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After ringing the engine, my car engine performance has become poor. Whenever I start and move the car for about a-100 meter distance, it goes off intermittently. Even the engine sound is worrisome. What could be the problem?

The problem is definitely with the engine, right inside of the engine.

If you experience a problem with your vehicle engine, it is advisable to diagnose the problem first in order to know what next to do. 

Engine diagnosis entails a fundamental and systematic approach to determine what the problem is. 

When conditions indicate that the problem is right inside of the engine itself, the engine must need to be diagnosed and tested. It is worthy of note that if the engine has a problem the other systems of the vehicle cannot function properly. The vehicle engine is responsible for the seal of the cylinders, compression of the mixture, and conversion of the energy produced in the cylinders into the power necessary for the locomotion of the vehicle. The vehicle engine also produces the signals for precise operations of the other systems components of the vehicle.

Professionally, it is advisable to completely overhaul and replace a trouble vehicle engine instead of ringing it as there could result the following:

1. Heavy hood/abnormal noise coming from the interior of the engine.

2. Crankshaft noise due to excessive clearance in the main bearings which issues out heavy metallic knocks.

3. Noise from the connecting rod due to excessive clearance in the connecting rod which usually gives out a light rap or clatter. The noise becomes louder with increase in the engine speed.

4. Noise from the piston. The most common is slap. It is a hollow, muffled, bell-like sound produced due to rocking of the piston from side to side in the cylinder. So, the cylinder wall clearance becomes excessive or skirt-broken.

5. Noise from the valve which produces a characteristic clicking sound.

For your vehicle diagnosis, servicing and repairs, kindly visit us at our shop.

My vehicle automatic transmission gear lever is stiff on park; it does not shift from park when the engine is running and you push (step on) the brake pedal. What could be wrong?

The problem must be with the brake system. With the automatic transmission system, apart from the brake system functioning to slow down or bring the vehicle to a stop, it also functions as the clutch which allows the vehicle’s gear to be engaged when the brake pedal is pushed (stepped on).

Your vehicle’s gear lever, like in every vehicle, will usually be on park as you start the engine. You will then have to push (step on) the brake pedal for you to engage the gear to drive (D), reverse (R), neutral (N), etc. But if the gear lever remains stiff on park, there being difficulty in shifting it as you wish, then something must be wrong with the brake system which, we have observed, also functions as the vehicle’s clutch system.

You will have to visit your mechanic to have a proper look at things for you beginning from the brake calipers. Perhaps, they are not functioning properly and may need to be replaced.

The brake calipers house the vehicle’s brake pads and pistons. They function to slow down the wheels of the vehicle by creating friction with the brake rotors. When you push (step on) the brake pedal, brake fluid creates pressure on the pistons in the brake calipers, forcing the brake pads against the brake rotor and slowing down your vehicle or bringing it to a stop. 

At the same time functioning as the vehicle’s clutch system, once the brake pedal is pushed (stepped on) and brake fluid creates pressure on the pistons in the brake calipers, forcing the brake pads against the brake rotors, this electromechanical process signal is immediately sent to the vehicle’s ECU and further communicated to the valve body and the gear lever is allowed to be engaged (shifted) as you may wish.

For your vehicle diagnosis, servicing and repairs, kindly visit us at our shop.

My car check engine light is constantly on and blinking on the instrument panel. What Could be the cause?

First of all it’s important to know what a blinking Check Engine light means? When the engine light is blinking, it means that there is a problem with the engine and there is a trouble code stored in the Engine Control Module. Normally, the Check Engine light is not supposed to blink; but if it does, it means the problem with the engine occurred right away and should be looked into.

The ECU receives information from all the sensors of the car engine. It calculates how much fuel it should inject into the engine and at which angle it should fire the ignition. If one of the values from a sensor is faulty, it will trigger a trouble code. If the ECU is getting the wrong value from the sensor, the Check Engine light will be blinking until it gets the correct value again.

Common causes of a blinking Check Engine light:

The Check Engine light is most likely to blink if it’s a severe constant problem, like a repeatedly ignition misfire, injector, or a temperature sensor, that constitute an essential part of the engine’s running. In rare cases, there could also be an internal engine problem or a faulty ECU. From experience, a blinking Check Engine light is most often a problem of misfire, EGR or an exhaust temperature sensor.

-Misfire on one or several cylinders (Most common).

-Faulty Spark plugs/Coils.

-Faulty Engine Sensors (coolant, air temperature, exhaust temperature sensor etc).

-Faulty EGR valve.

-Faulty/Bad Injectors.

-Faulty Crankshaft/Camshaft sensor.

-Exhaust emission problems.

-Boost/Overcharging problems.

-Internal Engine problem.

-Faulty ECU.

A constant Check Engine light can be okay to drive with sometimes, but definitely not a blinking Check Engine light. If you notice the Check Engine light blinking when you are out and driving, you should drive the shortest way to a mechanic shop to let them take a look before you keep driving. Driving with a blinking Check Engine light can result in more expensive problems with your engine.

Our recommendation: Do not run your car with a blinking Check Engine light, tow it to the closest auto shop near you.