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Engine Fault-Finding Tips

A lot of women probably wish their car engines were less intimidating and complex, and instead, big on 'warm and fuzzy'. But take it from us - it's all bluster. Once you get past the tough exterior, the rev of an engine sounds a lot like the purr of a kitten.

So schedule a one-on-one with your engine as soon as you can, because getting to know your engine is key towards being able to handle any and all engine-related problems, should they arise.

Rest easy though - major sudden failures are rare and often the result of an underlying problem that has been left unchecked. And components that do fail suddenly are often easily rectified.

All the same though, it's important to always be on your guard. The following list details common engine problems and their likely causes:

Engine will not turn when attempting to start

  • Battery terminals are corroded
  • Battery terminals are poorly connected
  • Faulty connections in starter circuit
  • Faulty starter solenoid
  • Faulty starter motor
  • Earth strap to engine either loose or corroded

Engine turns but will not start

  • Fuel tank empty (you'd be surprised!)
  • Battery problem
  • Air filter clogged
  • Poor cylinder compression
  • Timing belt broken
  • Ignition system damp or wiring fault
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Choke incorrectly adjusted
  • Fuel line fault or fuel pump

Noisy starter motor

  • Starter motor mounting bolts loose
  • Internal damage to starter motor
  • Flywheel teeth damaged

Engine starts, but then cuts out

  • Ignition system wiring fault
  • Faulty fuel injectors
  • Uneven cylinder compression
  • Fuel line or fuel pump faulty
  • Choke mechanism faulty or incorrectly adjusted
  • Blocked carburettor jets

Uneven engine idle speed

  • Incorrect setting for idle speed
  • Air filter blocked
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Timing belt incorrectly adjusted
  • Faulty fuel injectors

Engine misfires or stalls

  • Distributor car faulty
  • Faulty fuel lines, pump, injectors
  • Fuel filter clogged
  • Fuel tank vent blocked

Engine runs on after switching off

  • High carbon build up in engine
  • High engine operating temperature

Oil pressure warnings

  • Low oil level/incorrect oil grade
  • Oil pressure sender unit faulty
  • Worn engine bearings
  • Faulty oil pump
  • Excessively high engine temperature
  • Oil relief valve defective

That's all there is to it! Who knows? This could be the start of a beautiful friendship!

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