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Jul 1, 2014

The 5 Most Common Car Problems and How to Prevent Them

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Car troubles can often accumulate and become expensive repair projects. However, in most cases an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Check out these five common areas of car problems and the way to deal with them early with basic maintenance.

Car Maintenance

Catalytic Converter

  • Your catalytic converter is responsible for keeping exhaust emissions in check by burning any leftover gas in the exhaust. If too much gas is reaching the exhaust, this can over-work the catalytic converter and it can get clogged up with carbon deposits.
  • When this happens, the converter will need to be replaced. But you should also make sure you or your mechanic finds and fixes the initial source of excess gas in the exhaust. Otherwise, your brand new catalytic converter will fail just like the old one.
  • To prevent chronic problems and a cycle of replacements, make sure that your engine is regularly serviced, and treat the underlying cause if you do have a failure.

Misfires

  • Problems with sparkplugs – such as faulty wires or a build-up of oil and carbon – interfere with engine timing and can cause a misfire.
  • Likewise, problems with fuel delivery such as damaged valves or injectors or can be at fault.
  • Regularly scheduled maintenance can keep most of these problems under control. However, some issues can indicate another deeper problem that should be investigated.

System Too Lean

  • Your engine’s performance computer keeps track of a number of variables, like temperatures and airflow. One common problem code is “system too lean.”
  • This could indicate one or more of several problems with sensors, gaskets, intake, vacuum line, or many other items.
  • To avoid accumulating more and more problems and costs, make sure that you never just ignore a check engine light and make sure to fix the underlying root cause.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation

  • The Exhaust Gas Recirculation System, or EGR, plays a vital role in reducing the emission of harmful nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide through the exhaust.
  • This system is vulnerable to carbon build-up since it is dealing with the exhaust.
  • In addition to keeping an eye on your check engine light, you should have your EGR cleaned and serviced ever 30,000 miles or 48,000 km. This should prevent the build-up of carbon from reaching harmful levels.

Evaporative Emissions System

  • Fuel fumes are contained and directed by the Evaporative Emissions System or EVAP. This system needs to be functioning in order to keep liquid gasoline from entering and for the delivery of fuel fumes to the engine.
  • The computer may get an “EVAP Leak” code if there is a failure anywhere in this system.
  • Failure to respond to a check engine light from this could lead to much more expensive damage. In addition to bringing your car in for regular maintenance, you can also make sure to apply rust protection to reduce the chances of leaks. Whenever you top up your gas tank, remember to tighten down your gas cap so it is not loose and leaky.

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