Why Is My Car Lagging While Driving?

Why Is My Car Lagging While Driving?

There are several common reasons for a car lagging when accelerating. These include a clogged air filter, faulty spark plug, worn-out mass airflow sensor, dirty throttle body, and a bad oxygen sensor.

If your car is not accelerating properly, it could also be caused by a clogged catalytic converter, low compression, or a faulty timing belt.

Is there a problem with the fuel delivery system causing the lag?

The proper functioning of the cylinders in your engine block relies on three essential components: air, spark, and fuel. If any of these components are not functioning properly, you may experience issues. For example, if you press the accelerator all the way down and do not feel any response or power, it is highly probable that there is a fault in the diesel fuel delivery system.

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What causes low engine power?

When the TPS data is inaccurate, it can negatively affect the engine speed, causing a direct impact on acceleration. To effectively resolve this issue, it is recommended to seek the assistance of professionals who are experienced in this field.

A fuel system that is dirty or clogged can restrict the flow of fuel to the engine, resulting in a lack of power. There are several potential causes for this, including a dirty fuel filter, a clogged fuel tank strainer, malfunctioning fuel injectors, or a defective fuel pump.

If your car is not accelerating correctly, it is important to address these potential underlying issues to ensure that the vehicle is operating at its optimal performance.

Is there a fuel shortage at gas stations?

According to GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan, fuel delivery disruptions at some gas stations are a result of a shortage of truck drivers. De Haan clarified that there is no actual fuel shortage, but rather a labor challenge causing the delays. Unlike the previous Colonial Pipeline shutdown, these delivery delays are not expected to have a significant impact on gas prices.

What is fuel delivery testing?

Fuel delivery testing is important to verify that the fuel pressure and volume meet the necessary requirements in various operating conditions. The testing process can be divided into two categories, both of which assess the fuel pressure and volume during standard testing conditions.

These procedures are standard across all fuel delivery systems and ensure that the fuel system is functioning adequately.

Are the ignition coils or spark plugs causing the lag in your car?

If your car is experiencing issues like misfiring or stalling, it could potentially be a sign of a malfunctioning ignition coil. Additional symptoms to look out for include rough idling, misfires during acceleration, and difficulty starting the vehicle. It is worth noting that this component can fail due to factors such as worn-out spark plugs or faulty plug wires, as well as voltage overload.

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What causes a faulty ignition coil?

An ignition issue may occur due to a faulty ignition coil, spark plug, or spark plug wire set. These components are vital for the smooth operation of your engine.

The ignition coil, spark plug, and spark plug wires play a crucial role in the functioning of the ignition system, which is responsible for the proper running of your engine.

If any of these components are faulty or failing, it can lead to ignition problems, affecting the overall performance of your vehicle.

Rough Idle & Misfires - Is It Your Spark Plug or Ignition Coil?

A spark plug going bad can lead to issues with the ignition system in a vehicle. This can result in rough idling or engine misfires. To identify whether it is the spark plug or the ignition coil causing the problem, it is important to diagnose them individually using tools such as a spark tester, multimeter, or by swapping parts.

Is It Your Spark Plugs or Your Ignition Coil Thatís Bad?

A clogged spark plug can indeed have a significant impact on the horsepower of an engine. Regular maintenance is important for controlling power loss in any engine. Without a proper supply of fuel, air, and a functional spark, an engine will not be able to generate any significant amount of horsepower. Issues such as clogged fuel injectors, air filters, and broken spark plugs can cause problems and hinder the performance of vehicles, including trucks, cars, and motorcycles.

Could a faulty throttle position sensor be responsible for the lag?

When the throttle position sensor (TPS) malfunctions, it can lead to various issues. Firstly, the throttle body may fail to open, resulting in the engine being unable to function without sufficient airflow. Additionally, the TPS problem can cause unstable idling, stalling of the engine, and sudden bursts of acceleration. Lastly, it may also prevent the car from starting altogether.

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What happens if a throttle position sensor fails?

The throttle position sensor can fail in various ways, leading to reduced fuel efficiency and potentially compromising performance, which could pose a safety risk for both you and other drivers.

