General internal combustion engine questions.

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21
votes
8answers
21k views

Is it necessary to 'burn in' or 'break in' a new car?

I've just bough a new 2011 plate car. I've heard stories of people 'burning in' engines for the first few hundred or couple thousand miles using methods such as: Not driving above 50 mph. Varying ...
14
votes
11answers
74k views

What happens if a single spark plug unexpectedly goes down in a multi-cylinder engine?

AFAIK vehicle manuals say owner must replace spark plugs every N miles. Suppose he fails to do so and a single spark plug unexpectedly dies in an engine with multiple cylinders right in a freeway. ...
14
votes
4answers
9k views

Is Start & Stop technology good or bad for my car? (Alfa MiTO)

I was recently in the lucky position to obtain an (almost brand new) Alfa Romeo MiTo, Progression. Like many new cars coming out these days, it has "Start & Stop" technology that turns the engine ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?

When you come to a stop with a manual transmission you have to push the clutch in or take it out of gear to keep the engine from stalling out. What keeps the engine from stalling in an automatic ...
13
votes
4answers
30k views

What are the risks of overfilling a small engine with oil?

I recently overfilled a 4 stroke lawnmower engine with oil. It has been run for about 1.5 hours while overfilled. It smokes a lot right after being started but after 30 seconds or so the smoke clears. ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Static vs. Effective compression: Why does higher effective compression not require higher octane gas?

Background I've been trying to do a lot of research on boost lately because I'm planning on running a moderate turbo setup on my daily/light-duty-autox car in the future. I'm trying to get into the ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

Driving in second gear at 65+ mph

I accidentally drove my 2000 Grand Marquis on second gear on the highway. I was going 65 for like 5 minutes and tried to get it to 70mph but the car was shaking, when I realized I put it into regular ...
12
votes
2answers
9k views

Is starting your car with the A/C on bad?

I was always yelled at by my father when I was first starting to drive when I left the A/C on when I turned off the car, and then later turned it back on, with the reasoning that I was ruining / ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

My car's coolant temperature reaches almost 100 C / 212 F in a fast pace

Today, after a very hot day, I saw that my coolant was almost reaching 100C/212, I pulled over, stopped and took a look over the hood. The very little water that remained in the coolant tank was all ...
11
votes
1answer
902 views

What is happening when a two-stroke engine is said to be “four-stroking”?

Many years ago, I was involved in a hobby of building and flying model aircraft. The aircraft used alcohol-fueled 2-stroke engines with glow plug ignitions. When these engines ran rich (and always at ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it OK to mix oil of different viscosity?

I have a Mazda RX-8 (with a Wankel rotary engine). Mazda advises North American owners to use 5W-20 oil. The engine was just replaced 200 miles ago by the dealer so it currently has 5W-20 in it. ...
10
votes
9answers
9k views

Diesel vs Petrol motorcars. Pro's and cons?

I realize this may be a silly question to those of you on here who are proper petrol-heads and this may even be a repeat question, but I could not find anything on it on here, so here goes: What are ...
10
votes
7answers
27k views

Is idling bad for your engine?

If I sit in my car for 30-40 minutes with the AC and the car idling, does that "hurt" the engine, or does it simply waste gas and pollute the air? Would it be better if I turned off the car? A ...
10
votes
5answers
26k views

What would be the most likely cause of engine sputter?

Most of the time my 2001 Honda Civic sounds like this... Vrooooooom. But some times when I start driving it sounds like this... Vrooom putt pa putt pa putt pa vrooooom. When it's in the "putt pa ...
9
votes
6answers
8k views

Do I need to torque my spark plugs?

I have never torqued them before on several vehicles that I do tune ups on. I just apply a bit of anti-seize lube and get them "snug" and everything seems to work fine. Should I be using a torque ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How to properly change out spark plugs?

