Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Is it Safe to Drive With a Misfiring Cylinder?

Is it Safe to Drive With a Misfiring Cylinder?

Misfiring Cylinder

The cylinder is the part of the engine where combustion takes place. The combustion in the cylinder is what powers the vehicle. The engine block is normally made from cast iron or aluminum. Depending on the type of vehicle, an engine may have as few as two up to as many as 12 cylinders (the Bugatti Chiron has a 16 cylinder engine!). A misfiring cylinder can cause a proportional loss of power. For example, if one cylinder misfires in a four cylinder engine, the car will lose 25 percent of its power.

Here are some signs & symptoms to look out for if you believe you have a misfiring cylinder:

  • One of the biggest signs your cylinder is misfiring is the loss of power along with odd vibrations. Since the cylinder powers the engine, you will notice your fuel economy start to suffer since the remaining working cylinders have to compensate for the loss of power. In addition, if your vehicle shakes while idling, this is another sign of a misfire. Combine these, and they are sure signs your cylinder is misfiring and needs to be looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible.

  • Another reason a cylinder misfires is because of a loss of spark. This can be something that stops coil voltage from hopping the gap at the end of the spark plug. Damaged, worn, or bad spark plugs, or a weak ignition coil can cause a loss of spark, and therefore, a misfiring cylinder.

  • If there is not enough gasoline in the air/fuel mixture, this can cause a misfire as well. If the fuel injector is clogged, dirty, or has an air leak, the low pressure will affect all of the cylinders, rather than just one cylinder.

  • Sometimes cylinders have intermittent misfires, which means the cylinder does not misfire all the time. The misfire may happen when it is cold out or while the vehicle is carrying a heavy load. Other times it may seem like the cylinder misfires randomly, with no pattern. These are difficult issues to diagnose, so the vehicle needs to be looked at by a professional mechanic.

Driving with a misfiring cylinder is potentially dangerous. If you lose power while you are driving, or a second or third cylinder goes out, this can cause you to get into a car accident, potentially injuring you and others around you. If you suspect a misfiring cylinder, make an appointment with a mobile technician from YourMechanic as soon as possible to have your vehicle inspected and repaired.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: misfire under load

Hello there, many different faults can cause your 2008 BMW 135i to have a misfire under load. If there is a multiple cylinder misfire, there may be one of a few different faults going on. The most common faults would...

Q: How do I adjust the foot pedals?

The throttle and brake pedals can be adjusted to your desired setting via the Power Foot Pedal switch, which on the left side of the steering column. Press and hold the front of this switch to push the pedals away...

Q: Damaged key chamber

Hi. It sounds like you need to replace the parts that were damaged during the theft attempt. On this vehicle, the exterior door handle must be removed to access and replace the door lock cylinder. A professional, such as one...