Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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?

A: Unfortunately, if the engine is actively mi...

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 1000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Losing coolant, high idle rpm, 2x P0300 1x P1111

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that there may be more than one issue with the vehicle. The rpm fluctuations can be caused many different things. A few things I would check are the idle air control valve,...

Q: i bought a vz commodore tow bar by mistake will it fit a bf ford can anyone help

Hello. If the tow bar is designed for a VZ Commodore it is not likely that it will be a direct fit for another vehicle. The two chassis do share a similar layout, however, the mounting may differ, as they...

Q: Jeep misfiring and stalling.

The code P0455 could be the gas cap is loose or leaking or a leak in the fuel tank venting system. Also a problem with a sensor or solenoid leaking in the system. The system would have to be tested...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...