Your vehicle has a lot of different sensors to keep it running properly. One of those sensors is the oxygen sensor. In this article, we will not go in-depth on what the oxygen sensor does because if you are reading this article then you probably already know.
Your car has a couple of oxygen sensors, and each one measures things a little differently. What we will cover in this article is how to by-pass the O2 sensor.
The one that might need to bypass is the one after the catalytic converter. We will cover a couple of different methods and explain the pros and cons to each one, and we will also explain why you might want to bypass the oxygen sensor.
Before going into the different methods, we will briefly cover why you might want to bypass the O2 sensor. Well, the main reason is to make sure your car will run properly if you don’t have a catalytic converter and that the check engine light isn’t constantly on.
Your vehicle may not have the catalytic converter for a variety of reasons. It might have fallen off, got a hole in it, or been removed for more horsepower, but without it, your car will always have a check engine light if you still have a functioning O2 sensor.
This can be annoying and also lead to other problems happening that is why it is important to try to get it to turn off by bypassing the O2 sensor.
A functioning oxygen sensor leads right into our first way around it, and that is to put a dummy O2 sensor in. A dummy O2 sensor is a fake one that does readings like a normal one.
A dummy one sends the cars computer the proper information that a normal one would send if it were reading correctly.
Dummy O2 sensors are easy to use. All you have to do is locate your cars current O2 sensor and unplug it. You then plug the new one in. It is that simple or is it?
Well, with dummy O2 sensors sometimes the cars computer can tell that it is a fact sensor and this will cause your car not to run right.
You will not get proper fuel mixtures and will lose power and fuel efficiency.
That is why if you want to go with a dummy sensor you will need to make sure that you get one that is programmed to work with the vehicle you have.
Also, buying dummy O2 sensors can be a challenge because removing your catalytic converter is illegal and the only reason why you would need a dummy O2 sensor is if you had done that.
Another name for dummy O2 sensors is O2 Simulators. An oxygen sensor simulator will send the computer the proper wavelengths. They work with resistors and capacitors.
Another reason why O2 simulators don’t always work though is that waveform is only one perimeter of a functioning oxygen sensor. When using O2 simulators or dummy O2 sensors, then you are likely to get a code for a known working one.
Also, these devices if you can find one can be costly because you need one that is made well. If you get a cheap one, then the chances are good that it won’t work.
If O2 simulators or dummy oxygen sensors don’t work the best, then what are some alternatives? Well, the main alternative is to connect a resistor to the O2 sensor that you already have.
The resister will send a single to the computer that the sensor is working properly. The reason that attaching a resistor straight to your current O2 sensor is a better method is because the one you already have a working sensor that you know is compatible with your vehicle. That means that you don’t have to find a sensor that is compatible.
The way you attach the resistor is like with the first method you remove the O2 sensor from the vehicle. Then you solder the resistor onto the connectors and then plug it back in.
It is pretty simple, and most people can figure out how to do it. The resistor doesn’t have to be a strong one. Just one that is fifty ohms or so will do the trick and will be able to trick the computer into think that the O2 sensor is working right.
These methods for bypassing the O2 sensor are for the second O2 sensor or the one that is after the catalytic converter. This is very important to remember.
You don’t want to mess with the oxygen sensor before the catalytic converter because that is the one that controls the fuel mixture in the engine and regulates things.
The second one is to make sure that the catalytic converter is working right and to let you know if it is not. If you mess with the pre-catalytic converter O2 sensor, then your car will run poorly.
Messing with the second one will not affect how your car runs. This is important to know because some people are misinformed and think it will.
Bypassing the Oxygen sensor is to make sure that you don’t always have a check engine light on. If you don’t mind the check engine light, then you don’t have to bypass the second sensor. It is good to though because you don’t want the check engine light always on or else you won’t know when something does go wrong with your vehicle.
Bypassing the O2 sensor is relatively simple, and there are a couple of methods on how to do it. The key is to trick your car’s computer to make it think that the catalytic converter is there.
You can do this by getting a dummy or simulator O2 sensor, but these don’t always work deepening on the type of vehicle you have and can also be hard to find.
If you do find one though all you have to do is plug it in where the original O2 sensor was. If you can’t find one that will work with your car though or want another method to bypass the oxygen sensor all you have to do is solder a resistor to the current sensor.
This will send a reading to the computer like your sensor is working properly. Bypassing your O2 sensor isn’t hard to do, and while it is illegal to drive without a catalytic converter, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
So, your lawn mower keeps dying on you. Well, just like anything with a motor, sometime your mower will have issues that cause it to stall and cut off. If you are having that issue with your mower, then you are in the right place.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why your mower might not stay running and also give you the solutions for them. Keep reading to see all the possible reasons why your lawn mower is stalling.
More: If you must replace the battery for your lawn mower, this is the best lawn mower battery for you.
Before going into an in-depth analysis of each issue, we will list out the potential problems below. That way if you have an idea of what the issue might be you can jump to that section first to save yourself some time.
The reasons why your mower might not stay running can fall into the following areas:
There can be a variety of reasons with the fuel system why your mower might be cutting off. Most of them are pretty simple things and can be fixed easily. The first thing to check with the fuel system is the gas.
If you left gas in your mower for an extended time, then it might not be good any longer. It could have had water condense in it, or it could have evaporated leaving a varnish-like residue.
If you know you left gas setting, then drain the gas from the tank and also the carburetor, then you can add fresh gas. This might solve your problem.
Some of the other issues in the fuel system, which we will cover shortly, can also come about from leaving gas in the system, so it is a good idea to drain the gas if you know that you won’t be cutting for a while.
