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

asked by on October 20, 2016

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.

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

I have a code P1399 random misfire

Hello. A random misfire can be caused by many different things such as dirty fuel injectors, a weak fuel pump, a bad fuel pressure regulator, fouled spark plugs or wires, a failing ignition coil or a vacuum leak. To get...

Paint chipping all over, can I protect the paint?

The problems you are having with your paint on your CRV is not isolated to just your vehicle. There are other owners with less mileage on their CRV vehicles that are having similar issues. The paint used on automobiles is...

Engine cranks but won't start. VTM-4 engine light is on. OBD shows codes P0365, P0340 & P0132

You say you turned off the engine as soon as the vehicle was stopped. Does this mean the engine still runs? The VTM-4 light is for the traction control and you may have a problem with the system, which could...

Related articles

Does Gasoline Expire?
Gasoline Gasoline does expire if it is left unused for a long period of time. The problem with gas is its volatility. A volatile substance is prone to separating and vaporizing. This is especially bad if the fuel vapor has...
The 5 Safest Used Cars You Can Buy For Under $20,000
The Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Chevy Volt, and the Volvo XC60 are five of the overall safest used cars you can buy for under $20,000.
2012 Ford Escape vs. 2012 Honda CR-V: Which One Should I Buy?
SUVs represent one out of every three vehicles sold in 2012, making them one of the most-purchased types of vehicles in the country during that time period. Compact SUVs are a sub-class that are slightly smaller and offer the most...