Test These 3 Things To Get Back On The Road
It’s easy to get frustrated when you get in your car and the engine won’t turn over. Don’t worry quite yet. If you’re at home, there are three things you can test that will tell you what’s wrongand you might have an inexpensive repair on your hands. The most likely problem is a dead or drained battery. If that’s good, then your battery cables might be dirty or your starter may be going bad. Rule these things out before you spend any time troubleshooting other possibilities.
Your Car Shakes Pulsates Or Vibrates
After your car gets some miles on it, you notice a little shake or rough idle here and there. Possible explanations include:
Worn spark plugs and wires, possibly with check engine light
Loose or disconnected hoses around the engine
Loose battery terminal connections
Worn shocks or struts
This is a relatively low-cost fix. Replacing these items cost an average of $342, including parts and labor, in 2016, according to CarMD. Conventional spark plugs last 12,000 to 25,000 miles, but manufacturers of long-life spark plugs say they can last beyond 100,000 miles.
Other signs you may need new spark plugs and wires: decreased fuel efficiency, reduced acceleration, engine misfiring or car not starting.
What Is Wrong With My Car
Asked by Feb 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM about the 2005 Chrysler Town & Country FWD
Question type: Maintenance & Repair
I have a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country. The check engine light has been on for a few months, to change an o2 sensor. I brought it in two weekends ago and had it changed out. The light went out for two days then came back on. After the light came back on it started running rough. I brought it back to the shop this weekend and it turns out they were sent the wrong upstream o2 sensor and changed it to the correct one. The light stayed on for 2 days and has now gone out but the car is still not running right. Whenever I am at a red light it feels like it is going to stall but hasn’t yet. Any ideas what the problem could be? Also I had a tune up done the weekend before I had the o2 sensor changed, could the wrong sensor have any effect on the coil pack or spark plugs?
answered 8 years ago
Thanks, I did that on my way home from work yesterday, when the light was still on, they checked it on their machine and got the same code, nothing else, just the o2 sensor.
answered 6 years ago
answered 6 years ago
answered 6 years ago
The check engine light came on, on my 2003 t& c at about 90,000 miles. I tried so many things that didn’t work. It still runs great, and gets around 23 mpg, so I ignored the light. I now have 260,000+ on it and the light is still on. Someone told me if it bothers me to just stick a piece of black tape over, and go!
answered 6 years ago
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Is Your Diesel Engine Losing Power
While many of the parts of a gas powered car and a diesel powered car are very similar, there are some specific differences which might be leading to a loss in power. Similar to a catalytic converter, diesel engines are required to have a diesel particulate filter to filter out soot and other particles given off by the engine. If this is blocked or broken, it can be leading to problems with power. Read here if you are not even sure if your car has a DPF.
Dirty Engine Causing The Car To Jerk
As you can see by many of the options, the main causes of a car jerking are wear and dirt. If your car is old or has been used in particularly dirty conditions, then it is understandable the engine will become correspondingly dirty. However, there are some specific engine parts you should take a look at the ensure it is kept running smooth.
If your fuel filter gets clogged, it can lead to other parts of the engine accumulating waste. To ensure this does not happen, you should find out how to tell if your fuel filter is bad. This is something you can do on your own if you know what you are doing. However, if you don’t clean and refit it properly, it can be very dangerous, so you should take the car to a qualified mechanic.
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The Engine Is Sputtering
There are multiple parts that keep an engine running well but a misfiring or sputtering engine is one of the most common issues. For an engine to run efficiently the right amount of air and fuel must mix and then burn within the combustion chamber. In order for this to run correctly there are a number of components in the fuel and ignition systems that have to work in unison. In order to keep these types of issues to a minimum the fuel and ignition systems must be maintained and replaced according to the manufacturers recommendations.
What I Have Been Doing Up To This Point Is Disconnecting The Battery Each Night As Long As I Do This The Car Starts Up What Is Wrong
A: It certainly looks as if you have two problems, and they could be related.
There is some sort of parasitic drain on the battery that is causing it to become discharged overnight. The dim lights would indicate a low battery the very bright lights could be an alternator issue.
At this point, you need to have the alternator checked, as well as a test to see what is draining the battery. It is possible that the alternator is causing both problems, but it does need to be checked using the proper equipment.
