Although most people and even Motorsport rider find it as a means of entertainment to spectators, when the race is about to start they make the car backfire to entice their fans.
Most new model vehicles engine control system has the ability to backfire. Even if it’s entertaining for some people it bad for a car to backfire and most road users find it offensive and wish for ways to avoid backfire.
There are precautionary measures that could be taken to prevent your car from backfiring
How to Prevent Car Backfire
Change spark plugs occasionally
Most drivers and even our parents tend to brush old spark to make it work or last for a while before changing. It’s advisable to change plugs when they are going bad, failure to do so might result in a backfire.
Check engine belts
Most cars have multiple serpentine belts in the engine for different purposes and some have just one for multiple components. As miles accumulate these belts wear, causing your vehicle to lose timing and your engine control unit may not compensate.
Replace oxygen sensors
Replacing oxygen sensors are not frequently done and they may not prevent backfire but it’s important to change them to help increase the mileage of your car
Repair air leakage
If the air control valve and airflow sensors are working properly, check for frayed hoses and replace or repair unattached vacuum hoses. Doing these is cheap and can also reduce the intensity of backfire.
It’s better to take precautions than doing repairs, it helps to prevent a hazard and helps increase the life span of your vehicle and can also reduce expenses and cost of repairs.
Even as we now know how to prevent or reduce the chances of our vehicle from backfiring. We will discuss the reasons why our cars backfire and what causes it to backfire.
What is Car Backfire
An engine backfire is a state whereby engine combustion takes place outside the combustion cylinder. Fuel and air mix up at an exact time and exact ratio, spark plug are responsible for the ignition of the mixture of fuel and air.
This ignition is what generates power to the vehicle, if ignition goes wrong it produces a loud bang and this is said that backfire has taken place.
Backfires can cause engine damage, it can increase the consumption of fuel and cause the engine to lose power that why it important to pay attention to your car when backfire occurs.
Causes of Car Backfire
Dirty air filters
A dirty air filter can cause a backfire no matter how less important it is. Air filters help prevent dirt and dust allowing clean air to flow into the engine if the air filter gets dirty it gives chance for the dirty air to penetrate the engine and cause a backfire.
Leakage in the exhaust system
A vacuum leak or a leaky exhaust system sounds more like a screech when it happens extra excess air get sucked in the engine and mix with the fuel. This mixed fuel causes improper combustion causing a backfire.
Faulty oxygen sensor
Modern vehicles are manufactured with a computerized fuel-air ratio sensor that monitors how correct it is. When the air-fuel ratio gets bad or spoils it can cause slow or delayed combustion when the air-fuel ratio throws off. These can also warrant your vehicle to backfire.
Poor fuel-air ratio
The fuel-air ratio plays a compulsory role in engine combustion. It’s not proper if the fuel-air ratio is high or low, either of them is not proper in engine combustion.
When the fuel in the engine is high and the air is low it reduces combustion. When combustion doesn’t take place in proper timing. The exhaust valve opens while the fuel mixture is igniting. That causes an explosion and spills out of the cylinder causing a loud noise.
Misfiring spark plug
Incorrect wiring or damaged caps can deliver charge to the wrong plug at the wrong time. These happen frequently in old cars but sometimes plugs in a new vehicle can malfunction and wear due to carbon bombardment. These can also result in a backfire.
Bad engine timing
If spark delays a little during the engine combustion cycle. It allows air and unburnt fuel to flow towards the exhaust. As the hot fuel reaches the tail of the exhaust it comes in contact with the highly flammable atmospheric oxygen in the air. This combustion occurs in the exhaust instead of the engine resulting in a loud bang. And even a visible fire popping out of the exhaust.
Sometimes cars do not backfire only when the engine is started, some backfire when you change gear. These occur mainly in manual cars. i.e cars that make use of a clutch to change gear. When you press on the clutch to change gear especially at high RPM, fuel continues to enter the cylinder. When you release the clutch the unburnt fuel compact in the cylinder and ignite.
This is called an after-fire. An after-fire will not necessarily spoil your car no matter how alarming it is.