Is Your Car Exhibiting Intermittent Engine Problems? Learn Why You Should Note Their Patterns

If your car is exhibiting intermittent engine problems, then one of the first steps towards a solution is to note the pattern of their occurrence. This is because most intermittent problems aren't exactly random, they occur under certain conditions. Therefore, noting the patterns of occurrence not only helps you to have an inkling of what the problem entails, but it also help your mechanic make a fast and accurate diagnosis. Here are a few examples of such patterns, and what they may mean:

Problem Occurs Under Certain Driving Speeds

Does the engine problem crop up when you are:

  • Below or above a certain speed
  • On a rough road
  • Uphill or downhill
  • Braking
  • Accelerating?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions or similar ones, then the problem is likely to be motion related. A motion-related problem probably points to a loose or broken connection that needs to be replaced or tightened. For example, it may mean that a circuit board is cracked, but the two pieces are still in contact. The problem appears at high speeds because the crack widens (due to increased vibrations) when the car reaches a certain speed.

The Engine Is Hot or Cold

This may indicate a temperature-related problem. For example, the issue may only crop up after driving for a long time (or after idling for some time), or when you haven't driven at all. There are a myriad of underlying problems that can be caused by low, or more often, high temperatures. For example, it may mean that there is a hairline crack in a soldered connection that widens up when the temperature rises. Another example is low coolant level, which may lead to an overheated engine that rattles and pings.

The Car Gets Wet

There are also car issues that only occur when the car is wet; for example, after driving in the rain or through a puddle. This obviously means that the issue is moisture related. It means, therefore, that the water is getting somewhere it shouldn't reach. In most cases, water only affects electronics or electrical wiring. This may happen, for example, if the water connects two electrical conductors that shouldn't be in contact and causes a short-circuit. For example, it may mean that water is getting onto the ignition coil and causing ignition problems.

As you can see, it is important to note these patterns because they are essential to the diagnosis. Of course, if a serious problem occurs twice or thrice, then you don't have to wait for a pattern before consulting the mechanic. To find out more, contact a business like Bonita Point Auto Care 76.