Engine sputters and backfires when accelerating

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For approx a month The engine starts nicely, and idles around RPM, which I think is normal. But when you accelerate past RPM the engine "bogs" down and sputters, and sometimes backfires under the hood. Once it hits approx RPM this talkes a little while, maybe seconds it smooths out and runs very well. I replaced the fuel pump last year, new fuel filter, Cleaned the throttle body today and no luck.

Even though you've done the pump and filter, it would be wise to do a pressure check. See the FAQ section at the top of the message board. It sounds like it's starving. It doesn't take much of a pressure drop for the Vortecs to start acting up. Could be a bad TPS among other possibilities.

I'm currently replacing the plugs and wires. And I will try those two things you suggested.We are a group of ASE certified mechanics that have created this guide to help you save money by fixing your car yourself or to see what you are paying for when taking it in for repairs. When your engine back-fires it can do so in one of two ways. First and the most common way is when the engine is running a small explosion of un-burnt fuel is ignited inside of the intake manifold creating a loud bang which is the backfire sound you hear.

This explosion can bend the throttle actuator plate, push intake gaskets outward creating a vacuum leak and even blown apart a plastic intake manifold. When intake manifolds were made of aluminum they could better withstand this kind of problem.

This occurrence can happen once or a few times when the engine is under load. Or it can happen continuously signaling a mechanical failure which we will go over in the following repair.

The second kind of problem will occur from the rear of the vehicles tail pipe which is a rich fuel mixture problem that can happen when fuel delivery parts fail such as an injector, fuel pressure regulator or intermittent ignition system failures.

A backfire condition can also occur in race cars using a turbo charger which is normal because they push the fuel through the engine which is then ignited in the exhaust system. We will cover the primary occurrence of the engine under load first. This problem must be corrected and can not be neglected because serious engine damage can occur. On the small side of things a simple vacuum hose might get pushed off which is an easy fix. Anytime you have an engine that is backfiring the first thing to look for is a check engine light.

If no warning lights are on continue down this guide. If the check engine or service engine soon light in on scan the computer for trouble codes. This will help locate the system that is having a problem and needs repair. An intake back-fire explosion can be caused by the fuel air mixture being to lean when the engine is demanding power. Every internal combustion engine runs on a mixture of 14 to 1 which is fourteen parts air to one part fuel. Proper fuel pressure is needed to atomize the fuel correctly when it leaves the fuel injector to complete the burn process.

The most common cause for this problem is a weak fuel pump which cannot supply the volume of fuel needed for the injectors to produce a proper spray pattern or deliver the amount of fuel needed for engine acceleration.

The fuel system pressure must be tested to see if the fuel delivery system is the problem.

What Causes Backfiring on Acceleration?

Some cars have a fuel filter which can also cause a fuel pressure and volume restriction. When they plug due to particles in the gasoline they can case a lean condition. If you have not changed the fuel filter lately locate and replace it. Your vehicle's computer system monitors the air that enters the engine via the mass air flow sensor.

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When this sensor malfunctions due to a condition called coking the hot wire inside the sensor becomes contaminated and will alter the reading to the computer which will create a lean mixture condition that may or may not trigger a check engine light. The lean condition is because the computer thinks there is less air entering the engine than there actually is, less air means less fuel.

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The first step is to remove the MAF sensor and clean it using carburetor cleaner. We have had better luck by replacing the sensor because once this condition happens the hot wire can become unresponsive in which case the sensor needs to be replaced.

The air intake boot or tube transfers air from the mass air flow sensor into the throttle actuator and then into the engine. If there is a problem with these parts such as a tear or rip it will allow un-metered air into the engine which the computer will see via the oxygen sensor which in turn will deliver less fuel creating a lean condition. Check this part for damage by removing it for inspection and replace it if needed. The engine's intake system depends on being completely sealed and free from leaks.

If a main vacuum hose such as the power brake booster feed line has broken or failing off it will cause a lean backfire due to the additional air allowed into the engine intake manifold. This problem will be accompanied by high or low engine idle and a harder to push brake pedal than normal.

Using a smoke machine or carburetor cleaner you can check for a vacuum leak and repair it to fix the problem.

How to Diagnose Engine Backfires

A repetitive backfires are generated when the engine is simply running at idle or at cruising speed and can be inline with the engine RPM.

A rhythmic popping sound which is not as prominent as lean under power backfires.Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology. Engine backfires can be produced by a vacuum leak, bad timing, problems in the ignition system, a faulty sensor, an exhaust leak, or some other system fault. Sometimes, locating the source won't take you much time, other times it can prove difficult.

