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How to Diagnose Some of Your Car's Performance Issues

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The longer that you own your car, the more that you get to know it. You will become used to its idiosyncrasies and expect a certain level of performance every time you jump in. However, when things start to go wrong it can be difficult to put your finger on it. You may notice that you're losing power, but don't know what it could be. In this case, perhaps some of these symptoms will provide you with a clue:

Sluggish Acceleration

Sometimes, you will notice a significant power loss when you accelerate quickly. Often times this can be due to an error in the fuel system. Your car is not pulling ahead cleanly because it's not getting the right amount of fuel it needs to push the pistons. Several things could be going wrong here. You could look for an injector that's clogged, but if this seems okay then see if a fuel filter needs to be cleaned. Alternatively, fuel could be leaking from a line, or the pump itself could be failing.

Sound Effects

As you drive, you may have noticed an odd banging or popping noise and even a certain amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust. In this case, you might have too much fuel instead of too little and the all-important mixture is classified as being too "rich." When the fuel and air mixture is not set properly this can create that banging noise, which is essentially a misfire. Have a look to see if spark plugs are dirty and may have become contaminated. Alternatively, a computer fault could be mixing the incorrect amount of fuel and air.

Shaky Going

On other occasions, you may notice that the vehicle appears to be shaking when you are at a standstill. This could well be a misfire associated with a crack in the distributor cap or lost compression due to faulty electronics. More seriously, the head gasket of the engine could be developing a leak.

Uphill Struggle

If a problem arises when your car is under strain, such as when driving up a hill, then the petrol filter could be clogged. Alternatively, you may be picking up some flecks of rust from within the petrol tank, especially if you've run it to almost empty recently.


To be sure, take the vehicle into your mechanic for a full diagnostic check. They will be able to tell you if it's something relatively simple, or you need to book the vehicle in for engine repairs.

For more tips on engine repair, click the link!