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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 engine is what powers the vehicle. The cylinder is normally made from cast iron or aluminum. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, your vehicle may have as few as two up to as many as 18 cylinders. A misfiring cylinder is noticeable because the engine will lose power. For example, if one cylinder misfires in a four cylinder vehicle, the car will lose 25 percent of its power.

Here are some signs & symptoms to look out for if you believe you may 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 helps to power the engine, you will notice your fuel economy start to suffer. In addition, if your vehicle shakes while idling, this is another sign of a misfire. Combine these together and they are both sure signs your cylinder is misfiring and needs to be look 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 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 misfiring cylinder 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 mean the cylinder does not misfire all of the time. The misfire may happen while 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 because your vehicle can lose power. 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 mechanic 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

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