Has your car recently been having problems under load? While we can’t tell you why your car isn’t operating properly we can explain what under load means for a car.
What does a car under load mean? It means that your engine is running beyond idle. If you’re pressing the accelerator or applying pressure to your engine like turning on accessories then your car is considered under load.
When a car is under load the tachometer which shows the RPM begins to climb. Typically your car is under load when you drive the car around. When you press the accelerator the engine begins to burn more fuel. And resistance is applied to the engine. This causes the engine to work harder as the load increases.
If you hear someone say that they have an issue under load that means that there were pushing the gas pedal or the throttle was cracked open and the engine began to speed up. Sometimes to diagnose a car problem you have to give it some gas. Otherwise, the problem may not present itself.
Maybe you have an exhaust leak or a weird sound when the engine speeds up. By getting the car under load you speed up the engine and you can diagnose the car better than if the engine was just idling.
Why does car battery voltage drop under load?
When the battery voltage of a car drops under load there are a few things that could be the problem. The first is a bad alternator belt. When your engine speeds up or is under load the faster it spins. As the engine rotates the belt moves which keeps your alternator spinning.
If you have a bad or worn belt then it may be slipping. If it isn’t turning the alternator enough you could have a drop in voltage.
The alternator is supposed to maintain the voltage while the car is operating. If you have a voltage issue it’s always best to start with alternator-related problems. The second reason why your battery voltage could drop under load is that the alternator is bad.
With a bad alternator, it may not be able to provide enough voltage to the car to keep it running under load. It could be the voltage regulator or another alternator part is not working properly. This can lead to your voltage dropping under load.
Why is my car missing under load?
If you’ve asked why your car is missing under load then there are a few things you can look at. Missing which is also called misfiring is when an engine fails to run in sync. Everything in the engine is timed to a fraction of a second. If you have a bad part it can cause your engine to fire too soon or not at all.
An engine needs fuel, compression, and spark to operate correctly. If any of these are amiss then you can get a misfire. Usually, the first place you can try is your spark plugs. Just like the name states, these plugs produce a spark that ignites the fuel. If your plugs are old and worn then may not producing enough spark. This can be why your car is missing under load.
If you have bad fuel your car can misfire under load. Your engine needs good clean fuel to run right. If you have fuel that’s been in the car for a while you may need to add some chemicals like octane booster to fix your misfire issue.
Another reason why your car could be missing under load is a bad oxygen sensor. You will typically see a check engine light on your dash which tells you something is wrong. If you can someone to figure out which engine codes you have you should be able to track down the problem. If your codes state that it’s an oxygen sensor you’ll need to have it replaced.
An oxygen sensor is the part of your vehicle which detects how much oxygen is entering and exiting your engine. If you have too much or not enough oxygen flowing through your engine you can get a misfire under load. A mechanic who runs the codes will be able to diagnose the exact reason why your engine is missing under load.
Why does my car overheat under load?
Your engine contains tiny explosions which really get things heated up. If your car didn’t have any way of cooling itself down it would stop running after a while. Lucky for you there is a radiator, fan, coolant and other devices that keep your car running at the right temperature.
The coolant, which also goes by the name antifreeze, keeps your car cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. It flows through the engine transferring he heat and it returns to the engine at the right temperature.
If something is wrong in the cooling system your car may overheat under load. This can be caused by a few parts. First is your thermostat. This device opens at a certain temperature and helps regulate your car’s temperature. If the thermostat is stuck it may not be allowing the coolant to flow. This can cause your car to overheat under load.
Low coolant is another very common reason why your car is overheating. If there is not enough coolant in your engine then it won’t be able to transfer the heat adequately. By regularly checking your coolant level you can rule out that it’s too low.
Your radiator is where the coolant cools down. As you drive air passes through the radiator and absorbs the heat from the coolant. This lowers the temperature of the liquid before it is sent back to your engine. If your radiator is leaking or clogged for some reason it can cause your car to overheat under load.
Making sure that you don’t have any puddles under your car is a good way to determine if your radiator is leaking. This and checking your coolant level can help you test those options.
So your radiator works fine when you are one the move. Although, when you are stationary there is little to know air flowing through the fins of the radiator. This is where the radiator fan comes in. It is attached to the back of the radiator and helps draw cool air through the radiator and spits it back out through the engine bay.
If your radiator fan is malfunctioning and you don’t get any circulation through the fan it can cause your car to overheat when it’s under load. Any of the options above should be able to help you with your car overheating.
When you are talking about a car under load you can now see that it’s when the engine is running more than it would be at idle. Hopefully, the answers above help you figure out what’s wrong with your car so you can get back on the road quicker.