If a car turns over but does not start, it has a problem with compression, ignition or the fuel to air ratio. Determining which of these three areas is responsible for the problem is the first step in troubleshooting, according to the Linn-Benton Community College.Know More
An engine experiencing low compression does not increase the temperature of the air and fuel mixture enough that it burns. There are several reasons cars experience low cranking compression, such as a slow turning starter motor, improper sealing of the cylinders or a broken timing belt or chain. An experienced mechanic is often able to determine the problem by listening to the engine as it attempts to crank.
In order to operate correctly, the ignition system provides a spark to ignite the compressed fuel and air mix. A spark tester helps to determine if the ignition is providing sufficient spark to start the engine. If the engine produces spark but does not start, the problem is often improperly installed plug wires. Following the manufacturer's firing order helps to resolve the problem.
An improper fuel to air mix prevents engines from starting. A bad fuel pump or filter limits the amount of fuel entering the cylinders. A plugged air filter makes the mix too rich for the car to start.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance
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 >
Diagnosing what is wrong with a car involves troubleshooting based on what the problem looks like, feels like, sounds like or smells like. Most DIY diagnostics on the web such as Auto MD or Auto Zone start with these symptom checkers.Full Answer >
When a car won't shift into reverse or drive, there is usually a problem with the transmission, such as low transmission fluid or loose throttle cables. Transmission fluid lubricates the gears and other components of the transmission. When the car is low on this fluid, it cannot switch gears into reverse or drive.Full Answer >
When a car sputters, there is usually a problem with the exhaust system. When an engine sputters, there are a number of possible causes. If a loud bang accompanies the sputtering, especially when the car accelerates, this indicates a problem with the exhaust system. One needs to inspect the exhaust and muffler for holes or blockages to determine which part needs to be repaired.Full Answer >