The next thing that could be wrong with the fuel system that can come about from old gas or happen on its own is dirt and gunk build up. Gunk and deposits can build up in a variety of spots.
The first spot to check is the gas cap itself. Remove the gas cap and see if the mower will stay running without it. If it does, then that means the gas cap vent is blocked.
You will need to clean it out, so air can get thru. After doing that the problem should be resolved. If something else is dirty though and the gas cap is not the issue, then you will have to look farther.
Sticking with airflow, the next thing you can check is the air filter. This should be clean and not have debris or blockage. Also, if it has oil in it, then that is a problem too. If it does have a blockage or is dirty, then you will need to clean it out or replace it.
Air filters are not expensive, so it is a good idea to replace with a clean one regularly or at least clean it out since it is easy to get too. If it is not the air filter that is dirty, then it might be the fuel lines that are dirty.
If that is the case, you will have to drain the fuel and then remove the lines. Remember to drain both the tank and the carburetor. When removing the lines inspect them and see if you see any build up. If you do clean it off or replace the lines.
The issue may be in the carburetor itself though. It might be the thing that is dirty. If you are draining the fuel, then go ahead and take the time to check the carburetor. See if you can see any build up of gunk or deposits in it.
If you do be sure to clean it. Also, remove the fuel filter from the carburetor and see if it is dirty. If it is then clean or replace it as well. Same as the air filter, the fuel filter is pretty easy to get to and is cheap, so stay on top of replacing it and making sure it is clean. This will keep other parts of your mower running longer.
When cleaning the carburetor, it is essential to do it properly. You should use carburetor cleaner and spray it down thoroughly. Sometimes though even the cleaner won’t be able to get all the build up off. This is because fuel residue can be hard to remove.
If you can’t get the carburetor clean, then you can rebuild it with a kit from your mower manufacturer. Sometimes though it isn’t worth it to rebuild. This may be because you don’t have the time or the skills to do it.
If that is the case, then you can just buy a whole new carburetor and replace the old one. No matter if you are cleaning, rebuilding, or replacing the carburetor be sure to clean out the fuel lines as well.
The next reasons why your mower might not stay running could come down to the ignition system. This is similar to the fuel system and could be lumped in there. The ignition system for our purposes is where the spark occurs to ignite the fuel and provide power to the mower.
The part of the ignition system that we are worried about is the spark plugs. Old wore out, and dirty spark plugs can lead to the engine dying. They may work good enough to start the mower, but then misfires might start to happen leading the mower to shut off. If you hear misfires, then checking the plugs should be one of the first things you do.
To make sure the plugs are good you first need to pull them from the engine. Next, you can visually look at the electrode. If it looks dirty, then you can try cleaning it with an emery board, but if the electrode is already too thin, then you will need to replace that plug.
Also, it is a good idea to replace all the plugs if you are replacing one, so you know that they are all good. The electrode might not be dirty though, but the problem could still be the spark plug. If the gap on the plug is too big or too small than that can be an issue too.
You will need to look up the specifications for your mower and the gap it should be and then use a gapping measure to measure the gap. If it is off, then you need to replace the plugs.
The last area that can cause your mower to stall while mowing is in the cutting system. What we mean is if you are cutting thick or tall grass, then it might be bogging down the blades and causing the engine to stall.
If you can tell that the mower is having trouble cutting on the level you have it set too, then you will need to raise the deck. If raising the deck doesn’t help, or the grass isn’t that tall or thick, then the problem might be in the blades themselves or under the deck.
If the blades are dull, then they will not cut well, and that can lead to the mower stopping. You will need to get under the deck and remove the blades to sharpen them. Once they are sharp, that should solve the problem.
If your blades are sharp though, then they might be getting bogged down for another reason. That other reason is you could have a lot of grass built up under the deck. If that is the case, you will need to get under it and clean it out.
If you are sharpening the blades or cleaning the deck, then you should go ahead and do both things since you are already under there. It doesn’t take that long to remove the blades to sharpen them if you are already cleaning under the deck and it doesn’t take that long to clean under the deck if you are already sharpening the blades.
By doing both, it will save you time later and make sure you get the best cut possible.
One thing to check is lawn mower battery, if it is weak, the best battery tender is the excellent tool to recharge your battery.
So, after reading this, you now know all the possible reason why your mower won’t stay running and also the solutions for them. The issue could be in air flow or fuel flow. In either case, you will need to clean those systems out.
It can also be due to bad ignition. If that is the case, you will need new spark plugs. Lastly, it might just be that the blades are dull, under the deck is dirty, or the grass is too thick and not be a mechanical issue at all. If it is from that, then you will need to sharpen the blades and clean under the deck or raise the deck.
Luckily most of the reasons why your mower is stalling are easy fixes if you know what to check, and now that you have read this you do, so you are well on your way to fix your mower that is dying and not has to worry about the engine stopping in the middle of cutting again.
Lawn mowers have a lot of parts and in the big picture work very similarly to cars. One of those parts is the voltage regulator. This part is similar to the alternator in a vehicle. The voltage regulator helps make sure the proper amount of charge is going back into the battery while the mower is running.
In this article, we will cover how to test a voltage regulator on a lawn mower to ensure that it is working properly. We will explain the steps involved and also when you might need to test it.
More: If you must replace the battery for your lawn mower, this is the best lawn mower battery for you.
Before getting into how to test the voltage regulator, we will briefly explain when you might need to test it. The main reason you would need to test the voltage regulator is if your battery kept dying and you already had the battery tested to make sure it was good.
