How to Deal with Engine Misfire

Engine MisfireAn engine misfire is a common driveability problem where an engine stumbles for a moment then regains its pace. As soon as the revolution per minute settles, the engine may misfire. A misfiring cylinder in a four-cylinder engine is hard to miss. The engine may shake violently causing vibrations that can be felt in the steering wheel and through the vehicle. The engine may also fail to start which may make the car to break down. At such unfortunate times, you may not have a solution other than to call for help from a professional towing company such asĀ

Causes of Engine Misfiring

Misfiring of the engine occurs when one of the cylinders in the internal combustion engine fails to fire. When one of the engine cylinders in an internal combustion misfires, the engine will still function, but it will lack the much-needed power to work properly. For the cylinder to function properly, several factors need to come into play. These include proper fuel/air mixture, proper compression, proper timing and correct spark.

There are a variety of problems that cause the cylinder to fail to function properly leading to misfiring. These include;

1. Faulty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs produce the spark to facilitate the ignition of fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber. Due to many reasons, spark plugs can go bad leading to misfiring. The plugs can get fouled from oil leakage in the combustion chamber or as a result of carbon build up. They can also wear down as a result of overheating and improper gapping. The bottom line is that if your engine is experiencing misfiring, one of the main reasons may be due to bad spark plugs.

2. Cracked Distributor Cap

distributor capThe distributor serves the purpose of controlling the timing of the spark which gets sent in procedural sequence to each of the spark plugs in the engine. When the distributor is functioning as required, the spark to each plug is sent at the right time to ignite the mixture of fuel and air when the piston is ready. A cracked of damaged distributor cap may cause signals to be lost resulting in misfiring.

3. Lean Fuel and Air Mixture

The mixture of fuel and air is a pretty delicate balance. If this mixture gets out of balance, misfiring may occur. If there is not enough fuel in the combustion chamber which is required to mix with air for combustion to occur, then be sure misfiring would occur. Additionally, if a cylinder lacks compression, the sparks from the spark plugs will not ignite the mixture of fuel and air. Other issues that may cause lack of compression include leaky exhaust valve and blown head gasket.

Now that you have a better understanding of misfiring, when it happens, the best thing would be to take the car to your mechanic for a proper check up and diagnosis. Locate a local auto shop and have their diagnostic machine read the misfiring code to tell you the nature of the misfiring.