In addition, it may cause difficulties when shifting gears or adjusting the base ignition timing. The failure of this sensor can occur gradually or suddenly.

There are specific symptoms that indicate a malfunctioning or failing throttle position sensor.

Why is throttle lag so bad?

In some automobiles, there can be a problem with poorly designed electronic throttle systems that cause delays in engine response when the driver requests more power. Fortunately, aftermarket tuners offer the ability to adjust throttle sensitivity, allowing drivers to alleviate this issue.

This guide offers instructions and tips on how to use Pedal Commander, an aftermarket tuner that can improve throttle response and eliminate lag.

How long does a throttle sensor last?

The primary function of this sensor is to monitor the position of the throttle pedal and transmit an electronic signal to open the throttle body when the gas pedal is pressed. While this component typically has a long lifespan, there are instances when it may become defective, worn out, and necessitate replacement.

Some indications of a malfunctioning or deteriorating throttle/accelerator pedal position sensor include:

These symptoms may suggest the need for inspection and potential replacement of the throttle/accelerator pedal position sensor.

How do you test a throttle position sensor?

An ohm meter is a useful tool for testing the switch/combination-type throttle position sensor, while a volt meter can be helpful for potentiometer types. The resistance should be checked in various positions of the throttle, and the values should be recorded and compared to the specifications provided in the car service manual.

If you suspect a problem with the throttle position sensor, there are several signs to look out for.

Is the lag a result of a clogged air filter?

If the air filter in your engine becomes dirty or clogged, it will affect the linear acceleration that you are accustomed to. The engine's performance may feel sluggish and the throttle response could be reduced. Additionally, there is a potential for misfires and rough idling when the filter becomes clogged.

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What happens if a cabin air filter is clogged?

A clogged or dirty cabin air filter can have negative effects on both your health and your car's condition, potentially resulting in expensive repairs. Therefore, it is crucial to consistently inspect and replace your vehicle's air filter to prevent these issues from arising. Let us examine seven complications that can arise from a clogged cabin air filter.

How do I know if my car air filter is clogged?

One of the initial indications of a blocked cabin air filter is the presence of musty or unpleasant smells within the car cabin. The function of the air filter is to eliminate pollutants and contaminants from the incoming air. When the filter becomes obstructed, it impairs its ability to effectively carry out this task, resulting in the development of odors.

Why is a cabin air filter important?

The air filter is a crucial component that is responsible for maintaining the optimal health and performance of your vehicle. It is often disregarded, but it plays a vital role in supplying clean air to both the engine and the cabin of your car.

When the cabin air filter becomes clogged or dirty, it can have adverse effects on your health and potentially result in expensive repairs for your vehicle.

Could a malfunctioning oxygen sensor be causing the lag while driving?

It is theoretically possible for faulty oxygen sensors to result in these symptoms. However, it is important to note that if the oxygen sensors were indeed the cause, the check engine light should be illuminated and there would be a specific diagnostic trouble code indicating a problem with the oxygen sensors or their circuitry.

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Can you drive with a bad oxygen sensor?

Driving with a faulty oxygen sensor is technically possible, but not advisable. A malfunctioning sensor can cause engine issues, reduced fuel efficiency, and higher emissions. Furthermore, prolonged driving with a faulty sensor can lead to additional engine damage, potentially resulting in expensive repairs.

To understand if your oxygen sensor is bad, learn about the symptoms associated with a malfunctioning sensor.

What are the symptoms of a bad oxygen sensor?

The most common symptoms of a bad oxygen sensor include suboptimal engine performance, rough idle, and a check engine light appearing on the dashboard. Additionally, one might experience decreased fuel efficiency and potential failure in passing an emissions inspection.

Here is a more comprehensive list of symptoms associated with a faulty oxygen sensor:

Can a bad O2 sensor affect engine performance?

A malfunctioning oxygen sensor can result in reduced fuel efficiency and engine performance. It is important to be aware of common symptoms of a faulty oxygen sensor. Typically, car owners tend to overlook their vehicle's oxygen sensors until they begin experiencing issues.