If you keep ending up with a dead battery but know that it is a good battery, then it is time to test the voltage regulator.
There are a couple of ways to test the voltage regulator, and we will explain both of them. Both ways are similar and do the same thing, so depending on your lawn mowers layout one might be easier to do than the other.
The first way to test the voltage regulator is thru the battery. The only tool you will need is a multimeter or voltmeter. Then follow the simple steps below.
If the reading did not change, then that means that the voltage regulator isn’t working and needs to be replaced or repaired.
You can also test the battery thru the voltage regulator itself if you can get to it. You can do that also with just a voltmeter or multimeter and by following the following steps.
What to do if your lawn mower battery is weak? Try to recharge it with the best battery maintainer, it will keep your lawn mower battery fully.
These are the two main methods for testing your voltage generator on your mower. Both methods are easy to do and can be done fast with just one tool.
All you need is a multimeter or voltmeter and to make sure you follow the steps provided. The key is to make sure you connect the meter right. Make sure the positive is connected to positive and negative to negative. Then start the mower and see if the voltage jumps or you get a reading.
After reading this, you can easily test your mower voltage generator and see if it is working like it is supposed too or if it is the cause of your repetitive dead mower batteries.
Cars these days have all kinds of different features. Sometimes you might not even know what the feature is or what it does, but the vehicle still has it. One of those features is overdrive.
A lot of cars have overdrive, and you just leave it on because that is what is commonly told to do. You may not even actually know what overdrive is or what it is used for.
Well, after reading this article you will know what overdrive is, what it does, and when to turn it off. Keep reading to have all your questions about overdrive answered.
Before getting into it or when you should turn overdrive off, you first need to understand what overdrive is. Overdrive is a feature on your car that controls your transmission and in the process also controls your engine.
When you have overdrive on it allows the car’s transmission to shift into the top gear whatever that might be for the particular vehicle. While in the top gear this allows the car to drive faster with less strain on the engine.
That is because the top gear is a smaller gear that spins faster than the engine reducing the engine RPM (rotations per minute) to provide the same power to the wheels. This means the car can go faster easier.
So, now we can look at what you gain when you have overdrive on. The main thing you gain is more power at lower engine RPMs at top speeds. This means that the engine is running more efficient and with less wear.
That means a longer life for your vehicle. This gain is hard to measure though due to other factors that go into engine life. One thing you gain though that can be measured is better gas mileage.
This is because the engine needs less gas when going at lower RPMs. The better fuel efficiency at tops speeds is why most people say to leave overdrive on.
Another benefit of overdrive is that it helps with breaking. That is because the car can shift out of the top gear when you slow down which will help you slow down.
This means that the engine will break the car along with the brake pads helping you to stop quicker. This breaking benefit means that does overdrive help reduce strain on the engine, but it also helps reduce strain on your breaks, which is a good thing because it helps your brake pads last longer and saves you money.
So, the next question is what do you lose with overdrive on. Well, the main thing you lose is towing power. That is because with less strain on the engine it loses the ability to apply force to something.
The lower RPMs means that the engine is putting out less pulling power. Also, having the overdrive on can lead to the car switching between the top two gears depending on the situation. A lot of times this happens on hills or when traveling at speeds right between the top two gears.
So, when should you turn overdrive off. Well, the main time you will want overdrive off is if you find that you are having trouble pulling a load.
You can tell if you are having trouble because the RPMs will get high and the engine will audible have a strain on it. If that is the, you should turn overdrive off, so that the engine can have more power.
The other time to turn overdrive off is if you can tell the transmission keeps switching between the top two gears. It is easy to tell this because the engine will rev up and have the RPMs jump when the transmission downshifts, and then the RPMs will drop when the engine shifts back into the top gear.
If the vehicle keeps doing this repeatable, then it is bad on the car, and you will want to make sure it stops this. This normally occurs when going up and down big hills, especially if your speed keeps changing.
Today cars are pretty good at determining your speed and if they should be in top gear or not. That means that a lot of times you won’t need to turn overdrive off with the button and instead trust the car with if it wants to use the top gear or not.
Leaving the overdrive on will help make sure that the car uses it when it is going at top speeds where it is beneficial and then not using it when it is not beneficial.
This way you get the gas mileage benefit, engine strain benefits, and all the other benefits that overdrive overs and by leaving it on you won’t have to worry about turning it back on.
The only thing that modern vehicles lack is knowing if you are pulling a load or driving a lot of hills. If you are pulling a heavy load, then you might want to turn overdrive off yourself with the button.
That will save the vehicle from getting confused. Also, if you live in an area with a lot of big hills, or are going to be driving on large hills, then you might want to turn overdrive off on your own to save strain your transmission.
Overdrive is just one of many features that most cars have today. Sometimes the vehicle may have overdrive, and you don’t even realize it. That is because most of the time cars are good at using overdrive when it is beneficial and only shifting into the top gear at top speeds when it is needed.
Overdrive provides a lot of benefits. The easily measured one is better fuel efficiency, but it also makes breaking easier and reduces strain on your engine.
That is why you should only turn overdrive off if you are pulling a big load or if your driving conditions are causing the transmission to repeatable shift between the top two gears.
If the transmission is constantly shifting or the engine is straining to pull a load, then you can turn overdrive off for that trip. Otherwise, it is wise to just leave overdrive on and not to turn overdrive off.
In a manual or otherwise known as standard transmission car, there is the clutch. The clutch is connected to the extra pedal that is normally on the far left side.
Sometimes the clutch doesn’t always function properly. In this article today we will explain what the clutch does and also one of the problems that can come about which is it getting stuck or not disengaging.