I am looking into how to change out my spark plugs on my 4 cylinder 2005 Mazda 3. All I know to do is: 1: Open each cylinder. 2: Use a spark plug socket (with the rubber insert) to remove the old ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

2000 Jetta runs rough, shutters on cold start only on wet days.

This is an issue I've had off and on for, embarrassingly, at least a year: On misty or wet mornings, everything starts out fine but, a few minutes into the drive (like clockwork. I even know the ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Car crash: when does a car catch fire?

Which kind of crash does it need for a car to catch fire? I'm asking because I was discussing about an accident where a car crashed into a full-grown brown bear. Is it realistic under normal ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why might I experience a power falloff after starting my car with the AC On?

I have a 2000 Chrysler Neon which generally runs well. I have noticed that if I start the vehicle, turn the AC on and reverse out of the driveway, the engine seems to struggle/sounds like it is going ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does a Turbocharger only produce boost when the engine is under load

As per the Title. Why does a turbocharged car only produce significant boost whilst the engine is under load. Is is something to do with how much exhaust is being produced or is there some kind of ...
8
votes
2answers
166 views

Can you stop fuel delivery to one cylinder of a 2003 Ford F150 with 5.4L Triton Engine?

Can you disconnect a wire so gas will not pump into the cylinder? I have a spark plug blown out and need to get my 2003 F150 5.4 Trition engine home without paying another tow charge.
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Is this what is making my car sound like a racecar?

Recently, my car (2000 Mercury Grand Marquis) started sounding like a racecar: the engine became very loud. There's clearly something going wrong with the exhaust system. I'm trying to understand ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How much power (HP) do the components on the engine belt generally use?

In general, how much power (HP) to the components on the the engine belt actually use? I'm trying to come up with an estimate of how much horsepower an engine wastes on things like the AC compressor, ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

What colour should power steering fluid be?

Recently started shopping for first car, so want to know as much as possible when going into a sale. Car I looked at recently has a brown dirty colour in the power steering reservoir, but the stuff ...
7
votes
4answers
39k views

Cold start squeaking noise in engine

I just purchased a used 2010 Corolla 3 days ago. I've only now noticed that when I start the car, there is a squeaking sound coming from the engine. It lasts no more than a second. Sounds like it ...
7
votes
1answer
634 views

Car Suddenly Decides To Not Crank

Today I turned the key to start up my car and all the lights (headlights and instrument panel) came on bright and normal, but the engine made absolutely no sound. It wouldn't start, it didn't even try ...
7
votes
2answers
645 views

What is the likelihood that my crankshaft is warped?

This may be an involved question so bear with me. :) I have a 1998 Honda Accord EX (4cyl) with 281xxx KM, and last week I was told by my mechanic that the harmonic balancer is warped. And in fact, ...
7
votes
1answer
263 views

Ants in my lawn mower engine

Related questions: Are small engines on topic? (meta) Reviving a vehicle that has been idle for a long time. With the arrival of Spring, I went to dust off my riding lawn mower. It had been sitting ...
7
votes
3answers
228 views

Will I be okay running thinner oil with a minor oil leak on an older car?

Recently when I had some work done I was shown a minor leak, I believe he told me it was the oil pan. It doesn't drip out onto the ground, but if you look closely you can see condensed oil drops on ...
7
votes
1answer
712 views

What do i need to know when replacing a valve cover gasket

I have an oil leak from a cracked valve cover gasket that i want to replace myself. I bought the gasket nearly 6 months ago and i am apprehensive at doing it myself without sort of feed back as to ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

What would cause motor mounts to go out on a factory engine?

I got my factory motor mounts replaced on my 2000 eclipse at 175k miles. I am now at 189k and the mounts blew again. I can hear the same rattling and squeaking. I had the spark plugs and valve cover ...
6
votes
4answers
972 views

What happens if unsuitable oil is used in a vehicle engine?

I recently heard an urban legend-like story about a guy in a developing country who decided engine oil was too expensive and so used some vegetable oil instead. The story says the car ran for some ...
6
votes
2answers
341 views

Trying to figure out the name of this car part!