The symptoms of a bad oxygen sensor can include decreased fuel efficiency, engine misfires, and increased emissions. The cost of replacing an oxygen sensor can vary depending on the vehicle and the location of the sensor.

Being knowledgeable about the signs of a bad oxygen sensor can help car owners address the issue in a timely manner and maintain optimal vehicle performance.

Is the transmission slipping or causing the lag in your car?

Delayed shifts in a vehicle can occur due to transmission slipping or engine performance issues where the throttle pedal needs to be fully pressed to keep the engine running or to initiate movement. In the case of an automatic vehicle, one may experience a delay when shifting into park or drive before the gear engagement takes place.

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What causes a transmission to slip?

The transmission control module (TCM) functions as a computer which receives input from various sensors in the vehicle to effectively control the transmission.

If there is a problem with the TCM, the circuit it operates on, or any of the input sensors, it can lead to issues such as the transmission slipping.

If you are experiencing transmission slipping, it is important to understand the potential causes and take appropriate action.

Can a faulty TCM cause a transmission to slip?

A potential issue with the Transmission Control Module (TCM), its circuit, or the input sensors can lead to inadequate operation of the solenoid, resulting in transmission slipping.

To address this problem, one possible solution is to reprogram the TCM. If reprogramming is not effective, then the faulty TCM control circuit or sensor needs to be fixed or substituted.

If you are experiencing transmission slipping, it is advisable to consult a professional technician to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

Why does my car lag before moving?

Experiencing a delay in movement after shifting gears may indicate a potential issue with the transmission. This delay occurs when shifting from 'Park' to 'Drive,' resulting in a period where the engine revs but the vehicle does not move. It is important to recognize the signs of transmission slipping and address them promptly.

Is it safe to drive a car with a transmission slipping issue?

Driving a vehicle with a transmission slipping issue is not advisable due to the unpredictable safety of the vehicle. The transmission can shift into different gears without warning, potentially causing shaking or significant damage. It is important to be aware of signs of transmission slipping and take appropriate action.

Transmission slipping refers to a situation where the transmission fails to maintain a consistent gear engagement. This can be indicated by a delay in acceleration, a revving engine but slow speed, or a sudden drop in RPMs while driving. Paying close attention to these signs is critical to address any transmission slipping issues promptly and ensure the safety of the vehicle.

If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended to seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix the transmission slipping problem. Taking swift action can prevent further damage to your vehicle and help maintain its overall safety and performance.

Could a worn out clutch be responsible for the lag while driving?

Clutch slippage, also known as slipping, occurs when the vehicle moves slowly while the engine races, usually in high gear, after releasing the clutch pedal and accelerating. This issue is typically caused by a worn-out clutch disc.

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What happens if you have a bad clutch?

One common sign of a malfunctioning clutch is slipperiness during acceleration. This occurs particularly when driving uphill or carrying heavy loads. In such cases, you may observe that although the engine speed rises, there is no proportional increase in the car's speed or the engine RPM does not correspond to the acceleration.

[Source: 7 Symptoms Of A Worn or Bad Clutch - Mechanic Base]

Why is my clutch slipping?

An overheating clutch can cause damage to other components and worsen existing damage. If your clutch is extremely worn, your car may not move forward or backward, although you should have noticed slipping beforehand.

If your clutch engages higher than usual, it could be a sign of wear or damage. To learn more about the symptoms of a worn or bad clutch, refer to the article on Mechanic Base.

Can you drive with a worn clutch?

Driving with a worn clutch, particularly if it exhibits slipping, is not advisable. If the clutch slips and the vehicle is driven aggressively, it can lead to the clutch burning and excessive heat generation in the transmission. This excessive heat can potentially cause the clutch to explode, resulting in damage to the transmission and engine components.

Why does my car not move when the clutch is released?

In manual cars, the clutch plays a crucial role in disengaging the wheels without stalling the engine. However, it is possible to encounter a situation where the car fails to move when the clutch is released.

A car with this issue might experience various problems, and one common issue is difficulty in getting the car to move properly.