Your clutch can not disengage for a few reasons which we will explain here, and we will also discuss the solutions to these problems. Read on to find out why your clutch gets stuck and what to do about it.
More: When the car is not used much, the battery can begin to lose charge because its not charged by the alternator. This is a common occurrence of classic cars that are only used on weekends . To keep the battery fully charged, you need the best battery tender for your car.
First, before getting into why the clutch might not disengage, we will cover what the clutch is. It will help to understand briefly what the clutch does before we get into why it might not work.
The clutch is what connects the engine to the transmission. When the car is running and moving the clutch is engaged. The clutch is a pressure plate that is hooked to the flywheel that puts pressure on the drive plate.
When you step on the clutch pedal, it moves this plate out of the way for a moment so you can shift gears. When you shift gears, it literally moves the old gear out of place and a different into place. The clutch then reengages when you lift off the pedal, and the plate connects with the new gear.
So, now that you have the basic understanding then it will probably make sense to you that when the clutch isn’t disengaged all the way, then part of the plate is rubbing against the gears when you are trying to change gears.
Also, if the clutch is only partly engaged, then it will cause rubbing and friction. This causes the friction material to burn up and get wasted. It will also cause heat which will lead to wear and tear.
Eventually, the different bearings will wear out due to pressure and twisting forces and the system will break completely. This is bad, that is why if your clutch is slipping or not disengaging all the way you need to get it fixed as soon as you notice the problem.
So, now you are probably asking yourself what can cause the clutch to slip or not disengage. Well, there are four main things that can cause your clutch to slip. They are
These are the common reasons, and we will look at each one in more detail if you keep reading.
The most common reason for issues with your clutch is a stretched or broken clutch cable. The clutch cable is what connects the pedal to the clutch and tells the car to pull the clutch out of the way when you step on the clutch pedal. Luckily it is easy to check the clutch cable and replace it if it needs to be replaced.
For checking the clutch cable, all you need is a jack, flashlight, and some things to block the wheels off. A jack stand and googles also help for safety but aren’t needed.
The key when checking the clutch cable has put the car in park or first gear and engage the parking brake. Block the rear tires off and jack the front end of the car up.
Find the cable that is leading from the clutch and to the clutch pedal. Use the flashlight and visual look at it. See if it is tight or if it has slack. Also, make sure it isn’t coming apart or broke.
If it is loose or visible broken, then you need to replace it. All you do is unhook it from the clutch and the pedal and put the new one in. If the cable isn’t the problem, you can move to the next possible issue.
The next most common thing is a hydraulic leak in the clutch system. Luckily this one is pretty easy to check, especially if you are already down under the car.
To check look for any liquids under the car especially around the clutch. Also, pay special attention to the slave cylinder and make sure it isn’t leaking.
Check the rubber boots to make sure the seal hasn’t failed and checked the hydraulic lines. After checking under the car, you can lower it and check under the hood.
Look at the master cylinder and see if there are any leaks. Also, check all the seals and lines from above as well. If you find any leaks, then the damaged parts will have to be replaced. You want to make sure there is no hydraulic fluid or oil coming from anywhere.
Depending on the part of the hydraulic system that is damaged and your experience you might be able to replace it yourself, or you might have to get a shop to do it.
The good thing is about checking it yourself though is you save the labor cost on that and can tell the repair shop exactly what is wrong with it so your vehicle can get repaired faster and cheaper. If the hydraulic system appears fine though, then you will have to start looking at the clutch alignment.
The clutch alignment or linkage may not be right, and this can cause it to slip or not disengage all the way. This issue can be a little harder to check, but you want to look under the car again for this.
You will jack it up the same way as already described. To see if the alignment is right you will want to look at the pin and cotter pin on the clutch linkage and clutch pedal.
If these are loose or in the wrong position, then they will need to be adjusted. You also want to make sure that the adjusting nut is tight. If it isn’t than tighten it down.
Outside of those couple things, it is hard to do anything to the adjustment yourself unless you are experienced. If you are experienced, you can try to make sure the plate is in the right position, but if you are not skilled with cars than you should just take your vehicle to a mechanic and let them look at the clutch.
If you think you have a clutch alignment issue and have checked the other things, then just let a shop take care of it because you can cause more harm than good working on it yourself if you don’t know what you are doing.
The last issue of incompatible parts is also another common problem. This is especially true if you tried to upgrade something on your own and don’t have a lot of experience.
Sometimes, especially if you buy something online, it will say it is compatible, but really it isn’t. If you have recently redone your clutch system and then start having issues, then there is a good chance the part you used wasn’t the right size.
To fix this, you can take it to a mechanic and let them use the right parts or try to find a different part that is compatible. When upgrading or working on your clutch save all the material when installing something new in case it doesn’t work, and you need to return it and also try your best to get matching parts or buy somewhere that guarantees the compatibility of the new parts.
A clutch that won’t disengage is a major issue. It causes the clutch to wear out faster and can also lead to unsafe driving conditions. That is why if you have a clutch that is slipping or not disengaging it is important to check it out right away.
Now you know the four common causes of a clutch that won’t disengage, and that is a stretched or broken clutch cable, a hydraulic leak in the clutch system, an out of alignment linkage or incompatible aftermarket parts.
Most of these issues are easy to solve and now know how to diagnose each of them and know what to do about them to fix them. After reading this, you are well on your way to get your stuck clutch fixed and car driving safely again.
Your car can produce a variety of smells while running. The smells that your car makes aren’t always good either. Some of the smells that can be produced are burning smells, and one of those burning smells is burning plastic.
