Is it Safe to Drive With a Misfiring Engine?

Repairing a misfiring engine can be simple or complicated, depending on the reason it is misfiring. The most common causes of engine misfires are: worn spark plugs, weak fuel injector, vacuum leak, worn valve seals, carbon tracking, and no voltage at the coil. Misfiring engines should be looked at as soon as possible, as the problem can worsen over time and damage internal components of the vehicle. There are a number of reasons why a misfiring engine may be unsafe for driving.

Here are some signs and symptoms to pay attention to if you're concerned about a misfiring engine:

  • While driving, you may be able to hear one or more misfiring cylinders in your engine. A popping and sneezing sound is one of the common sounds of a misfiring cylinder. Furthermore, backfiring is another sound of a misfiring engine. If you experience any of these sounds, have a mechanic inspect the engine as soon as possible.

  • Along with making a loud noise, a misfiring engine also has a particular smell. The strongest smell you will notice is gas, but it will be accompanied by the smell of coolant, steam, or engine oil. These are signs that you have a serious problem such as damaged cylinder walls, which can cause a misfiring engine.

  • A loss of power is another sign of a misfiring engine. The loss of power is experienced by vibration in the vehicle, which can cause damage. The internal parts of the engine rotate unevenly, causing increased wear on them. If you notice vibration in the vehicle that varies with the RPM of the engine, this may be a sign your you have a misfiring engine.

  • A misfiring engine can also produce clouds of black exhaust. If you notice the exhaust of your vehicle has changed in appearance or it has a blue tinge, you need to get your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. This means there is an internal problem in your engine that needs to be fixed.

Driving with a misfiring engine may not be dangerous right away, but over time it will wear on your engine and you can potentially damage the vehicle. If you lose power while driving on a busy road, this is a safety hazard. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of a misfiring engine, get them checked out by a professional as soon as possible. This will prolong the vehicle of your life and keep you safe while driving.


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Jeremy

20 years of experience
437 reviews
Jeremy
20 years of experience
Cadillac CTS - Engine is misfiring - West Palm Beach, Florida
Unfortunately Jeremy had to deliver the news that my car was beyond repair. But he was professional about it and checked if there was any possible way to fix it affordably. He seem honestly distressed telling me something that I already expected.
Honda Pilot - Engine is misfiring - West Palm Beach, Florida
Very thorough and identified the problem in my 2007 Honda Pilot with almost 260,000 miles. He was on time, worked quickly and found the problem. No overselling.

Raymond

27 years of experience
129 reviews
Raymond
27 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Engine is misfiring - Adelanto, California
Very professional and knowledgeable mechanic . I will definitely call again for his services as needed. Thank you! Best regards Antonio Cabrera

John

27 years of experience
808 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Engine is misfiring - Houston, Texas
John always finds what's wrong on my truck and fixes it without charging an arm and a leg. Very courteous and does a great job.

Rodney

36 years of experience
460 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
Toyota Highlander - Engine is misfiring - Sacramento, California
This was a warranty call. Id expect not to be charged even though Rodney wasn't able to duplicate coil/spark plug issue. thank you

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