Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Rough misfire at idle.

asked by on

random misfire at idle with engine light on.(limpmode)

My car has 189000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Generally, misfires are caused by either a ...

Generally, misfires are caused by either a spark or fuel issue or in cases, a combination of both. Spark related problems generally will result from things like ignition coils, crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, spark plug wires or ignition modules not working properly. When the misfire results from a fuel related issue, this is commonly related to a lean fuel condition (lack of sufficient fuel supply to the motor). Fuel related misfires can be caused by many different things such as low fuel pressure, faulty or dirty fuel injectors, a faulty O2 sensor, a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor, a faulty or dirty idle air control valve or a vacuum or intake leak. When the fuel supplied to the combustion chamber is insufficient, this results in an ignition (spark) that is igniting a less than balanced load of fuel and air. This results in a misfire or an explosion in the cylinder that is much less powerful than the other cylinders. This creates a loss of power that resonates throughout the motor additionally causing other problems with ignition and fuel timing. Due to the number of different things that may cause an engine misfire, the quickest and easiest way to diagnose this type of problem is to hook the vehicle up to a scanning tool which will download any potential fault codes that may have registered in the vehicle’s computer as a result of the poor running condition. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your misfiring problem.

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: Why does my E46 BMW M54 not start properly?

Hello there, many faults will cause your 2003 BMW 320i to run poorly on cold start and have a cylinder 4 misfire. You have done great in replacing the coil packs, plugs, and vacuum pipe. Common faults would be a...

Q: I was driving and I lost all power going to the transmission but the engine stayed on.

There are a few possible causes. One can be the clutch has failed. The disc may be worn to the point that any remaining friction material has separated from the clutch disc. If that happened, then there is no clamping...

Q: Car Alarm

Hi there. The TPMS can cause multiple electrical glitches in your ECU when they are not active (such as swapping snow tires and wheels). One of these glitches can be problems with the alarm or security warning lights illuminating. The...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...