You may be having this smell from your car and be wondering what is causing it. Well, read on to find out the different causes of a plastic burning smell from your car and also how to solve them.
Determining when the burning smell occurs is one effective method to determine why it is occurring. For instants, some burning smells happen when you first start the car, while other burning smells occur when you turn on certain components of your car or do certain things.
It is important to pay attention to when the burning smell starts because that can help you figure out why it is happening. With burning plastic smells a lot of times it will occur when you turn on your car’s heater or other electrical devices.
If the bad smell starts when you turn on the heater, then there is a good chance that the smell is coming from the heater. If you haven’t used the heater in a while, then the smell might just be dirt and dust burning off.
If that is the case, then it will go away after a little use. Once the dust and dirt have burned off, then the bad smell will stop. If the bad smell doesn’t stop though or if it occurs even when you have already been using your heater, then it is coming from something else.
One of the common other things with the heater that could be causing the smell is you might have gotten some plastic debris, such as a bag stuck in the heater system.
You should check under the hood, in the engine area, and up under your car to make sure that no plastic bags are stuck anywhere. A bag that is stuck could be melting as you drive.
There are a lot of plastic bags on the road, and it is easier than you might think to get one stuck up under your car. Outside of the burning smell that is annoying, it is important to get the bags removed as soon as possible because it can damage other parts of your car.
A plastic bag can get stuck in a fan or cause something to overheat, so if you smell burning plastic, then it is a good idea to check for bags.
Lastly, burning smells from the heater could be coming from a broken heater or another component near the heater. If you check for a plastic bag and don’t find it, but have a burning smell, then you need to take the car to a shop and have a thru inspection done. When come to shop, you should ask the shop using best battery tender for car storage to recharge your battery if it need.
For instance, you might have antifreeze leaking and it burning off smells like plastic. Also, a heater component could be melting, and this could smell like plastic too.
If you have a burning smell coming from the heater and you have clean it, then it is a good idea to have it checked out to make sure nothing serious is wrong.
If you have a burning plastic smell when you turn on something else besides the heater, then it is probably an electrical short. This happens when the plastic coating on wires, fuses, or other connections wear off or burn off.
The issue is with whatever system you turned on when the burning smell starts. For instance, if you start to use your power windows and the smell starts, then it is the window system that has the short.
The reason why these occur is that the electrical wires get hot when you use the components. This heat is hot enough to melt the wire coating sometimes, and this melting is the smell that you smell.
The wire coating is easier to melt as it gets older. This is especially true if the wire coating gets cracked or damaged. That is because the wires inside can be exposed to things that it is not supposed to and heat up easier or cause a spark.
The good thing is that if the burning smell is occurring from an electrical short, then all you have to do is replace those wires. The hardest part with electrical issues is tracking them down though.
Bonus: You can find a short with a multimeter. This a the best automotive multimeter for you.
That is why it is extremely important to pay attention to what you are doing when the bad smell starts. The better you are at paying attention to what system is causing the smell, the more money you will save on fixing it.
It can take a lot of time looking at the electrical system if you can’t give the mechanic an idea of what part of the car to start looking at to find the short.
Bad smells can come from your car for a variety of reasons, and there can be a variety of bad smells. After reading this though, you now know what causes bad burning plastic smells and how to fix them.
You know that if you have a burning plastic smell, it is very important to pay attention to what you turned on in your car when the smell started because that will make fixing it either.
A lot of times it will be your heater or another electrical component. If it was something besides the heater than it is a short in a wire and you just have to replace the wires.
If it was the heater however then it could be a few things. If could be dirt burning off or a plastic bag that is stuck. If the heater has been running for a while though and you have checked it for a plastic bag, then it might mean a bigger component is broke.
You will need a mechanic to look at it to make sure it isn’t leaking antifreeze or that a vent or the motor isn’t melted. A mechanic will find the problem if it is one of those things and you can have it fixed. The key is to stay on top of things if you have a burning plastic smell and don’t ignore it or things could get worse.
So, your car is sputtering when you start it. Well, you are in the right place. In this article, we will look at all the possible reasons why a car might sputter when starting it and the solutions for them.
There is a whole lot of potential reasons why your car might be sputtering when you first start it, but after reading this article, you will know how to troubleshoot it and also know what to do to fix the problem.
Read on to learn more about why your car might sputter when you start it.
There are all kinds of reasons why a car might sputter when you start it and then be fine after it gets going. Before going into detail about the reasons we will list them out for you, so if you think a particular problem causes yours, then you can start their first.
The main reasons why a car might sputter when you start it are:
These are the main problems, and we will look at each one in-depth below.
The first problem could be that you have a weak battery. If the battery is just charged enough to turn the car over, then the engine might sputter at first before it gets going.
Once the engine is running, then it doesn’t require as much power from the battery, and that is why it might even out. Also, once the engine is running, it starts to charge the battery with the alternator.
If the sputtering was from a weak battery, then it will probably only happen once, because after driving the battery will get charged. If the battery is not holding a charge though, then it could keep causing the car to sputter when you start it.
To see if the battery is weak turn on your headlights before starting the car and if they are dim, then the battery is weak. Try charging it or testing the battery to see if you need a new one. Replacing the battery will fix the sputtering if that is the problem.
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The next thing that could cause your car to sputter when starting is bad or dirty spark plugs. This is because it takes a spark to ignite the fuel to get the engine going and if the spark plugs are dirty, then it may not be giving enough of a spark causing a rough start.
As the engine is going, it may not be as easy to notice the sputtering from all the other engine noise. You can change or clean your spark plugs if you think that is what is causing the sputtering and if it is, then the sputtering will stop after doing that.
