If a car is sputtering when you try to accelerate, this indicates that it is time for a tune-up. A full tune-up of the engine is in order, rather than only swapping out the spark plugs. Ignition misfire is one of the symptoms that the engine is in need of some help; the sputtering is a sign of bad timing that also causes damage to other engine components.Know More
When performing a tune-up on a car, check the entire secondary ignition system. This includes the ignition coil, rotor, cap, wires and plugs; some mechanics recommend a PCV valve as well.
If the tune-up does not solve the problem, air intake is another (although much less common) possibility. Look at the intake hose for cracks because if the system is not airtight and a car has a mass air flow sensor, sputtering at acceleration is one possible sign. Repair any air leaks that are present and then test the engine again. The reason why air leaks cause sputtering is that the air-to-fuel ratio is hampering the performance of the engine. For the best results, take the car to a shop, and then inform the mechanic all of the steps taken so far.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance
Superior Car Talk explains that a sputtering and backfiring problem is usually the result of moisture condensation in the fuel system. While the fuel tank may be tightly capped, water can still seep in over time as the result of temperature extremes.Full Answer >
A high-pitched squeal when a car is started indicates that one of the belts, most likely the alternator belt, is loose or worn out. The sound occurs when the belt slips on a pulley.Full Answer >
When the explosive noise of a car backfire occurs, it usually indicates that the air-to-fuel mixture is unbalanced or that a problem exists with the vehicle's timing. A backfire is the result of fuel burning outside to the engine's combustion chamber. Backfires can occur in either the intake system or the exhaust system, depending on the cause.Full Answer >
As cars grow older, they often develop many rattles; however, if the rattle is coming from the front of the engine along with ticks and slaps, it sometimes indicates a loose timing chain. If the chain breaks, it causes serious damage to the engine, according to About.com.Full Answer >