What Causes Engine Backfire?

When your car engine is running, it makes a distinctive sound that tells you everything is okay. Therefore, if it is making loud, disruptive backfires, this is a signal all is not well, and you should schedule an auto repair. Never ignore engine backfires. The underlying problem may worsen, compromising your engine's performance and necessitating pricey repairs or replacement. To understand better, read on to learn four reasons your engine may be backfiring and why an immediate repair is important.

1. An Old-Engine

Unlike classic cars, which use carburetors to get gasoline to the combustion chamber, modern vehicles have electronic injection fuel systems. And while engine backfire issues are not impossible in modern cars, they are more common with cars that use carburetors. If the carburetor is not correctly tuned, there will be an imbalance in the fuel-air ratio. This results in engine backfire. So, if you have a classic car that has frequent backfires, your carburetor may be the culprit. Visit a reliable automotive repair expert for a checkup.

2. Poor Timing

For your modern engine to operate properly, the valves, pistons, and spark synchronization must be perfect. Fuel combustion may begin too early if the synchronization is off, leading to reduced engine performance. Incorrect timing may also cause late fuel combustion, which means some unspent fuel will burn in the exhaust, resulting in a backfire. Besides an unsettling backfire, incorrect engine timing reduces fuel economy. You need to visit an auto repair shop to fix it and improve your car's performance.

3. Running Rich

As mentioned, your engine injector is responsible for feeding air and fuel into your engine's combustion chamber. This mixture has to be in the right proportions for smooth and complete combustion. But that is not always the case. If the mixture has more fuel than air, there will be incomplete fuel combustion. The unburnt fuel will burn in the exhaust, leading to a backfire. This happens mostly due to a blocked air filter, damaged oxygen sensor, or broken injector. And if you delay their repair, you will be in for more damage.

4. Running Lean

On the other hand, if the combustion chamber is receiving an air-fuel mixture with more air than fuel, there will be slow combustion, and some unburnt fuel may reach the exhaust, resulting in a backfire. But what causes lean air-fuel mixture? This issue results from a blocked fuel injector, a damaged fuel pump, or a faulty oxygen sensor. And just like with other problems you should visit an automotive repair shop immediately.

Any unusual sound from your engine should be a cause for concern. If you are dealing with engine backfire, turn to an experienced automotive repair technician. They will conduct diagnostic tests to identify the problems and fix them effectively. Even better, they will offer preventive solutions to avoid future damage. 

For more information, contact a local company like the Car Doctors of Loma Linda.