Why Do Car Engines Backfire?

Why Do Car Engines Backfire?

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

The exhaust system seems to cause more confusion than any other part of the vehicle. At our Georgetown car shop, we want to provide peace of mind to every Texas driver.

Has your car been backfiring? It can often sound like a gunshot, if not a “cough” or a “sputter”. While an engine backfire (or “afterfire”, if it occurs when the engine has already been shut off) will not harm your vehicle, it can be inconvenient and disrupt any peaceful drive.

Why has your engine been backfiring, and how do you keep the problem from happening again? Today, our ASE-certified technicians explain why your car backfires and what it means.

What causes an engine to backfire?

A car typically backfires because the engine is decelerating too quickly. However, there are several possible causes.

A few reasons your exhaust could be backfiring:

  • High engine temperatures
  • Your engine decelerated too quickly
  • Your gasoline contains high levels of alcohol

Another possible reason for your backfire is a spark plug refusing to “spark” when the exhaust valve opens. If the air/fuel mixture has become too rich, unburned fuel is left in the exhaust system. The misfired spark plug ignites the rich air/fuel mixture, causing a loud “bang” in the tail pipe.

Bring your car into our Georgetown auto shop for an exhaust inspection and we’ll check your spark plugs and fuel ratio.

How do I keep my engine from backfiring?

A backfire is loud and intrusive. Fortunately, there are a few ways to cure an overactive exhaust tailpipe.

A few ways to stop a backfire include:

  • Adjusting the carburetor to lower engine temperatures
  • Lowering the engine speed gradually
  • Changing fuel brands to one with lower alcohol levels

If the cause of the backfire is a rich air/fuel mixture, speak with our specialists about increasing your air volume. The expert technicians at our auto shop in Georgetown could relieve some of the airway constrictions, increasing the engine-cooling air volume and minimizing the risk of a backfire.

Schedule exhaust system service with our Georgetown auto shop

While a backfire from the exhaust pipe won’t hurt your car, it can be scary and intrusive. Ensure your vehicle is operating as it should by calling to schedule an exhaust system inspection at Christian Brothers Automotive in Georgetown, Texas today.

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