The fuel injectors could also be dirty which could lead to not enough fuel being squirted into the cylinder. Cleaning them is also a good idea if you think the issue is happening when the fuel is being ignited.
All kinds of sensors are also involved when starting the car. You have the oxygen sensor, the mass airflow sensor, and the fuel injection sensor.
If any of these are dirty or going bad, then you will not get a proper mixture of gas in the cylinder when going to start the car. This will lead to the sputtering when you start it.
Clean all the sensors and make sure that they are not the problem. If the problem continues after cleaning or replacing them, then it was something else. Tied into the dirty sensors is a clogged air filter.
If the air filter is overly dirty and the proper amount of air can’t pass thru, then it will lead to sputtering issues. Replace the air filter or clean it to make sure that enough air is getting thru.
The next thing could be that you have a failing fuel pump. The fuel pump is what moves the gas from the tank to the cylinders. If it is getting weak, then it might not be moving the proper amount of gas thru.
Also, if it is the fuel pump, then you may have sputtering when your gas is low, but not when it is full. One way to see if it is the fuel pump is to spray propellant into the cylinder as you go to start the car.
If it starts fine with that, then you can bet that it is the fuel pump going out and needing to be replaced.
The next thing that can cause a sputtering is an exhaust leak. The exhaust leak can be anywhere. It can be at the manifold or farther along under the car.
Exhaust leaks are noisy and also dangerous as the exhaust is hot and can melt surrounding plastics or come into the vehicle. Leaking gaskets on the engine can also cause sputtering because it can affect the fuel mixture.
Exhaust leaks can be found by hooking up a blower into the tailpipe and then spraying the exhaust down with water. Anywhere that bubbles there is a leak and it needs to be fixed.
Another part of the exhaust process is the catalytic converter, and if you have one that is failing, then it can cause the engine to sputter.
That is because clean gasses are not countering the gasses that the engine is putting off and some might be going back into the engine causing it not to run smoothly.
If your catalytic converter is going out, toxic gases may also be going into the cabin of the vehicle. It is a good idea to have the catalytic converter replaced if it is failing.
The last potential thing we will look at is a bad ignition switch. If the switch is not working right then, it might not be sending the right signal to the engine to turn it over all the way.
This can lead to sputtering when you go to start it because the proper amount of charge isn’t being applied. This is one of the last things to check though because if it is the ignition switch, then most likely the car won’t start at all.
So, with all these possible causes for a car sputtering when starting, how do you know where to start with fixing the problem? Well, most of these issues will cause a check engine light to come on.
If your check engine light is on, then you should use an OBDII scanner and read the code. You can then look up what the code means and start with fixing whatever problem is being given.
The only think on here that probably won’t send code is a weak battery so if you don’t have a code, then start with the battery first. Everything else will cause a code, and then you will know what to fix from there.
A sputtering car on start can be annoying because there are so many things that could be wrong with the car. Luckily most of the fixes are affordable ones and won’t cause you to have to get a new car.
Just check the engine code and see what the problem is and then replace or clean the bad part. A vehicle that sputters when starting is a pretty simple problem to fix and while annoying it won’t cause you to have to miss work.
Just be sure to deal with it as soon as you can because a sputtering car is losing gas mileage and could be putting toxic gasses into your vehicle. Luckily now you know everything you need to know when it comes to your car sputtering when starting it.
A dead or bad battery is a common reason why a car will not start. A car uses the power from the battery to engage the starter to get the car’s engine to turn over. This takes a lot of power, and a weak or bad battery is not capable of doing this.
A lot of times you can use another car and jump the battery to help get it going to get to a place to have the battery replaced, but what if your car still won’t start after having the battery replaced.
Well, to find the answer to this question keep reading and we will go in-depth to the different reason why the car still might not be starting and some solutions for them.
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A lot of times to figure out what is wrong with a car that won’t start, a lot depends on the sound that the car makes while you try to start it. If it makes a K-K-K-K type sound, then chance are the battery is bad or not connected right.
The first thing to check after replacing a battery and the car still not starting is the battery wires. It is more common then you may think that the battery did not get connected right.
The leads could have come loose or not be making good contact. Check them again after replacing the battery and see if they are in fact tightly connected.
The next thing could be that you replaced it with the wrong type of battery or a battery that is not strong enough. If the new battery doesn’t have enough cold cranking amps, then this can prevent it from starting the car.
Recheck the new battery and make sure that it is at least equal in strength to the old battery that you had. If it is, then you can move on to the next stage.
The other thing that could lead to the K-K-K-K sound is a dead battery. The battery may be new, but if you have been driving the car, then it might have got drained, and if the alternator is bad, then it won’t have been getting recharged.
The alternator not working normally triggers lights on your dash, so if you see lights come on, especially the battery one look in the manual and see what they mean.
If you have an alternator that is failing, then it doesn’t matter how new the battery is because it won’t be getting charged as you drive and therefore won’t be able to start the car.
If the sound you get is a Grr-Grr-Grr type noise, then chance are it is not the battery that is the problem causer at all. A growling Grr sound when trying to start the car is an indication that the starter is bad.
If the start is bad, then it will need to be replaced. There are also a few other sounds that come with a bad starter.
The first is no sound at all. If when you turn the key, no sound is made, then it might be a bad starter, but could be a few other things that we will get to later. If you have no sound though, then you can have the starter tested to see if it is bad.
Lastly, if you hear a grinding, clashing, or banging sound while trying to start the car, then it could be an indicator that some of the teeth on the starter are broke. A
sound that sounds like shifting with a bad clutch could mean that the starters drive gear might be damaged, or the flywheel on the vehicle may have damaged teeth.
