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Troubleshooting Engine Performance Problems Part 2

Find possible causes of engine problems by the symptoms your car is displaying.
» Part 1: Hesitation...
» Part 2: Hissing...
» Part 3: Tapping...
» Part 4: Rattling...
» Part 5: Smoking...
» Part 6: Overheats...
» Part 7: Fuel Usage...
» Part 8: Smells...
» Part 9: Surges...
» Part 10: Stalls...

  • A hissing sound is heard from the engine:
    The engine may or may not seem to run well. A hissing noise like air or steam can be heard coming from the engine. A performance drop may be noticed immediately after the noise begins.

    Possible causes:
    1. The engine is overheating: Check and repair cooling system.

    2. The exhaust system and/or catalytic converter is plugged: Check and replace exhaust system and/or catalytic converter as required.

    3. A vacuum line is leaking or disconnected: Reconnect vacuum line. Replace vacuum lines.

    4. A vacuum device is leaking: Replace vacuum device.


  • Whirring from the engine that gets worse as engine speed increases:
    Any noise that increases or decreases with engine rpm.

    Possible causes:
    1. Low power steering fluid: Check and fill power steering fluid.

    2. The alternator bearings are bad: Replace alternator.

    3. A bad water pump: Replace water pump.

    4. A bad power steering pump: Replace power steering pump.

    5. A bad air conditioning compressor: Replace air conditioning compressor. (Not a DIY job)

  • Loud exhaust:
    There is a loud exhaust noise which may be coming from either the front or rear of the vehicle.

    Possible causes:
    1. Muffler or exhaust pipe worn out: Replace muffler and/or pipes as required.

    2. Exhaust manifold cracked or broken: Replace exhaust manifold.


  • Engine backfires when you press on the gas pedal:
    The engine runs like garbage. When you step on the gas the engine pops , spits and backfires. Sometimes it's loud or not so loud. This can cause severe engine damage and/or underhood fire.

    Possible causes:
    1. Your camshaft timing belt or chain may have slipped: Replace timing belt or chain.

    2. Your ignition timing needs adjusting: Adjust ignition timing.

    3. There is a serious engine problem: You may have a burnt or broken valve, Worn or broken camshaft.

    4. Your spark plug wires are placed on the wrong spark plugs: Check firing order and place the wires on the correct spark plugs.

    Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
    Part 5       » Part 6       » Part 7       » Part 8
    Part 9       » Part 10
    Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
    © 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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