Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: will it cause more damage if I continue to drive with a burnt out valve in the engine?

asked by on

diagnostic test done by my mechanic shows a burnt out valve in my engine, rough sound, vibration of vehicle, sometimes smooths out as I drive it, sometimes can spell strong gas odor. Will it cause more damage if I continue to drive it no more that 5 miles?

My car has 204600 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. Unfortuna...

Hi there, thanks for writing in.

Unfortunately, yes you can do more damage by continuing to drive with damaged valves. The misfire will cause damage to the catalytic converter, which is a critical emission device. Damaging the catalyst can cause it to break apart internally, leading to plugging up the exhaust and causing an even more severe loss of power, which will make the car very difficult to drive. Eventually this plugged exhaust can damage the rest of the engine, eventually leading to a complete failure. This entire process may not take long at all, as catalysts are damaged very quickly from driving while misfiring. It will also be running much dirtier than usual, and is extremely bad for the environment.

I would strongly suggest having the problem fixed, or not driving the car until it is. If you decide to get this fixed, feel free to contact a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can diagnose your rough driving symptoms and help you fix it accordingly. Good luck.

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: Air flow in front vents

Try to look under the glove box to see if the air intake has got anything blocking the A/C air intake. If nothing is blocking the intake of the A/C, then you would need to have the blower checked to...

Q: Car making noise

The most common noise that Lincoln LS owners hear is from the brakes, or a bad wheel bearing. If the noise is a scraping sound, it's likely the brakes. If the car is making a grinding, roaring noise that changes...

Q: Coolant finishes 3-4days

Hello. This can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, or a failing coolant fan switch. The fact that you are losing water every 3-4 days without leaks, this would suggest the...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.