The backfire is produced when unburned fuel ignites inside the intake or exhaust manifold instead of a cylinder. You can hear the combustion as a mild, cough-like ignition or a loud bang.

How to Fix Engine Backfires

A strong explosion, though, can cause severe damage, like cracking an exhaust manifold. Although a backfire can be the fault of a system malfunction, this malfunction may come from maintenance neglect.

Have you forgotten to service one or more engine systems lately? Start with those if you see them mentioned here. This strategy will make your diagnostic easier and your repair faster. Yes, many backfires can be prevented with a little maintenance as suggested in your car owner's manual or the vehicle repair manual.

engine sputters and backfires when accelerating

If you don't have your repair manual yet, you should get one. Get an inexpensive Haynes aftermarket manual at Amazon for your particular vehicle make and model. These manuals include many maintenance tasks, troubleshooting strategies and repairs you can do at home.

But, even if you're dealing with an intermittent backfire issue and you haven't seen the CEL coming on, scan your car's computer memory with an OBD-2 scanner like this Ancel scanner to get diagnostic trouble codes DTCs anyway.

engine sputters and backfires when accelerating

The computer may have one or more pending codes that could give you a clue about a potential system involved in the problem. DTCs are very helpful in locating fault sources. This article will describe the causes of backfires, starting with the most common and progressing towards the more rare causes, to help you speed up your diagnostic.

Any problem that upsets an ignition system spark can cause backfires and other engine performance problems. An engine needs a few thousand volts of potential for the spark to jump the gap between the center and side electrode at the tip of a spark plug. For example, a spark plug gap may widen after the plug has been in operation for months and make it difficult for the spark to jump. Also, carbon buildup may isolate the electrodes, preventing proper combustion.

Unburned fuel then is allowed to pass into the exhaust system where it can backfire. The same type of problem can be caused by a worn out or damaged spark plug wire. A bad wire will make the spark's travel difficult, weaken the spark, or simply push it into an adjacent wire or to ground, resulting in a backfire. The same result can come from a faulty ignition coil, distributor or rotor and cause a more repetitive backfire. Even if your Check Engine Light is not lit on your instrument panel, scan for possible pending diagnostic trouble codes that can guide you in your diagnostic.

Usually, when an injector clogs or wears out, causing the air-fuel mixture to lean, the combustion process weakens and fails to properly burn the fuel. Too much unburned fuel then enters the exhaust system where the fuel ignites with a loud bang. Check the fuel injectors for proper operation. You can use a mechanic's stethoscope and a digital multimeter to check the operation of the injectors in your vehicle.

Also, a lean fuel mixture can be caused by a bad fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump or even a clogging fuel filter. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary, to check the fuel system and maintenance items in your particular model. Take for example a bad mass air flow MAF sensor. The engine computer uses this and other sensors to compute the amount of fuel to inject into the engine according to operating conditions.

If a sensor fails to send the correct signal, the computer may deliver too little fuel, creating a lean fuel condition. And many other emission related sensors the computer rely on can fail as well, causing a CEL to come on.Superior Car Talk explains that a sputtering and backfiring problem is usually the result of moisture condensation in the fuel system.

While the fuel tank may be tightly capped, water can still seep in over time as the result of temperature extremes. According to Superior Car Talk, many people drive with their tanks half full. As a result, changes in the humidity and outside temperatures can result in an accumulation of moisture in the tank. Every time the gas pedal is pressed or a driver accelerates, water seeps to the bottom of the tank and into the fuel system.

While the fuel filter removes a certain amount of moisture, an older filter may cause water to flow into the engine, thereby causing backfiring or sputtering. Superior Car Talk recommends changing the filter every approximately every six months to prevent a sputtering or backfiring problem. If changing the filter does not alleviate a sputtering or backfiring issue, the site advises car owners to visit a mechanic to check the wiring or to clean out the fuel tank.

The site adds that any problems with banging or popping sounds should be addressed immediately because waiting to see a mechanic can result in engine damage.

engine sputters and backfires when accelerating

Home World View. Why Does a Car Backfire? What Causes a Car or Engine to Sputter?Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how! Send Private Topic View Profile. Execution time: 0. All times are GMT Pacific. Current time is PM Top. Attach Photos to Posts.

Why Does a Car Slow Down, Sputter and Then Backfire on Acceleration?