I got new tires today and saw that the part that's circled is broken on my car. It looks like it just snapped at the top because part of the bolt appears to still be in whatever the tube is. Anyone ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

How to get a motor to Top Dead Center

I'm not sure how specific to my car this is or not, so I will include my car information just in case: It's a 1991 Honda CRX, base trim(the motor is the d15b2). On to the question: How do I go about ...
6
votes
3answers
26k views

Car temperature displaying below Cold or just above Cold always?

I've noticed on my 94 Integra (bought used about 2 weeks ago) that the thermostat is often below cold, sometimes above cold but never up to the center mark. Today I was boiling inside my car as it ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does my car scream on cold start?

My 1988 Subaru XT6 2.7L engine screams at me on a cold start then it will stop and then do it again when I take it out of park, but then it stops. Also, my car is losing antifreeze. Any ideas why?
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Engine Size and Fuel Consumption

I have this weird misconception that the engine size is related to the amount of fuel being burned in one cycle(4-stroke engine). I know this is stupid but how does engine size relate to the amount of ...
6
votes
4answers
951 views

Engine oil change and getting rid of old oil completely

After running the vehicle for a certain distance usually we will change the engine oil. This will not only give engine new life with the brand new oil but will also get sludge and other sediments out ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

2004 Ford Focus engine cover would not budge after all screws are removed

I have a 2004 Ford Focus SE 2.0L. There’s some oil leak on the engine. A mechanic told me it could be the engine valve gasket being cracked (the car is pretty old and never had a valve gasket change). ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How to begin learning engine tuning?

Quite simply, I want to begin tuning and modifying automotive engines for hobby. I have always been fascinated with cars, and I want to become knowledgeable in as many aspects of car tuning as ...
6
votes
4answers
26k views

Slow Accleration And Moving RPMs

UPDATE: I bought a scan tool and downloaded the torque app. I don't get any error codes. I decided to drive it again today. I drove about a quarter mile and barely got to 20MPH. I turned around and ...
6
votes
1answer
264 views

Put Stop leak into engine. Can I reverse the process?

I accidently poured Barsleaks stop leak for the radiator into the engine oil compartment. Is there any way I can reverse the process? The stuff is hardening already. This a 2004 Volvo S80.
6
votes
5answers
7k views

Doing my own fuel induction service - how to, and how difficult?

Was recommended to get a fuel induction service for a 2002 V4 Camry, and am considering doing it MYSELF. The reasons for considering this are: My car idles a bit rough, especially when the AC is on. ...
6
votes
4answers
20k views

Sputtering while driving & idling

[My car: 2004 Mazda 3] So, my wife came home from running some errands and told me the check-engine light was on and that the car was sputtering and felt like it was going to stall while stopped at ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why would my engine temperature raise from normal to high and drop back down again?

I have a Nissan Micra (UK, 51-plate, 2001 model) that I have been using to drive to work on a daily basis - 10 miles each way a day on a variety of roads - streets, main roads, main roads in traffic, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Low power, bad gas mileage, smelly exhaust after engine work

My 92 Civic has had low power (need to use at least one gear lower than usual to get the same power) and has been getting bad gas mileage (15-25mpg vs 32-42 mpg usual) since I replaced the head ...
6
votes
2answers
326 views

Estimate for head removal / reinstall

In changing the spark plugs in my 2000 Ford Mustang GT (4.6L), I sheared one of them (number 3) The ceramic is totally removed, as is the hex nut. The threaded portion as well as the ground electrode ...
6
votes
1answer
938 views

Heater smells like sulfur

I drive a 2006 Toyota Sienna. When driving with the heater on I often smell sulfur. This is more common when I am driving up a hill, but if I turn the heater off, the smell goes away. What causes this ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

BMW 530xd e60 2008 diesel engine turns but won't start

I have a problem with my BMW, just bought it, previous owner hasn't been facing such problems. When the engine is cold for e.g.: after night. Outside temperature is about -4 to +1 degree, engine won't ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this loud semi-regular clicking on a 2001 Honda CR-V?

Due to the nature of my problem I've had little success on Google. I appreciate any help. I have a 2001 Honda CR-V EX with 130000 miles on it and I'm the original owner. The week prior to my ...