Common Symptoms of Car Engine Running Rich
When it comes to mixtures, whether it is something simple like a cake or a more complicated like a chemistry experiment, a set amount of each material is needed to create that desired end result. Any divergence from the set amount will result in either a messed up cake or a hazardous chemical reaction.
In the same way, there is a set ratio of fuel and air in the combustion chamber needed to run smoothly. It is also referred to as the vehicle’s fuel mixture. When a problem arises with the air-fuel ratio, your vehicle can be in the states of running ‘rich’ or running ‘lean‘.
The first condition running rich is when there is too much fuel being injected into the combustion chamber but the air is not enough, it will be regarded as your vehicle is running rich. On the other hand, when there is more air than fuel, it is said to be running lean.
The fuel mixture of the vehicle is controlled by the engine control unit (ECU) that works through different components. In case that you are running rich, here are a few signs you will recognize and you identify an issue. Here are a few reasons your vehicle might be running rich.
The Check Engine Light is Flashing
The engine check light indicates problems related to the engine of your car. If there is a flashing engine light, you should check if your engine is running rich. In this situation, too much fuel gets injected into the combustion chamber, which means more fuel is present in the exhaust gases being released from the exhaust system.
The engine control unit works through many parts including mass air-flow sensor, oxygen sensor, and manifold absolute pressure. When any problem is detected by these sensors, it will refer to the ECU and the check engine light starts flashing to alert the driver.
If you notice any funny kind of smell coming from the exhaust, you should suspect your engine running rich. The smell may resemble rotten eggs. You may face this situation when the fuel is not being burned adequately in the combustion engine. It means the extra fuel will be getting away into the exhaust manifold and then it will come out of the tailpipe. It is the catalytic converter’s job to burn off any excess fume. However, it may struggle when the fuel mixture is too rich.
Bad Fuel Efficiency
If you notice that you are spending more on fuel costs due to the high fuel consumption of your vehicle and your vehicle is not performing as it used to be in terms of fuel efficiency. In this case, your engine might be burning more fuel than it needs, for the car to operate properly. However, in the winter season, your will vehicle will run richer than usual. It means if your car has low miles per gallon in winter than summer, it should be considered normal.
Engine Performance is Poor
Your engine works with the mutual working of several components. It is being run by a combination of fuel, air, compression and a spark that creates power in the engine. If you notice that your engine is not performing adequately, there should be an issue with one of the components.
The ration of the fuel mixture should be correct for the combustion to run smoothly and in turn for engine performance to be good. Low engine power means too much fuel is being injected into the combustion chamber or otherwise, too much air present but not enough fuel.
Rough Idle Engine
The rough idling of the engine could be due to a rich fuel mixture. In this situation, your vehicle will feel rougher and vibrate more when the engine is in motion. In case your vehicle is running and the engine is stationary and the RPM’s start to act a little erratic or jump around, it means there is a problem with your engine running rich. During the driving, you can feel your engine running rougher.
Clogged Up or Fouled Parts
You can identify if there is too much fuel in the combustion chamber with two symptoms. The first symptom is that your spark plugs may have become carbon-fouled and you can see this when you look at them. You may notice black, dry soot on their bottom. As a result, it can affect the Performace of your engine.
The job of the catalytic converter is to burn any excess fuel before it reaches the tailpipe. If your engine has been running rich for a lengthy period of time, the converter will become clogged.