep your vehicle in tip-top condition to serve you longer and efficiently, you must make sure you are keeping up with the maintenance schedules and demands.
Friction and heat are part and parcel of moving things. The engine is the heart of your vehicle, and without it, you won’t move an inch. It’s one of the most hardworking parts inside your Audi or BMW.
The engine generates a lot of heat, and the oil plays a vital role in keeping it down. It reduces friction. However, the oil is not sufficient on its own, and that is where the radiator comes in. The fluid inside the radiator is the engine coolant.
The Benefit of Checking the Engine Coolant Level
If the coolant inside the radiator is not sufficient, then getting rid of the excess heat becomes problematic. This can mark the start of other significant problems, and you don’t want to head that way. Therefore, you should regularly keep an eye on the coolant level to maintain the excellent health of your engine.
But How do You Know the Coolant Level is Running low?
Well, contemporary vehicles come with a translucent coolant reservoir with level markings. You should be able to tell how much coolant is left even without opening the lid. Visually inspect if you need more coolant or not.
Where is the Coolant Reservoir Located?
The location of the coolant reservoir may be different for different models and brands. This should not worry you too much since car manufacturers make sure to place it in an easily accessible place. You should be able to locate the reservoir by reading the user’s manual.
Contact A1 Performance Auto Repair in case of radiator or engine trouble.
The radiator is an integral component of your vehicle’s cooling system. Nonetheless, problems such as a leaking radiator can arise and cause overheating. The telltale sign is a temperature warning or when the temperature gauge reads high.
How do You Tell the Radiator is Leaking?
The first step is usually to check the level of the coolant in the see-through reservoir. If it is empty or less than half full, check the level in the radiator. However, you must first make sure that the engine is not hot. Overheating can be from an insufficient amount of coolant.
If it becomes clear that you are losing the coolant, the radiator should be your first pit stop. A puddle under the radiator is the best indication of leaking. Check the bottom and the seams of the radiator. Typically, holes from flying debris and rust inside the radiator are the usual culprits.
And even though aluminum cannot rust, it will still develop pinhole leaks and can corrode. Sometimes you can see dripping or seeping. Other telltale signs are discoloration spots and rust on the radiator.
If everything appears ok, there are still several possibilities of leaks. It can be from the radiator cap or the hoses connecting the radiator to the engine. The problem can also be the thermostat, heater core, or engine block, among others. A blown gasket between the engine block and cylinder head, causing a coolant leak into the combustion chambers, is also possible. If that happens, you will see thick smoke coming from the tailpipe.
Sometimes, the leak happens under pressure when the engine is running. The coolant escapes in the form of steam, leaving no trace at all. In such a case, you can seal the small leaks with a stop leak additive from your favorite auto parts store.
The folks at A1 Performance Auto Repair can help you with radiator troubles. Contact us!
Like blood in your veins, oil is an essential component in automobiles. Your vehicle would practically grind to a halt if you neglected its oil changes. You see, the up-and-down movement of the pistons inside the cylinders requires lubrication. Without oil, the friction and heat would be so much that it would cause the piston to weld together. The engine would cease, and there would be no movement.
What if I Don’t Change the Oil?
You can argue that your vehicle has a lot of oil, and it does not need to be changed. Well, a few scenarios will happen if you were to take this point of view.
First, dirt would accumulate in the oil and turn abrasive on the various parts in the engine. The filter would hold for some time but get overwhelmed if the dirt continued to accumulate.
Another function of the oil is to transfer the heat from the engine. If it becomes too thick with dirt, the oil would have a hard time transferring that heat. As a result, it would cause more problems, and that is not what you want.
The oil contains several additives such as rust fighters, dispersants, detergents, and friction reducers. Over time, these additives break down, and the friction-reducing capability lessens significantly. The old oil stops lubricating, and the friction between metal parts increases. Eventually, the engine wears out and stops completely.
Also, the metal parts expand when heated. If the oil does not transfer this heat away from the engine, it becomes less effective. The engine parts warp and the life of the engine diminishes.
The recommended change interval is about 5000 miles. Don’t get a mini heart attack if you forget to do the scheduled oil change. Typically, your vehicle would have to run the same oil for a long time for the above to happen.
Contact A1 Performance Auto Repair in case of engine troubles. We will be more than happy to help.