Contact Us. My Cookies. Frequently Asked Questions. Forum Rules. Username Post: 5. For approx a month The engine starts nicely, and idles around RPM, which I think is normal.

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But when you accelerate past RPM the engine "bogs" down and sputters, and sometimes backfires under the hood. Once it hits approx RPM this talkes a little while, maybe seconds it smooths out and runs very well.

I replaced the fuel pump last year, new fuel filter, Cleaned the throttle body today and no luck. Even though you've done the pump and filter, it would be wise to do a pressure check. See the FAQ section at the top of the message board. It sounds like it's starving.

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It doesn't take much of a pressure drop for the Vortecs to start acting up. Could be a bad TPS among other possibilities. I'm currently replacing the plugs and wires.Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology. Engine backfires can be produced by a vacuum leak, bad timing, problems in the ignition system, a faulty sensor, an exhaust leak, or some other system fault.

Sometimes, locating the source won't take you much time, other times it can prove difficult. The backfire is produced when unburned fuel ignites inside the intake or exhaust manifold instead of a cylinder. You can hear the combustion as a mild, cough-like ignition or a loud bang. A strong explosion, though, can cause severe damage, like cracking an exhaust manifold. Although a backfire can be the fault of a system malfunction, this malfunction may come from maintenance neglect.

Have you forgotten to service one or more engine systems lately? Start with those if you see them mentioned here. This strategy will make your diagnostic easier and your repair faster. Yes, many backfires can be prevented with a little maintenance as suggested in your car owner's manual or the vehicle repair manual. If you don't have your repair manual yet, you should get one. Get an inexpensive Haynes aftermarket manual at Amazon for your particular vehicle make and model.

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These manuals include many maintenance tasks, troubleshooting strategies and repairs you can do at home. But, even if you're dealing with an intermittent backfire issue and you haven't seen the CEL coming on, scan your car's computer memory with an OBD-2 scanner like this Ancel scanner to get diagnostic trouble codes DTCs anyway. The computer may have one or more pending codes that could give you a clue about a potential system involved in the problem.

DTCs are very helpful in locating fault sources. This article will describe the causes of backfires, starting with the most common and progressing towards the more rare causes, to help you speed up your diagnostic. Any problem that upsets an ignition system spark can cause backfires and other engine performance problems. An engine needs a few thousand volts of potential for the spark to jump the gap between the center and side electrode at the tip of a spark plug.

For example, a spark plug gap may widen after the plug has been in operation for months and make it difficult for the spark to jump. Also, carbon buildup may isolate the electrodes, preventing proper combustion. Unburned fuel then is allowed to pass into the exhaust system where it can backfire. The same type of problem can be caused by a worn out or damaged spark plug wire. A bad wire will make the spark's travel difficult, weaken the spark, or simply push it into an adjacent wire or to ground, resulting in a backfire.

The same result can come from a faulty ignition coil, distributor or rotor and cause a more repetitive backfire. Even if your Check Engine Light is not lit on your instrument panel, scan for possible pending diagnostic trouble codes that can guide you in your diagnostic. Usually, when an injector clogs or wears out, causing the air-fuel mixture to lean, the combustion process weakens and fails to properly burn the fuel.

Too much unburned fuel then enters the exhaust system where the fuel ignites with a loud bang. Check the fuel injectors for proper operation. You can use a mechanic's stethoscope and a digital multimeter to check the operation of the injectors in your vehicle. Also, a lean fuel mixture can be caused by a bad fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump or even a clogging fuel filter.Backfiring during acceleration occurs when ignition takes place in the intake or exhaust instead of the combustion chamber.

The most common causes for backfiring during acceleration include an incorrect fuel-to-air ratio, a faulty ignition and bad wiring. Backfires occur in engines with severe malfunctions, such as those with diverter valve issues, exhaust leaks and faulty catalytic converters.

Backfiring caused by incorrect fuel-to-air ratios result from the engine running with either not enough fuel and too much air or too much fuel and not enough air. These issues result from a damaged fuel filter, low fuel pressure or a weak fuel pump. Backfiring during acceleration can also be caused by internal carburetor problems, low compression, leaks in the fuel tank, lean engine conditions, and weak or broken valve springs.

Backfiring caused by internal carburetor problems is a result of a defective accelerator pump. An engine backfire is an explosion produced by an internal combustion engine. A backfire results in a temporary loss of power and forward motion along with a loud popping noise. Home World View. What Is Valve Overlap?


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