If you are facing this problem, it is recommended to visit a professional mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Is there a problem with the fuel injectors causing the lagging issue?

When fuel injectors become clogged, they are unable to effectively deliver the appropriate amount of fuel to the engine. This can cause an imbalance in the air/fuel mixture, resulting in engine misfires or uneven running, which can be observed through rough idling or stalling. This issue is particularly problematic during acceleration when the engine requires more fuel.

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What are the symptoms of a bad fuel injector?

Engine malfunction can often occur as a result of a faulty fuel injector, leading to a misfire in the car. It is important to be aware of the various symptoms that may indicate a bad fuel injector, as this can impact the performance of the vehicle.

Here are eleven signs that may indicate a problem with your fuel injectors:

1. Decreased fuel efficiency.

2. Rough idling or stalling.

3. Engine hesitation or stumbling.

4. Difficulty starting the engine.

5. Poor acceleration.

6. Increased emissions.

7. Engine surging or fluctuations in RPM.

8. Fuel odor inside or outside of the car.

9. Engine overheating.

10. Loss of power and decreased overall performance.

11. Increased fuel consumption.

If you notice any of these signs, it is advisable to have your fuel injectors inspected and possibly replaced by a qualified mechanic.

How does a leaky injector affect engine performance?

A leaky injector can result in an excessive amount of fuel being injected into the engine's combustion chamber, while a leaky seal can cause fuel to leak at the injector's base. Both of these issues can impact the overall performance of the engine, particularly its fuel efficiency. Additionally, these problems are often accompanied by a distinct fuel odor.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with a malfunctioning fuel injector as it can negatively affect the vehicle's performance. If you notice any signs of a bad or failing fuel injector, it is advisable to have it inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic.

What does a clogged fuel injector mean?

Fault codes related to a clogged fuel injector are typically the P0300 through P0308 series. These fault codes indicate that the engine control module has detected a misfire in the engine.

If your scanner shows that the fuel system is running lean, this could be due to a problem with fuel delivery or a high concentration of alcohol in the fuel, especially if your vehicle is not designed to operate with flex-fuel.

If you experience symptoms such as rough engine performance or decreased fuel efficiency, it is important to diagnose and address any potential issues with your fuel injector.

Could a failing mass airflow sensor be causing the lag in your car?

Disabling the mass airflow sensor in a car can have varying effects based on the sensor's condition.

If the sensor is damaged or faulty, unplugging it may result in improved car performance and fuel efficiency.

However, if the sensor is functioning properly, unplugging it can lead to inefficiency, jerkiness, and stalling of the car.

The sensor plays a crucial role in assisting the engine control unit in regulating the air and fuel mixture in the vehicle.

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What happens when a mass air flow sensor goes bad?

In many cars, a mass air flow (MAF) sensor is utilized to measure the amount of air that enters the engine.

If the MAF sensor malfunctions, it can result in a range of symptoms such as an illuminated check engine light, rough running, and misfiring.

What is the mass air flow sensor on a car?

The mass air flow sensor is responsible for measuring the quantity of air that enters the engine. It is an essential input for the car's computer to regulate fuel consumption. When this sensor fails, it can lead to various noticeable symptoms. Some common problems associated with the air flow sensor include:

1. Inconsistent fuel control and performance issues.

2. Engine misfires and reduced power.

3. Unstable idle and difficulties starting the vehicle.

Knowing these symptoms can help identify and address any issues with the mass air flow sensor.

Can a faulty MAF sensor cause slow acceleration?

A malfunctioning MAF sensor has the potential to disrupt the air-fuel mixture, consequently leading to various performance problems with your vehicle. One of these issues is potentially sluggish acceleration. If you observe a noticeable decrease in your car's speed, it is highly likely that the MAF sensor is responsible for this concern.

Is the lag a result of a malfunctioning turbocharger or supercharger?

Turbo lag is a common problem in turbochargers that occurs between the throttle and torque power. It occurs when there is a significant build-up of exhaust pressure in the engine, which in turn slows down the response of the turbo and pump compressor.

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Turbocharger vs. Supercharger: Whatís the Difference?

