Piston Engine Troubleshooting for Pilots, by Sonja Englert

Piston Engine
Troubleshooting for Pilots

by Sonja Englert

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Is your engine running a bit rough? Is it hard to start or has it even quit on you? Unless you think this will never happen to you, this is a book you should have with you on every flight. It lists the symptoms you experience in the cockpit and gives you suggestions on what could be wrong. This is not just the typically very brief table you find in flight or engine manuals, but goes into enough detail that it can save you and your mechanic a lot of time and money in getting right to the cause of the problem. In addition, systems descriptions and schematics explain most function of the engine, providing tips for better engine operation and pointing out common problems. Most four-stroke engines are very similar, so most of the descriptions apply to all engines. Where differences exist, this book lists engine-specific issues for Lycoming, Continental, Rotax, Jabiru and Volkswagen engines.

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Section 1: Symptoms
Engine Quits
Without Warning, High Power
Without Warning, Low Power or Idle
With Preceding Warning
Engine Cuts Out and Restarts
Rising CHT before Power Loss, Engine Smooth
Low Oil Pressure Before Power Loss
Engine Roughness before Power Loss
When advancing Throttle

Section 2: Engine Runs Rough
At High Power Settings
Intermittent, Brief
Continuous Roughness
Intermittent Severe Roughness
Roughness Right after Startup
Sudden Severe Vibration
Roughness at High Altitude
Rough at Low Power or Idle

Section 3: Vibrations
At Certain RPM
At High Power Settings
At All Power Settings
Intermittent Vibrations
Vibration Worst at Low Power

Section 4: Partial Power Loss
Drop in Manifold Pressure
Engine Does Not Produce Full Power
Turbocharged Engine, Loss of Manifold Pressure
Low Fuel Pressure, Level Flight
Fuel Pressure Dropping in Climb
Gradual loss of Power/RPM
Low Static RPM on the Ground
Engine Surges

Section 5: Poor Engine Acceleration

Section 6: High Oil Consumption

Section 7: High or Uneven Engine Temperatures
High CHT
High Oil Temperature

Section 8: Abnormal Instrument Readings
Fluctuating Oil Pressure
Low Oil Pressure
High Oil Pressure
Fluctuating or Unusual EGT
High Fuel Flow Reading
Low Fuel Flow at Full Power

Section 9: Engine is Hard to Start
Engine Not or Barely Cranking
Starter not Engaging Every Time
Engine Cranking But Does Not Fire
Engine Does Not Fire When Hot
Engine Quits after Firing
Rough Idle

Section 10: Other
No RPM Drop During an Ignition Check
Metal Found in Oil Filter
Overboost on Turbocharged Engine
Engine Misfires at Idle in Flight
Engine Will Not Shut Off With Mixture Cut Off
Engine Will Not Shut Down with Ignition Off
Leaded Fuel Problems
Oil on the Windshield
Alternator Belt Comes Off
Fuel Leaking from Carburetor
High Manifold Pressure on Turbocharged Engine
White Smoke in Exhaust on Turbocharged Engine
Alternator Failure
Engine Overspeed
Engine Fire

Section 11 - Engine Systems
Ignition Systems
Lycoming Ignition System
Continental Ignition System
Jabiru Ignition System
Rotax 912/914 Ignition
Spark Plugs
Starter System
Fuel Systems
Typical Constant Depression Carburetor
Small Engine Mechanical Fuel Pumps
Rotax Fuel Systems
Fuel Injection Schematic Lycoming
RSA Fuel Servo (Fuel/Air Control Unit)
Fuel System Continental
Airframe Fuel Systems
Liquid Cooled Engines System
Oil Systems
Rotax 912 Oil System
Lycoming Oil System
Continental Oil Systems
Volkswagen Engine Oil System
Engine Oil Pump
Inverted Oil System
Oil Analysis and Oil Filters
FADEC Engines
Mechanical Systems
Four-Stroke Engine Operation
Overview Continental Engine
Overview Lycoming Engine
Induction Systems
Engine Cooling
Valve Actuation and Issues
Engine Bearings
Torsional Vibration Dampers
Turbocharger Systems
Continental Turbocharger System Overview
Turbocharger Lubrication


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