Some Troubleshooting Tips for When Your Vehicle Is Running Rough

If your vehicle is running rough, meaning that it doesn't have much acceleration, it stalls when idling or the engine rumbles and struggles when you give it gas, there are a few common reasons for this problem. In some cases, it could be a simple fix and just a few dollars in repair bills, but no matter the problem with the car, you want this looked at as soon as possible. Minor problems could become major issues after not too long, costing you more money the longer you put off the repairs. Note a few troubleshooting tips for what might be wrong with your car when it's running rough.

Faulty Fuel pump

The fuel pump does just as the name implies; it pumps fuel from the tank to the engine, so this fuel can then be mixed with oxygen and cause combustion. If the fuel pump is faulty, your car won't get the right amount of fuel; it might get too much, actually flooding the engine. If it doesn't get enough, it won't be able to create combustion. In both cases, the engine will struggle to accelerate or may stall when idling.

Bad positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve

The positive crankcase ventilation or PCV valve is a small part of the engine that allows built-up gases created by the combustion in the engine to escape. These gases leak past the piston rings in the engine and wind up in the crankcase, where the PCV valve allows them to vent outside the engine. When this valve is cracked, clogged or otherwise needs replacing, those gases can interfere with healthy combustion levels in the engine and your car may struggle to accelerate, or stall when idling.

Bad camshaft

The camshaft is like a long rod that holds lobes that open and close the valves of the engine in a certain pattern or with a certain timing. The camshaft keeps those valves opening and closing at this set timing or rhythm in order to create and control combustion. When the camshaft is bent or rusted, or otherwise not operating properly, those valves won't open and close as they should. In turn, the engine may get in too much oxygen to maintain proper combustion, or may not be able to vent fumes and emissions to keep that combustion healthy. If the valves don't open fast enough, this can also allow that combustion to die out, and the engine stalls.