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Troubleshooting Engine Performance Problems Part 4

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...

  • There is a rattling noise from the engine when you accelerate:
    Your car runs well all the time. But when you press on the gas pedal to accelerate or to go up a hill, the engine rattles like the cylinders are full of marbles.

    Possible causes:
    1. The ignition timing may be set wrong: Adjust ignition timing.

    2. The engine may be running too hot: Check and repair cooling system.

    3. There may be a vacuum leak: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.

    4. Incorrect grade of fuel: Fill with the correct, or higher, octane fuel.

    5. There is an excessive amount of carbon built up in your engine: Clean carbon from valves and combustion chamber. (Not a DIY job)

    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)


  • Squealing from engine while accelerating:
    An irritating squeal is heard as you accelerate, turn a corner, or slow down. You may also notice that the noise is more frequent when the air conditioning is turned on.

    Possible causes:
    1. The drive belts are slipping: Replace belts.

    2. The drive pulleys for some engine accessories are misaligned: Repair or replace bent pulleys. Check belt routings.

    3. You have turned the steering wheel to the limits: Normal.

    4. The drive belts are loose: Tighten belts.

    5. Pig caught in fan: Remove pig and barbecue for dinner.


  • Clunking from the engine that worsens when engine speed increases:
    When you step on the gas pedal, the engine makes a clunking noise. The noise gets worse as you press harder on the gas pedal. The noise is present in gear or in neutral. Sometimes the noise is not noticeable when you are letting the engine idle but occurs as soon as you step on the gas.

    Possible causes:
    1. Worn engine bearings: Replace crankshaft and connecting rod bearings. (Generally not a DIY job)

    2. Broken engine parts: Replace broken engine parts.

    3. Loose or missing flywheel mounting bolts: Replace and tighten loose or missing bolts. (Generally not a DIY job)

    4. Loose or broken motor mounts: Replace motor mounts.


  • Engine uses more oil than normal, and there is some smoke from the exhaust:
    The oil level is low between oil changes. It appears that the oil is being burned by the engine because of the smoke in the exhaust. You may or may not notice the engine doesn't have the same power as it used to.

    Possible causes:
    1. The PCV system is not working properly: Replace PCV valve.

    2. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check compression to determine engine condition.

    3. The engine's piston rings may be worn: Replace piston rings. (Generally not a DIY job)

    4. The engine's valve seals may be worn: Replace valve seals. (Generally not a DIY job)

    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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