Engine

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Complete engine failure, unusual noises, low oil pressure, loss of power, misfiring, hard starting and overheating are all common signs of a seized engine. Acting on these signs by taking the vehicle to a mechanic or automotive professional is crucial to avoid potential long-term problems.

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  • How do I know if my ignition coil is bad?

    Q: How do I know if my ignition coil is bad?

    A: There are several different symptoms that may surface if a car has a bad ignition coil, including backfiring, trouble starting the vehicle, engine misfires, stalling and poor gas mileage. Any one of these problems, or an aggregation of them, indicates a vehicle that has a dysfunctional ignition coil.
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  • Why does my car make a knocking sound?

    Q: Why does my car make a knocking sound?

    A: There are many potential causes for engine knocking noises, and they vary slightly from one vehicle to another. However, there are a few causes of knocking noises that are much more common than others. Some of the usual causes for a knocking sound from a vehicle's engine are low-quality fuel, incorrect spark plugs and deposits forming on the engine's cylinder walls, according to HowStuffWorks.
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  • What happens if the timing belt breaks?

    Q: What happens if the timing belt breaks?

    A: When a timing belt breaks, the engine of the car stops working. Often, there is a loud clunking sound right before the timing belt breaks. It is impossible to drive a car with a broken timing belt because the belt regulates the movement of the crankshaft and the camshaft.
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  • What is the average cost to rebuild an engine?

    Q: What is the average cost to rebuild an engine?

    A: The average cost to rebuild an engine is typically $300 to $1,200. An older air-cooled engine is on the low end of the scale, while small block eight-cylinder engines are higher in price. An engine needing block and head machine work adds to the price.
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  • What can cause a car engine to smoke?

    Q: What can cause a car engine to smoke?

    A: Reasons for a smoking engine include a clogged air filter, blocked manifold, oil leaking on to the exhaust system, leaking head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. Regardless of the reason, it is important to visit a mechanic if a car engine starts to smoke, or permanent damage can happen.
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  • What does RPM mean in cars?

    Q: What does RPM mean in cars?

    A: RPM is the acronym used for revolutions per minute. It measures the number of revolutions completed in one minute around a fixed axis, giving the speed of a mechanical component. It is commonly used to describe the performance of automobile engines.
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  • How do internal combustion engines work?

    Q: How do internal combustion engines work?

    A: According to HowStuffWorks, internal combustion engines work by igniting a compressed fuel-air mixture in a combustion chamber and harnessing the energy to perform some type of work. Internal combustion engines transfer chemical energy into mechanical motion.
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  • What is the function of a car engine?

    Q: What is the function of a car engine?

    A: The function of a car engine is to convert fuel into mechanical motion, which makes it possible for the car to move. It transforms chemical energy from the fuel into mechanical energy through an internal combustion process.
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  • What is a car's VIN number?

    Q: What is a car's VIN number?

    A: A car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a serial code that serves as an identifier for that particular vehicle. Several countries use the VIN system to identify stolen vehicles, lemons and branded vehicles.
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  • What happens when diesel fuel ends up in a gas engine?

    Q: What happens when diesel fuel ends up in a gas engine?

    A: If diesel fuel ends up in a gas tank by mistake, it's unlikely that the engine will even start. However, if it does start, the car's performance will decline because the engine's timing will be off or could cause engine knocking.
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  • Why would a car overheat when idling?

    Q: Why would a car overheat when idling?

    A: A car can overheat while idling if there is not enough coolant in the radiator or there is a malfunctioning fan, radiator or fan belt. Additionally, some cars have a fan clutch that may cause overheating.
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  • How can you tell if your car engine has seized?

    Q: How can you tell if your car engine has seized?

    A: Complete engine failure, unusual noises, low oil pressure, loss of power, misfiring, hard starting and overheating are all common signs of a seized engine. Acting on these signs by taking the vehicle to a mechanic or automotive professional is crucial to avoid potential long-term problems.
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  • Can you put water in the engine coolant?

    Q: Can you put water in the engine coolant?

    A: The liquid within a vehicle's cooling system should be a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. This mixture is designed to prevent overheating and corrosion.
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  • What does a flashing check engine light indicate?

    Q: What does a flashing check engine light indicate?

    A: The check engine light flashes yellow when the electronic-control system of an automobile finds a problem it cannot adjust. The computer stores a trouble code in its memory to help identify the probable source of the problem. These trouble codes can be read by a scan tool or diagnostic computer.
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  • What causes a diesel engine to overheat?

    Q: What causes a diesel engine to overheat?

    A: Overheating of a diesel engine can be caused by anything that decreases the efficiency of the cooling system. Low levels or loss of coolant, poor air flow through the radiator and a defective thermostat are just a few of the problems that could cause a diesel engine to overheat.
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  • What can destroy a vehicle's engine?

    Q: What can destroy a vehicle's engine?

    A: Poor maintenance often leads to engine trouble. Neglecting to check the oil is a common cause of engine issues, according to ABC News as damage can occur from very low oil levels. Oil can also degrade substantially and stop providing adequate engine lubrication.
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  • Q: What is a Shovelhead engine?

    A: A Shovelhead engine is a V-twin engine made by the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company. It was a remodeled version of Harley-Davidson’s Panhead engine and provided greater power and acceleration. Built in 1965, the engine was in operation from 1966 to 1985.
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  • Q: What causes a whining noise in an engine?

    A: A whining noise is caused by a faulty power steering pump. When the pump has air in the system or has trouble creating pressure, it produces a loud whining noise.
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  • What does it mean when a car engine accelerates on its own?

    Q: What does it mean when a car engine accelerates on its own?

    A: Unintended acceleration may mean that a car's throttle is stuck in an open position or that there is a problem with the gas pedal. Mistakes also lead drivers to believe their cars are accelerating on their own.
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  • Q: What are some common V6 Vortec engine problems?

    A: General Motors Vortec line of V-6 engines commonly suffer from problems with excessive oil consumption and engine knocking. Knocking problems are particularly prevalent in Vortec engines used in trucks and SUVs built during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some Vortec V-6 engines also develop problems with their camshafts, though this seems to be more common among Vortec engines used in industrial applications rather than in passenger vehicles.
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  • Q: What does an engine tune-up consist of?

    A: Tune-ups vary between shops, but generally they consist of the replacement of spark plugs and other routine preventative maintenance to keep the engine running smoothly. Further maintenance included in some tune-ups involves replacing air and fuel filters and performing computerized systems checks.
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