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Q: Is it OK to drive with one cylinder at 70 psi?

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I have a 4C engine (1998 Honda Civic EX). A compression test showed the other 3 cylinders were between 115 and 125, but the third was at 70. I replaced the head casket, the spark plugs, some wires and hoses, and temp gauge. Put new antifreeze in the radiator (also new). How long can I drive the car with one bad cylinder before I have to put more into it (I really need to get about 4 months out of it until I can afford to buy another car)?

My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Unfortunately, there is no definite way to ...

Unfortunately, there is no definite way to tell how much longer your engine will last. Generally, a cylinder needs at least a minimum of 100 psi in order to run. In your case, this is not happening, which means the other 3 cylinders are carrying the load. This may cause additional problems due to the fact that the dead cylinder will still receive fuel which will not be ignited. When this happens, that fuel will go to one of two places: either into the exhaust as unburnt fuel, which will in the long-term damage the catalytic converter, or down into the engine oil, which will reduce the oil’s ability to lubricate other vital engine parts. I would recommend having an expert technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come take a look at your car to determine a solution.

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