There are few things more frustrating than starting your car on a cold morning only to have it stall out on you. This stalling may occur either on startup or when you shift the car into drive. Although this problem is both noticeable and irritating, it is usually fairly simple to identify and fix. Follow these four steps to run through the most common culprits behind an engine stalling while it's cold.
Checking Your Coolant Temperature Sensor
Your engine adjusts its running parameters based on its temperature, meaning its performance changes as the engine warms up. This process is monitored by the coolant temperature sensor, and if that goes bad, it can lead to a host of problems in your car. You may, for example, also notice your car overheating or using more gasoline than usual. You can check whether or not your coolant temperature sensor is working by taking your car in for an emissions test. If the car fails, it may be worthwhile to replace the sensor or test it further.
Adjusting Your Valves
The valves in your car's engine are constantly moving, and any part that moves that much is bound to eventually shift and settle out of alignment. If your valves are no longer perfectly lined up, you might notice a rapid knocking sound while your car is warming up. Adjusting the valves back into place is a relatively straightforward procedure, but its precise nature means you may be better off relying a car repair specialist.
Monitoring Fuel Pump Pressure
Your fuel pump is what supplies gasoline to your engine, so whenever the pump starts to go bad, you'll probably notice quickly. Stalling at speed, overheating and difficulty starting your car are all symptoms of a failing fuel pump. Most engines contain a fuel pressure gauge, but you will need a friend or family member to rev the engine while you read it. Check this reading against the number provided in your owner's manual to assess the performance of your fuel pump.
Cleaning the Idle Air Control Valve
The idle air control valve is located near the throttle body of most cars and regulates the idling RPM of your car. This valve rarely actually fails, but it does have a tendency to collect dirt, oil, and miscellaneous grime until it is stuck in place. This disruption can cause your engine to stall while idling, particularly while it's cold. Remove this valve, clean it and reinstall it, and then see whether the car is still stalling. If none of these solutions have worked or you are not confident in your expertise as a mechanic, bring your car into your local car repair service (such as Dean's Automotive Service Center) to have the issue examined and corrected professionally.Share
13 April 2016
When is the last time you had your brakes checked? Are you waiting until you hear the brake pads grinding into the rotors before you do anything to replace them? Does your car pull to one side when you press on the brakes? Do you feel a shimmying in your steering wheel and brake pedal as you press the pedal to stop? If you have any of these issues, it is time for you to learn how to care for the brakes on your car effectively. Taking preventative measures and getting repair work done before serious problems arise will save you money over the years.