Lean operation happens when there’s too much air in the air-fuel mixture. Running lean will make your engine overheat. It can be because of a dirty MAF sensor , a damaged oxygen sensor , or damaged fuel injectors . Here are some most common symptoms of how to recognize when your engine is running lean:
1. Bad Performance
If your engine is running lean, your vehicle will not perform you as before. You may have a sluggish acceleration at certain RPMs or a lack of power from your car. This is because of less fuel in the ignition chamber than the car’s computer expects, and the power generated by the engine will be lower than usual. The most serious problems can be backfires or popping when decelerating.
2. Car Won’t Start
Your car won’t be able to start, or you may have difficulty to turn it over if your car is running lean. This is because your initial ignition may not be enough to sustain combustion, or your engine may not have enough power to cause the crankshaft to turn, causing it to get stuck.
3. Spark Plugs Are Clean Or White
One of the most common symptoms that your car is running lean is when your spark plugs are clean or white. Usually, spark plugs are a brown or grey color when there is a normal ignition. So if you noticed that your spark plugs became clean or white, then it is significant evidence that your engine is running lean.
There can be other reasons why your engine is running lean, and sometimes it is hard to determine the main cause, that’s why it is better to take your car to your trusted mechanic to diagnose the cause.