Q: My car alarm is malfunctioning and will not shut off. I cant control it. It is not a factory alarm. The car is a 20-year-old Toyota, so I dont think it will get stolen. I have just disconnected the alarm horn. So far everything is OK, but is there something else I should do?
A: If you are fine with not having an alarm on your car, I would remove the entire system. The alarm could be sounding for a number of reasons: a faulty module, a poor connection or faulty switches. At this point, removing all of the alarm components and checking all of the wiring connections will solve any future problems.
Q: I have a new-to-me 2019 Ford Edge with 37,000 miles on it. I am having a problem with the transmission. Maybe you can figure out this problem that no one including the used-car dealer where I purchased the car can. Their mechanic looked over the car and then sent it to a Ford dealer. Neither shop found anything wrong.
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I Have No Idea What’s Wrong With My Car
If youre like the majority of people in the U.S., you use a car to get from Point A to Point B and rely on all the parts working properly. None of us expects to break down on the side of the road, and when it happens its extremely inconvenient and stressful. Worse still, we rarely see it coming.
We assume our car is going to work – until it doesnt. Either there werent any warning signs or you didnt see them. Or maybe there were signs and you didnt even know. OK, maybe you even neglected some things you now recognize as signs!
Most of the time, you dont need to know anything about what goes on underneath the hood, but when something goes wrong you start to wish you knew a little bit more about the mechanics of it all. Theres an odd clunking noise coming when you drive over a bump but, other than that, you cant really say whats going on with your usually trusty car.
Here at YourMechanic, we know that very few car owners are expert diagnosticians and oftentimes you dont even know which service you need to book.
This is a very common situation and its why we have hundreds of diagnostic jobs – our mechanics are great at figuring out whats going on with your car. You dont even have to pick a specific job when you book an appointment if you cant identify any symptoms at all, but the more information you are able to share before the mechanic comes on-site, the better.
|Using Your Sense of Smell to Diagnose Issues With Your Car|
What Are Some Common Car Engine Problems
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Why Does My Car Lose Power
Is your car losing power? In most cases, a loss of engine power is related to a mechanical failure in your vehicle. However, a loss of power may also be due to an external factor such as high temperatures or other climate issues. Working out why your car is not always easy, so we should consider all the possibilities. We also need to look at the circumstances when your car loses power to help determine the problem.
If your car loses power while you are driving, there may be a variety of different reasons why. In this oneHOWTO article we’ll help you diagnose your car’s problem yourself, offering a number of possible answers to explain why does your car loses power and giving you some tips on how to fix the problem.
Research Warranties And Recalls
The Internet can tell you if there are problems associated with your cars make, model, and year. If there are recalls for which your car qualifies, get them done! If your car is under a warranty, check to see if the repairs are covered. A free or discounted repair may certainly be worth the trouble.
Now that you know some of the most probable reasons your car isnt working, and what options you have in front of you, you should be ready to make an informed consumer decision.
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A The Transmission Fluid Is Leaking
Any transmission system needs fluid to make sure all of the working components are kept well lubricated. In automatic cars the fluid used in transmission is also used in the hydraulic and coolant systems. Small holes can form throughout the system which allow tiny amounts of fluid to leak. Over time, or if the leaks are severe, you will find that transmission is less efficient, plus you may find that the system overheats or loses pressure. In both cases the transmission will fail. If you see a red puddle collecting under your car it can be a sign that the transmission pan is cracked.
Why Is My Check Engine Light On
The question Whats wrong with my car? is synonymous with why is my check engine light on? in many cases.
The check engine light doesnt always mean expensive repairs are coming, but in general, the light requires prompt action. It often indicates that something has gone wrong in the cars evaporative emissions system. This means that the car is polluting more than it should.
The system is related to the fuel line and tank and consists of various other components. As parts fail, the car starts to smell like gasoline. In fact, its one of the most likely reasons that the check engine light will turn on.
Luckily, these repairs usually only cost $300 to $400 to repair, which is low as far repairs go.