A supercharger does not result in turbo lag. Additionally, the increased pressure and heat from a turbocharger can potentially accelerate the aging of certain engine components, such as seals and gaskets. In contrast, superchargers are able to generate power directly from the engine pulley, eliminating the need to wait for exhaust buildup. As a result, superchargers offer advantages in terms of immediate power delivery.

Is turbo lag a real thing?

Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common for heavily modified cars to be equipped with larger turbos than their original specifications. However, whether you encounter turbo lag in an older car or a newer one, the overall experience is similar.

The presence of turbocharger lag can be attributed to various factors. To address this issue, there are several ways to mitigate turbo lag and improve the performance of the turbocharged engine.

What's the difference between a turbo and a supercharger?

The power output of a turbocharger increases in direct correlation with how far the accelerator pedal is pressed. This leads to a noticeable increase in engine response and a more powerful driving experience. However, it is important to note that turbochargers may have boost lag as their primary drawback.

On the other hand, superchargers also provide a power boost, but without the issue of boost lag experienced by turbochargers. The engine response is immediate, providing enhanced performance. The question remains: which is better, turbochargers or superchargers?

Source: "Turbochargers vs. Superchargers: Which Is Better?" - Car and Driver

What is turbo lag on a Dodge Challenger Hellcat?

In the world of automotive engineering, turbochargers are known to have a lag, which refers to the brief delay it takes for the turbo to generate additional power.

The lag occurs because the exhaust heat and pressure need a moment to reach the required level to spin the turbo after the accelerator pedal is pushed.

A Dodge Challenger Hellcat, on the other hand, is equipped with a supercharger, which is positioned on top of its V-8 engine.

In the debate between turbochargers and superchargers, the question of which is better remains a subject of discussion.

Could a problem with the EGR valve be causing the lag while driving?

Driving with a malfunctioning EGR valve can result in various engine performance problems, including a rough idle, difficulties starting the engine, stalling, hesitation, and reduced power and fuel efficiency.

A defective EGR valve can also potentially harm the engine by disrupting the air-fuel ratio and allowing an excess of exhaust gases into the combustion chamber.

It is highly advised not to drive with a faulty EGR valve, as it may cause costly repairs and emissions issues.

What are the symptoms of a bad EGR valve?

When there is a problem with the EGR valve, it can impede the proper flow and functioning of the EGR system, resulting in elevated emissions and performance complications. Generally, a malfunctioning or deteriorating EGR valve will exhibit one or more of the following four symptoms, which can serve as a warning to the driver:

Can a stuck-open EGR valve cause an increase in hydrocarbon emissions?

An increase in hydrocarbon emissions can be attributed to various factors other than a stuck-open EGR valve. It is important to consider other potential causes such as a fuel injector leakage, incorrect ignition timing, insufficient cylinder compression, malfunctioning oxygen sensor, among other issues. To effectively diagnose and address the problem, it is crucial to recognize the symptoms and conduct a thorough troubleshooting process.

Why does my EGR valve light go on?

It is possible for the check engine light to illuminate before encountering significant performance issues. However, when dealing with an EGR Valve, these performance issues are not far behind. One common symptom is a rough idle, especially when the valve becomes stuck open, resulting in the recirculation process happening during idle.

Identifying the signs of a malfunctioning EGR valve can help diagnose potential issues.

Is the fuel pump failing and causing the lag in your car?

When the fuel system components, such as fuel injectors, fuel pump, or fuel pressure regulator, malfunction, the engine may not receive an adequate amount of fuel for combustion. Consequently, the engine may experience issues like lagging, stumbling, or hesitation.

Why does my fuel pump whine a lot?

An aging or deteriorating fuel pump can generate a noticeable loud noise or high-pitched sound while it is operating.

Typically, fuel pumps emit a quiet hum during regular operation, but if there is a significantly loud whining noise coming from the fuel tank, it generally indicates an issue.

Common causes for this noise include insufficient fuel supply, a damaged pump, or contaminated fuel within the system.

Why is my fuel pump cranking so long?

