Possible Problems When Your Car Stalls or Loses Power

Young auto mechanic tighten screw with spanner during automobile car maintenance

A gasoline engine needs fuel, air and spark to produce compression. This, in the simplest of terms, is how it makes your car run. A page is not enough to describe the entire process in detail, but those four factors have the most say as to whether the engine could power a vehicle.

Whether your car has stalled and refuses to produce any power, or is producing power but not as much as it is supposed to, the problem is likely connected to one of those four factors. Your petrol mechanic in Auckland, Dr Diesel, might be able to identify and fix that problem quickly, but it helps if you have a clue as what they’re talking about.

Here is a short discussion on what could go wrong with the fuel, air, spark or compression of your petrol vehicle.

Dirty air filter

The engine will have a hard time producing power if it isn’t capable of pulling in enough air because of a clogged air filter. Debris can do that to an air filter. You can clean or replace the filter, and your car will run with the right amount of power again.

Broken exhaust or clogged up catalytic converter

A clogged catalytic converter may be affected by the wrong fuel additive (many modern cars don’t need additives) or if the air/fuel mixture is wrong. A muffler can also fail due to rust or some other reason. Either will limit exhaust capabilities and make the engine work harder.

Wrong valve timing or lift

Time leads to wear in the valvetrain, possibly affecting timing or lift and limiting airflow. Using the wrong type of oil or not changing the oil enough can also damage your valvetrain.

Damaged fuel injectors

Use the cheapest fuel, and you might end up damaging the fuel injectors with deposit build-up. For example, if you use petrol with an octane rating of 87 (regular) for a car that needs at least 91 (premium), you may save a bit at the pump but may eventually have to pay a lot more to repair the damage caused by the fuel.

Damaged fuel pump

Wear usually causes this over time. A worn-out fuel pump may make your car struggle to reach high speeds or drive uphill.

Worn-out piston rings

When piston rings are worn down, some of the combusting fuel and air mixture may pass by the pistons. It may reach the crankcase via the cylinder walls. This is called a blow-by. Instead of pressing the pistons down, that pressure is lost. Blow-by also makes the oil becomes contaminated more quickly.

Other problems that may cause lost power include carbon deposits forming on the intake valves, the valve seats, or the piston or cylinder walls; and build-up on sparkplugs. Your mechanic may be able to fix any of these problems, but if you want to keep your car running at full power all the time, the best way to do it is to maintain it.