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Warning Signs That You Have An Oil Leak
the most obvious warning sign that your engine is leaking oil is a dark brown puddle under the front of your car. you might notice it when you back out of your garage or driveway.
however, most cars today have shielding under the vehicle. this shield will often catch the oil before it hits the ground, which can hide a potentially damaging leak. checking your oil level every other time you gas up can help you identify an oil leak.
another way you might spot an oil leak is when you open the hood to check your vehicles fluids. you may see oil leaking or seeping from the engine in all sorts of places, and it could be getting everywhere. if your engine is covered in oil, it can be a serious fire hazard and needs immediate attention from your mechanic.
if the oil is burning from contact with hot engine surfaces, you might be able to smell it. you may notice it while driving, or when you get out of the car after you park it. this is another sign that your leak is a serious one. call your mechanic.
Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas
You might find yourself researching whats wrong with your car if it smells like gasoline.
You dont have to immediately panic about gas odors, but they should raise an eyebrow. Sometimes the gas smell is just because your car still reeks from your last gas station visit. Other times, the gas tank gets left open by accident. Be careful not to confuse somebody elses gas-smelling car as your own.
If none of these obvious answers take you in the right direction, then perhaps the problem is serious. In fact, it could be a dangerous move not to check things out.
Here possible causes:
- The fuel tank has a leak. If youre looking to see if this is the problem, one clue is a puddle under the car that reflects light like a colorful rainbow.
- It could also be a problem with the fuel line or fuel injector.
- The filter may have a leak.
If there is a problem with the fuel system, stop driving the car. Call a tow truck or a mechanic to help you resolve the problem right away.
Fact: fuel tank replacement is $1,400 on average.
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Why Is My Vehicle Shaking
Trying to figure out whats wrong with your car when its shaking or vibrating can be frustrating. Especially on older cars, a shaky idol status is common .
It could be causes by spark plugs in need of replacement. The check engine light may turn on as well. It could also be caused by loose or detached engine hoses. Finally, bad battery terminal connections could also come into play.
Sometimes the cars shaking occurs when the vehicle is driving down the road. If theres vibration when the vehicle is in motion, you should check for bad brake rotos, busted shots and struts, and out of balance wheels.
If its the spark plugs that are bad, it shouldnt break the bank to repair. Replacing the spark plugs usually costs between $350 and $400. Cheaper spark plugs only last for up to 25,000 miles. Lifelong guarantee sparkplugs last four times as long.
Spark plugs can cause havoc on the ride when they need to be replaced. You might notice that a tank of gas is giving you less miles or that acceleration is sluggish.
In worse cases, the car begins to misfire or wont start up at all.
Don’t Just Turn It Off Fix The Problem
When your car’s check engine light illuminates on your dashboard, it’s usually accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The light could be a minor issue, such as a faulty gas cap, or it could mean something more serious, such as a misfiring engine. In many cases, it means that you’ll be visiting the car dealer to repair the issue and get the light turned off.
The check engine light more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong.
Automakers started standardizing their systems with 1996 model-year vehicles under a protocol called OBD-II, which instituted a list of diagnostic trouble codes and mandated that all cars provide a universal connector to access this information. The connector is usually located under the steering column and is relatively easy to access. Before 1996, carmakers had their own engine diagnostic systems, primarily to ensure their cars were compliant with EPA pollution control requirements.
Check engine lights come in orange, yellow or amber, depending on the manufacturer. If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter. These emissions devices operate at high temperatures to cut emissions but can pose a fire hazard if faulty.
An inexpensive code reader allows you to find out why the check engine light is illuminated.
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Brake Pedal Too Low Or Goes Too Far Down Before Slowing
If you step on the brake pedal and it feels like it’s going too far down before you start to slow, you might have the following problems:
- Low Brake Fluid Level:Check your brake fluid. If it’s low, top it off to the mark on the side of the reservoir.
- Contaminated Brake Fluid: Even though your brakes operate in a closed system, contaminants can still work their way into the works. Air can enter the system through the smallest hole, and you can end up with water in the system from condensation and other means. There’s not any way to check for this, but bleeding your brakes will remove the bad stuff and replace it with new fluid.
- Worn Brake Pads: Your brakes should never wear low enough to cause your brake pedal to feel low, they’ll scream at you before then. But if they do get very low, you might have this problem. Replace your brake pads as soon as possible. Of course, this can be avoided by inspecting your brakes regular.y
- Bad Brake Power Boost Unit: Finally, if your brake booster goes bad you’ll have low brake pedal issues. Most brake boosters are vacuum controlled, so a special vacuum measurement device that connects to the brake booster is needed to check it.