If you have any clashing, knocking, or metal scraping sounds when trying to start the car, then you need to have it checked out to make sure more damage does not occur.
Another problem when the vehicle doesn’t make a sound when you try to start it could be a bad fuel pump or fuel pump relay. When you turn the key to the on position, you should be able to hear a soft whine of the fuel pump intake turning on.
If you don’t, then the fuel pump motor might be weak or dead. If the fuel pump is just weak, you might be able to tape on the fuel tank near where the pump is at to get the motor going, but this won’t always work if it is to die.
A dead fuel pump will need to be replaced but check the relay first to make sure it wasn’t just a blown a fuse.
Also, make sure you have enough gas in the car for it to be able to start. Sometimes you don’t have enough gas for the fuel pump to suck it up. This can especially happen when parked on an upward slope.
The gas might be in the back of the tank and not going into the fuel pump. One last problem that the fuel system might be having that prevents the car from starting is frozen lines.
If it is cold and water got into the gas system, then the lines can freeze, and this can prevent the fuel from getting to the engine and being able to start.
Talking about the fuel, the problem could also be that it isn’t igniting properly. If you have old spark plugs, then they may not be firing a good enough spark to get the engine to turn over.
Spark plugs usually last for 100,000 miles, so it can be easy to forget to replace them. Check them if the engine is not turning over and making a misfiring type sound.
Also, bad spark plugs will cause the engine not to run smoothly, so before you get to the point where the car won’t start, if you notice rough idling or riding, then check the spark plugs and make sure they are still good.
The last possibility of why a car with a new battery might not start is that the security system got engaged. If the steering wheel will not turn, then the anti-theft system got tripped.
To get the wheel to unlock you need to nudge it some. This will help loosen it from the locking pawl and will allow the car to start.
Another security feature that may keep your car from starting is if it has a proximity key. Make sure the key is in the car or on your person or else the car won’t start. If you are rushed, then you might have forgotten it in the house or left it in your pants or jacket from the night before.
Before freaking out, make sure you have it on you because the problem might be as simple as just not having the proximity key in the car with you.
There is a lot of reason why car still won’t start after replacing battery. The critical thing is to stay calm and work your way thru the problem.
First, make sure the new battery is connected right and is the right one. Then, if your car has a proximity key, make sure it is with you. Next, listen to the sound the car makes when you try to start it.
If it is a K-K-K-K sound, then the battery is weak or not connected. If it is a Grr sound, then it is most likely a bad starter. Clashing sounds can also be the starter or flywheel.
If no sounds happen, then it could be the starter or the fuel pump not working. Depending on the sounds you get, you can have an idea of where to start for checking things so you can get your car running again quickly and without spending too much more money.
Multimeters can be used for all kinds of purposes. One of those is locating a ground fault in a circuit. After reading this article you will know what a ground fault is, why it is bad, and how to use a multimeter to find one.
We will go thru the steps required to safely find a ground fault so it can be fixed and not cause harm.
Before going into how to find a ground fault with a multimeter though, it is a good idea to know what a ground fault is.
A ground fault is when wiring is worn, chafed, pinched, or bad and current is getting out of the system and into the ground.
Normally current either gets to the ground thru the circuit and a dedicated wire or the current doesn’t go into the ground at all, but instead stays in the circuit.
The reason why ground faults are dangerous is that if current is getting out it means something is damaged in the system. The thing might still function properly, or it could not have enough power going thru the circuit and the item might not function right.
Ground faults are also dangerous because if you are working on the item that has a fault and touch the part where the fault is, then the current can go thru you.
This will only happen if the thing is on though, so if working on something make sure it is off. You may touch the bad wire though unknowingly with normal use and get shocked. Even worse, depending on what the bad wire touches it could cause a fire or worse shock.
If the wire with the ground fault touches water, then it can shock everything in the water. This is why you need to find ground faults as soon as possible, if you suspect one.
One of the easiest ways to find a ground fault is by using a multimeter. This is good because a lot of people already have multimeters on hand. Continue reading this and you will learn the steps required to safely find a ground fault.
Any multimeter will work for finding a ground fault. You don’t need the most expensive one on the market and there are a lot of different ones on the market.
All you need is a multimeter that is reliable. Make sure the object that you are going to be testing is unplugged and off. Then also make sure that the probes are connected to the multimeter.
Once his is done set the multimeter to the ohm setting. If your multimeter has more than one position for the ohm setting, then set it to the 1x position.
After you have the multimeter on and set up, it is time to do the ground fault test. Touch one probe to a terminal and touch the other to the device housing or mounting bracket.
Now, you move the first prob that is touching a terminal to another terminal. If the multimeter reads anything besides infinity during any part of the test, then there is a ground fault.
If you are testing something with multiple circuits, then you can use the multimeter to determine which circuit is bad as well.
If for example you have a battery that is connected to a fuse, then you can connect on probe to the battery side and then one to the fuse side. Start turning off fuses unitil the reading is correct or the infinity symbol and then you will know which fuse is bad. Talk about battery, if you need a tool to maintain your car battery, i recommend you using the best battery tender, i used it and it is great tool to do that.
The thing about finding ground faults in a circuit that can be annoying is figuring out which one it is, but it really isn’t that hard. You just have to test each on until you find the bad one.
This requires being patient and taking your time. If you stay patient and take your time though, then you can find which circuit is bad and know which one to repair, instead of having to fix them all.
