4 Ways to Fix a Misfiring or Sputtering Engine
An Engine Misfire Is a Serious Problem!
Does your engine stumble before regaining its pace? As the rpm begins to settle down, does it stumble yet again?
Although most drivers can instantly recognize a misfiring or sputtering engine, not a few of them tend to quickly block out the sensation. Unfortunately, ignoring an engine misfire is a serious mistake.
An engine misfire happens when the combustion reaction isn’t working as it should and the cylinder remains unfired. Possible causes of an engine misfire include problems with the ignition system, fuel system, or internal engine.
If left unaddressed, this issue can reduce fuel economy and damage the engine, leading to loss of power. In some cases, an engine misfire can cause the car to stall and make it difficult for you to steer because of the loss of power steering. Besides leading to potentially dangerous situations, engine misfires can cause significant damage to the engine.
How to Fix an Engine Misfire
An engine misfire has several causes that vary in seriousness and cost. When this happens to your car, you’ll need to check the following:
- Trouble codes
Newer vehicles have a modern engine system that monitors all sensors in the engine. This system stores trouble codes in the engine control module that spring into action when something goes wrong with a sensor. Trouble codes can help you detect a misfire on a specific cylinder, such as a failing spark plug or ignition coil. If you find trouble codes on low fuel pressure or an engine sensor, you’ll know where to start troubleshooting.
You need to check the trouble codes when your engine misfires. If you don’t have an OBD2 scanner to help you read trouble codes from the engine control module, take your car to an auto specialist.
- Spark plugs and coils
If the misfire trouble code directs you to a specific cylinder, you’ll have to check your spark plugs and ignition coil right away. If these components look bad or dirty, you’ll need to replace them immediately. Try switching the spark plug and ignition coil to another cylinder to check engines with separate ignition coils.
Next, try clearing the codes and drive to see if the issue has moved to another cylinder. If it did, this confirms that you have a problem with the spark plugs or ignition coil. The solution is to simply replace them.
- Vacuum leaks
If the spark side doesn’t have an issue, you’ll want to check the air-fuel mixture. Incorrect air-fuel mixture often results from vacuum leaks.
To check for vacuum leaks, gently spray a flammable spray around your engine’s intake manifold while idling. For your safety, you need to have a fire extinguisher ready when doing this. If there’s a leak and your engine is injecting the flammable spray, your engine speed increases.
Doing a compression test on all cylinders ensures that your engine compression is correct. First, use a compression tester or a leak-down tester to compare the results with the auto manufacturer’s specifications. If the compression is low on a specific cylinder, you’ll need to check the timing belt, piston rings, pistons, or valves. Since replacements for these engine parts are usually expensive, you’ll want to do a proper diagnosis before replacing them.
What You Can Do if the Repair of Your Old Car Will Cost You a Fortune
Engine misfires aren’t always easy to diagnose. If you still can’t figure out what’s causing your engine to misfire and sputter, it’s best to take your car to a trusted mechanic. If the mechanic tells you that your old car requires major repairs that are bound to suck the life out of your finances, you may have to reconsider proceeding with the repair.
You can still do something positive about that car though. That’s when you decide to hand it over to us at Kids Car Donations. We’ll use it to help disadvantaged children and teens in your community who are facing life-threatening illnesses or life-limiting disabilities.
Our team will sell it through an auction and use the proceeds to support the pediatric healthcare programs of our charity partners. These IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations use the funds they get from us to give their young beneficiaries access to free medical treatments, therapies, emotional support, and other essential healthcare services.
In return, you’ll have the privilege of enjoying our free professional towing service, which is available to our donors throughout the country.
Additionally, your charitable contribution will entitle you to claim the highest possible tax deduction in the next tax season.
However, the best part about donating a vehicle to us is the priceless joy of knowing that you’ll be making a difference in the lives of the ailing youngsters in your local community.
We accept nearly all vehicle types whatever their ages or conditions.
For more information about our vehicle donation program, including our quick and convenient donation process, check out our FAQs page. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call us anytime through our toll-free hotline at 866-634-8395 or write to us here.
Ready to Save Children’s Lives?
Turn your old beater into a powerful tool that can save young lives! Call Kids Car Donations at 866-634-8395 or fill out our secure online donation form now!