engine surges or misfires while moving


symptom: The engine surges or misfires while moving.

The engine seems to start fine and will normally accelerate fine. As you are driving and maintaining a steady speed, the engine seems to “speed up” slightly or it seems to miss and buck.

Possible causes:

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.

The fix: Check the choke plate and make sure it is opening completely.

2. The engine may be running too hot.

The fix: Check and repair cooling system.

3. The fuel pressure regulator may be operating at low pressure.

The fix: 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.

The fix: Adjust ignition timing.

5. Ignition system problem.

The fix: Check and replace distributor cap, rotor, ignition wires and spark plugs.

6. There may be a fault in the computerised 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.

The fix: Replace the fuel filter.

8. Torque converter (automatic transmission only) may not be locking at the right time, or it may be slipping.

The fix: Check lock up circuit or replace torque converter. (Not a DIY job)

9. There may be a vacuum leak.

The fix: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.

10. Possible internal engine problems.

The fix: Check compression to determine engine condition.

11. EGR valve may be stuck open.

The fix: Replace EGR valve.

12. Drive axles may be loose or worn.

The fix: Check and replace CV/universal joints as required.

13. The fuel injectors may be dirty.

The fix: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

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Exhaust is Loud or Engine Backfires Loudly


Loud Exhaust or Backfiring

Exhaust is  Loud or Engine Backfires Loudly

The Symptom: 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.

The Fix: Replace muffler and/or pipes as required.

2. Exhaust manifold cracked or broken.

The Fix: Replace exhaust manifold.

The Symptom: 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 under hood fire.

Possible causes:

1. Your camshaft timing belt or chain may have slipped.

The Fix: Replace timing belt or chain.

2. Your ignition timing needs adjusting.

The Fix: 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.

The Fix: Check firing order and place the wires on the correct spark plugs.

Engine quickly overheats


Engine quickly overheats

Symptom: Engine quickly overheats. Engine runs fine but gets very hot shortly after you start it. This problem usually occurs after only five minutes of running or after traveling about a mile. You may or may not notice steam coming from the hood or smell coolant.

Possible causes:

1. Engine coolant level may be very low.

The Fix: Refill coolant to proper level.

2. Engine’s drive belts may be broken or slipping.

The Fix: Tighten or replace belts.

3. The electric cooling fan may not be coming on.

The Fix: Repair or replace cooling fan. Repair wiring. Replace cooling fan temp sensor.

4. The ignition timing may be set wrong.

The Fix: Adjust ignition timing.

5. There may be a vacuum leak.

The Fix: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.

6. The engine may have mechanical problems.

The Fix: Check compression to determine engine condition.

7. The engine’s thermostat may be stuck closed.

The Fix: Replace thermostat.

8. There may be a leak in the cooling system.

The Fix: Repair leak and refill coolant. Cylinder head gasket(s) may be bad.

The Fix: Replace cylinder head gasket(s).

Problems With Engine Idle


Troubleshooting Problems With Engine Idle

In many ways, engine idle is a good measure of your engine’s health. If anything is going wrong under the hood, there’s a good chance it will be affecting your car’s idle speed and quality. Problems with idle speed, things like slow idle, low idle, bad idle, lumpy idle, fast idle — these are symptoms that should be investigated, troubleshooted, diagnosed and repaired. The following symptoms and related problems should act as a guide in helping you troubleshoot your idle issues.

Symptom: The engine will not idle smoothly, or it stalls during idle when the engine is cold. When the engine is cold and you take your foot off the gas pedal, the engine runs very rough and may even stall. When you run the engine at higher speeds, it seems to run fine.

Possible causes:

1. If you have a carburetor, you may have a bad accelerator pump or power circuit.

The Fix: Replace accelerator pump or replace carburetor.

2. There may be a vacuum leak.

The Fix: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.

3. There may be some type of ignition problem.

The Fix: Check and replace distributor cap, rotor, ignition wires and spark plugs.

4. The ignition timing may be set wrong.

The Fix: Adjust ignition timing.

5. There may be a fault in the computerized engine control system.

The Fix: Check engine control systems with a scan tool. Test circuits and repair or replace components as required. (Generally not a DIY job)

6. The EGR valve may be bad.

The Fix: Replace EGR valve.

7. The engine may have mechanical problems.

The Fix: Check compression to determine engine condition.

8. Idle speed set incorrectly.

The Fix: Set idle speed to specs.

9. The fuel injectors may be dirty.

The Fix: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

Terrie from Upton Chester


“Thank you so much for all that Ellesmere Port Engine Centre did for me. When I came in for my brake job, I had no ideal that I had been risking the life of not only myself, but of my son also. I am so grateful for all the hard work, effort, and caring that went into fixing my truck for me, as well as for all the care and understanding I got from everyone that pulled together to get the job done in time for me to make it back to work. I don’t think I can every repay you for all you have done. You guys really went the extra mile, and have proven to me that there ARE good people out there. Now I tell anyone that will listen how wonderful Ellesmere Port Engine Centre are. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Terrie from Upton Chester