How to Diagnose an Engine Problem

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Diagnosing an engine problem requires that a person checks the spark plug wires, their vacuum lines, the car battery and more. Discover how to diagnose an engine problem without using expensive equipment with help from an auto mechanic in this free video on car repair and diagnostics.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Diagnostics
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Tom Brintzenhofe and I'm a Certified Master Mechanic from Reading, Pennsylvania and today I'm going to talk to you about how to diagnose an engine problem. In today's world with these new vehicles it is really really hard to diagnose any kind of a misfire or engine problem without having some high dollar equipment but I can today I'm going to show you what to look for, you know what you might be able to find before you take it to a garage and spend a lot of dough you don't necessarily have to if you can find a simple easy problem. The first thing you want to look at and this one is going to be a little difficult to see but you want to check your spark plug wires. Make sure you don't see them rubbing together. Another thing you might want to check is your vacuum lines to make sure you don't have them loose or missing sucking air. Your wires and everything is all hooked up in here your different fuel injectors are in here. Make sure everything is nice and hooked up and nothing is disconnected or falling a part and having poor connections in all your injectors here. Make sure any injectors you might see that has got wiring hard and has got wires coming out of it just make sure they're all nice and tight. The biggest thing is to make sure all your fluids are nice and full and just go over your vehicle and make sure everything is in place and where it needs to be. Sometimes you get a vacuum line that might pop off unfortunately this vehicle doesn't have too many of them but if you look around a lot of vehicles do operate with various vacuum lines on them. Look and listen and you might actually be able to hear the vacuum leaks it sounds like a little bit of a hissing noise. You can just push that on and it solves your problem. You are better off than spending $100 in taking it to the garage and having them hook the computer up and telling you the same thing. Just basically look and listen and you'd be able to tell a difference if you hear a ticking noise inside your engine compartment that you don't normally hear you might want to look in that area but other than that outside of having the capabilities of having a scanner that is about as far as you can take it with these new vehicles but just a simple problem a vacuum hose or a bad wire or something like that will wreak havoc on these new engines but just look around before you take it into the shop and most of the times you can find a simple problem and correct it yourself before you spend hundreds of dollars at your local shop. The other thing you might want to make sure is that your charging system is working properly. You'll need your simple multi meter to check that one. You hook it up to your battery while running. You should have at least 13 volts. Hook the positive and negative up here and start your vehicle. You should have at least 12.5 to 12.6 on a battery that is fully charged. This one has 12.55 which is about perfect and what you want is it has got to be at least 13. Now if you don't have at least 10.5 volts on this particular engine or any kind of computer run engine from 2002 and up it will not operate correctly, misfire, sluggish sometimes it won't even start but your biggest thing is make sure your charging system is working that will itself run havoc on your engine. Outside of that, good luck and I hope you can fix it.

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