Extended cranking time typically indicates a fuel pump that is unable to maintain positive pressure in the fuel line when the engine is turned off. This results in the fuel bleeding back to the tank, requiring the key to be cycled in order to re-prime the fuel line before the vehicle can start. It can be misleading when trying to diagnose a faulty fuel pump.

What causes a fuel pump to surge?

One indication that a fuel pump needs to be repaired is if there is irregular resistance within the fuel pump motor, which can cause the vehicle to surge. Surging feels similar to using the gas pedal, but it happens at a random and consistent speed. If this issue occurs frequently, it may be due to problems within the fuel pump.

Another symptom of a faulty fuel pump is experiencing low gas mileage. This can be a sign that the fuel pump is not operating efficiently, causing the vehicle to use more fuel than necessary. If you notice a decrease in gas mileage, it is recommended to have the fuel pump checked for potential issues.

Could a malfunctioning camshaft position sensor be responsible for the lag?

A bad camshaft position sensor can negatively affect the drivability of a vehicle by impeding the quick transmission of data. This can result in slow signal and data transfers, leading to issues such as uneven fuel injection and ignition timing. As a consequence, the car may experience power loss, stalling, poor acceleration, or sputtering.

What happens if a camshaft position sensor goes bad?

When the camshaft position sensor malfunctions, it can result in the engine's failure to start or the activation of the Check Engine Light. Moreover, it can lead to diminished engine performance, the activation of limp mode, or a condition known as misfiring. Another consequence is that the vehicle may experience shifting problems or increased fuel consumption. Below, we will discuss seven potential symptoms of a faulty camshaft position sensor, as well as the estimated cost of replacement.

What is a camshaft position sensor?

A camshaft position sensor is an electronic device that monitors the position and speed of the camshaft. Its purpose is to provide data to the engine control module (ECM) of a vehicle. The ECM uses this data to regulate the fuel input and ignition timing for proper combustion.

When a camshaft position sensor begins to fail, there are certain symptoms that may be observed. These symptoms can include issues with engine performance, such as rough idling, stalling, or difficulty starting the vehicle.

It is important to address any issues with the camshaft position sensor promptly, as failure to do so can lead to further damage to the engine and potentially costly repairs.

How does a camshaft work in a car?

The crankshaft, which is situated within the engine block, is responsible for driving the camshaft through the use of gears, a timing chain, or a timing belt. In order to determine the power stroke of each cylinder, the vehicle's computer system utilizes a camshaft position (CMP) sensor to monitor the rotational position of the camshaft in relation to the crankshaft.

A malfunctioning camshaft position sensor can lead to various symptoms in a vehicle.

Could a problem with the exhaust system be causing the lag while driving?

When there is a substantial constraint in the exhaust system, the combustion gases will have difficulty exiting the tailpipe swiftly. Consequently, back pressure will accumulate and gradually impede the vehicle's power generation. This issue is often observed in the presence of a obstructed catalytic converter.

Can a bad exhaust pipe cause drivability problems?

Problems with the system or pipes of a vehicle can affect its drivability. When an exhaust pipe or tube is bad or failing, it can produce symptoms that can indicate a possible issue. One symptom is an excessively loud exhaust that makes hissing sounds.

Why does my engine lag?

Engine lag, stumbling, or hesitation may occur as a result of this issue. Inconsistent loss of power in your engine may be attributed to problems in the ignition system, including spark plugs, rotor, or wires.

Oards Automotive has identified 10 possible causes of car engine hesitation when accelerating, which you may want to consider exploring for further information.

Can you drive a car with a bad exhaust system?

If your car fails the emissions test, it will be illegal for you to drive it until the necessary repairs have been made. It is important to understand that a faulty exhaust system can pose various risks, extending beyond just noise. These risks include compromising the performance of your vehicle and impacting your overall health.

What happens if your exhaust is leaking?

If there is a leak or damage in your exhaust system, it can lead to a decrease in gas mileage. Additionally, a significant leak in the system can reduce backpressure, which is important for proper engine performance.

A bad exhaust system can pose dangers to your vehicle. It can negatively affect your engine's performance and potentially cause further damage to the engine.

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