Q: Can I drive a car that is misfiring to the mechanic to get it fixed or do I need to have it towed in?

asked by on

Can I drive a car that is misfiring to the mechanic or do I need to have it towed in?

Unfortunately, if the engine is actively misfiring, unburned gas from the misfiring cylinder(s) ends up in the catalytic converter. Basically, once that gas is dumped there, as a vapor of course, it eventually "lights off" in the converter (gas, of course, is supposed to burn in the engine cylinders, where it is safe to do so, not in the catalytic converter or exhaust system) melting the converter internals.

How much "driving" you can get away with while an engine is misfiring is variable, but in all events is not much. If you happen to be in an area served by a mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, you need not drive the car or have it towed. The mechanic can come to you and determine the cause of the misfiring engine. This will obviously save you the risk of further damage to the car (to the catalytic converter) and the costs of towing.

As far as the repair goes, if the misfire is consistent (always present), the diagnostic will be straightforward once the engine is put on a scope and especially if the misfire is limited to "a" cylinder versus a random misfire. A random misfire will present a numerically larger number of possible causes that need to be evaluated.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can I drive a car that is misfiring to the mechanic to get it fixed or do I need to have it towed in?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Misfiring and emissions leak in 2000 Ford Crown Vic

It all depends on what you think of the vehicle. These Crown Victoria can run for an awfully long time, but you'd want to find out what this misfiring is to keep this car up and going. If the misfiring...

Q: How should you tow in an emergency?

While it’s hoped that this will never happen to you, there’s always the chance that you’ll break down while you’re out and about. If this happens, you may need to have your vehicle towed. Make sure it’s towed following these...

Q: Toyota Corolla misfire on number two.

In many cases, misfires can be diagnosed by swapping components from the missing cylinder with the components of a functioning cylinder. Then you check the scanner to see if the misfire moves. It can be time consuming, but most auto...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.