The best way to fix a ground fault is just to replace the bad wire. This is the simplistic type of ground fault to fix. If it is just one wire or a few wires that are bad or old, then you can remove them and put new ones in.
Sometimes though the ground fault is in a specific part. If that is the case, then you have to replace that whole part. It is normally not worth the trouble or safe to fix the part instead of replacing it.
Also, you should never use a part with a ground fault for the danger or damage that it can cause. Just order the new part and replace the whole thing, to fix the ground fault problem.
Ground faults tend to not be hard to fix, but they can be a real struggle finding sometimes especially depending on how big the system or circuit is.
The trick to finding the ground fault though, is breaking the system down into smaller sections where you can and using patients and going slow when you can’t break it down.
Then you just need a simple multimeter that is reliable to start testing. To test for a ground fault connect one probe to a terminal and the other to the case of the object and then move the first probe from terminal to terminal.
If the multimeter on the ohm setting gives any reading besides infinity, then there is a ground fault. If the system has breakers, then you can connect on probe to the terminal and the other to the breaker.
You can then shut the breakers off, until you find the one that is causing the bad reading. That way you know which part of the system you have to work on.
Once the ground fault is located, then it is easy to fix. You just have to replace the worn or pinched wires with new ones and the problem should be solved. Sometimes though it is a whole part that is bad and you will have to replace it. Grounds faults are dangerous though and should be taken serious. They should be found and repaired as soon as you are aware of one existing.
Dead car batteries are an annoying thing. This is especially because a lot of times they happen out of the blue. Sometimes it is from something simple such as a light getting left on and you can jump the car and get on your way, but sometimes the battery is too dead to jump and needs completely charged.
What does it mean though if your car battery won’t charge. Well, in this article we will look at some of the possibilities of why a car battery won’t charge and some of the solutions for that.
The first reason why a car battery might not be charging is that the alternator may be bad. The alternator is what converts the spinning of the engine into power that goes back into your battery.
Normally, when a car and alternator is working properly, the alternator will charge the battery as you drive, so then it will have enough power to start the car again the next time you need it too.
If the alternator is bad though, then it is not providing any charge to the battery and their for the battery is not charging.
The alternator not charging the battery could be something as simple as the connections have came undone. If that is the case, then all you have to do is reconnect things, and it should start working properly.
Vibration while driving or wires going bad is how the battery and the alternator could become disconnected. If they are not disconnected though, then their must be something else going on.
You can run a test on the alternator by a automotive multimeter and see if it is putting off a charge. If it is not putting off a charge, then it is bad and must be replaced.
Getting an alternator replaced isn’t that hard and if you are mechanically skilled then you can do it yourself. If you aren’t though, then any shop can do it for you. If the alternator is putting off a charge, but it isn’t constant, then you might just have a bad belt.
If your serpentine belt is loose, then it could be slipping and not allowing the alternator to work properly. If that is the case, then you will need that belt replaced. Again, this isn’t that hard of a task to have done and isn’t to costly of a repair.
Another reason why the battery may not be charging is that the battery itself is bad. A lot of things can go wrong inside of the battery. The battery could short itself out or get internal damage from shocks or vibration.
To find out if the battery itself is bad you can run some test on it. If the battery itself is bad, then you will have to replace it and get a new battery. A bad battery can not be repaired.
Also, if the battery shows visual signs of being bad, then it is time to replace it. If it has corrosion or leaks, then it is defiantly time to get a new battery. If the connectors aren’t corroded to bad, then they might be able to be cleaned off and this might allow it to charge properly again.
Another reason why a battery might go bad is just its age. As a battery is used suffer builds up on the plates and forms a crust. When the battery is being charged it breaks this suffer off of the plates.
Over time though the sulfur will not come off the plates all the way and won’t go back into the solution. Also, the sulfur eats the plates and over time and recharging the plates just disappear. As the sulfur is broke off the plates int he recharging process, a part of the plate goes with it.
Think of a rusted panel and how it crumbles, well the plates int he battery work the same way. If your battery is old it won’t recharge or hold a charge and again will have to be replaced.
Another final reason why a battery might not recharge is that the charger you are using may be bad, not be the right type, or not be connected right. Some batteries require special types of chargers to recharge them.
If you are using a charger and it doesn’t seem to be charging your battery, then make sure it is the right type for that battery.
Another reason why the charge may not be charging the battery is your may not have it connected right. To connect a charger to a battery you want to make sure the positive lead is connected to the positive connector on the battery.
If it is not it will not work and cause damage to the battery. You then connect the negative to the negative pole on the battery. Once connected make sure you plug the charger in and set it on the right amps or speed of charge to match the battery.
If these things don’t work, then the charger itself might be bad. Try a different charger and see if it works with the battery you are trying to charge. A battery charger could get a short in it just like a battery can or the inside components could go bad. If you want to buy a new battery charger, this is the best battery tender for you.
A battery charger has to convert the AC or DC current into current that the battery can use and this converter mechanism on the inside of the charger might go bad or stop working. This is especially the case if the charge is old, or if the charger has not been stored or used right in the past.
So as you now know there are a few reasons why a car battery might not be charging. The alternator inside the car could be bad or you could have a loose belt inside the car. The battery itself could be bad. The battery could have damage that you don’t see or it just might be old and wore out.
If it has been recharged a bunch, then it just might not be able to be recharged any more. Lastly, the charger could be bad if you are trying to use an external charger or it could be connected wrong. After you have made sure it is the right charger and is connected right, you might need to try a different charger to see if that fixes the problem.
Now you have a better understanding of why a car battery won’t charge and should be able to trouble shoot it for the situation that is at hand for you and your current situation.