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What Causes Engine Misfire? Six Potential Reasons

what causes engine misfire

If you're wondering, “what causes engine misfire?” Engine misfiring might happen due to one of the following reasons:

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  • Issues with the ignition system
  • Problems with the air-fuel mixture
  • Troubles with the emission equipment
  • Issues with the engine itself
  • Problems with the sensors
  • Malfunction in the circuits

Some engine vehicle problems might be intuitive enough to many drivers, and they can easily deal with repairs. However, some more complicated problems might not be obvious as the engine misfire.

Engine misfire is typically related to an issue with incomplete combustion where your engine cannot generate the required energy because of a missing element that could be related to an internal problem.

Engine misfire is a big deal, which means that you cannot ignore it because it might prevent you from driving your car or cause significant problems that could cost you thousands of dollars on repairs.

This article provides you with a detailed overview of what causes engine misfire and helps you understand what needs to be done. It also highlights rough estimates about expected repair costs to take care of any engine misfire.

What does engine misfire mean?

Before we discuss the details about the main causes of engine misfires, we must understand the meaning of engine misfires in the first place.

Engine misfire refers to when one or more of the engine cylinders do not produce the required power. Typically, this might be related to various reasons, and it can be critical to determine which is the real culprit. However, whenever you deal with an engine misfire, you must take it seriously because it might lead to significant damages and cost you the entire engine.

What causes engine misfire?

Engine misfire is related to any problem that could prevent the cylinder from generating power; there are a variety of causes for engine misfire problems. Let's take a closer look at some of the common causes that you might encounter:

  1. Issues with the ignition system

One of the most common causes for engine misfire is problems with the ignition system. Many people think that the only thing might be related to issues with the spark plugs; however, the ignition system consists of a various

For instance, any simple problem in the control module, coil packs, wiring, crankshaft position sensor, or any related component might lead to an engine misfire. Therefore, you must maintain a perfectly working ignition system all the time to prevent engine misfire issues.

  1. Problems with the air-fuel mixture

In any cylinder, a specific amount of air and fuel must be passed to be ignited by the spark plug. If there is any problem with the ratio between air and fuel, you might deal with engine misfiring. Air and fuel delivery can be linked to various components like the intake valves or any pathway where air and fuel might go through.

Whenever there is a problem with a vacuum leak around the air or fuel systems, you might easily deal with engine misfiring.

  1. Troubles with the emission equipment

If you are driving a more modern vehicle, your car might be equipped with additional components responsible for eliminating and reducing harmful gases from reaching the atmosphere. For instance, the exhaust system might have an exhaust gas recirculation system or the positive crankcase ventilation system.

Any issue with these emissions equipment might lead to an engine misfire. Therefore, if you detect that the issue is related to this equipment, you must take care of them immediately. Did you know that any problem with some of the emission equipment might lead to your vehicle not passing the emission test?

  1. Problems with the engine itself

Did you know that problems with the engine itself might lead to engine misfiring? Yes! The engine is in a mechanical component, which means that in addition to the cylinders, the piston ring moves upward and downward to generate the power by compressing the air-fuel mixture through the rock. As a result, there's an issue with the seals or the piston itself; you might deal with engine misfire because the cylinder doesn't have the right pressure level to generate the required energy.

  1. Issues with the sensors

Your vehicles are also equipped with various sensors responsible for maintaining and controlling how your engine functions. If there's an issue with the sensory, it won't be able to communicate accurately with your vehicle's computer. That's why your vehicle computer might send wrong signals to different components leading to an engine misfire.

  1. Troubles with the control circuits

Along with the mechanical components of your engine, there is a complete electrical wiring circuit that is responsible for communicating much information among the engine components. Therefore, when there's a simple problem with small wiring in your engine, it can easily lead to troubles with an engine misfire. Therefore, they don't have to panic when dealing with engine misfires because the problem might be related to a minor issue and can be easily fixed without major repair costs.

How much does it cost to fix an engine misfire?

Fixing engine misfire depends heavily on various factors and might differ significantly depending on your vehicle type and your engine’s structure. For instance, you might need to pay between $300.00 and $400 if you're driving a car equipped with a 4-cylinder engine.

On the other hand, if your car is equipped with a V6 engine, repair costs might jump up quickly to reach between $450 and $700.00. Cars with more powerful engines require much higher repair costs, and at some point, you might get to thousands of dollars in repairs to take care of engine misfire.

That's why more experts recommend carefully evaluating the situation before you spend a penny fixing an engine misfire. They also recommend comparing total repair costs to your vehicle's value. Whenever you notice that your car repairs are close to 75% or more of your car's value, it's not worth fixing this vehicle. Instead, you should think about selling it.

Cash cars buyer is one of the limited companies willing to buy your car even if it has major engine problems. Reach out to our team by giving us a call at 866-924-4608!

Symptoms of an engine misfire

Many inexperienced drivers might not detect and understand that the vehicle is dealing with an engine misfire. Therefore, it's critical to familiarize yourself with different symptoms indicating that your engine is experiencing misfire, which includes:

  1. Issues with rough idling

One of the first and most common symptoms indicating that your vehicle might be dealing with misfiring is when you have rough idling. Typically, your car should be very smooth whether you're idling or driving. Whenever you're experiencing this rough feeling, it could be an issue that your engine is not able to generate the energy and the engine is stressed out.

  1. Troubles with sluggish acceleration

When the engine cannot generate the required energy, whenever you try to accelerate, the car will not be able to because it's continuously under stress. So whatever energy your engine puts towards generating the power, it fails. That's why you will notice that your car is not accelerating as it should.

Sluggish acceleration is not a simple situation because it might not only put your life at risk but also risks the lives of people around you on the road.

  1. Weird engine noises

When the engine experiences misfire, you might hear some weird noises coming from the engine bay. You must never ignore any noises coming from your vehicle, whether related to the engine or not,t because these noises might be linked to significant internal problems.

That's why automotive experts recommend that you pull over to a safe place and stop your vehicle immediately whenever these noises get louder.

  1. Strange exhaust smoke

Typically, suppose you're driving a modern car. In that case, smoke coming out of the tailpipe sometimes when there's engine slider might notice weird darker smoke coming out of the tailpipe indicating that your engine is not burning the right amount of air to fuel mixture hear it when that happens, there could be an issue with an engine misfire. Still, the real culprit behind the problem is not obvious until you perform a thorough check-up.

  1. The check engine light might eliminate

Finally, if your vehicle experiences significant misfire, you will notice that the check engine light is illuminating. However, check engine light might be illuminating due to various other reasons that could be linked to misfire or not. Therefore, you cannot immediately assume that the misfire has a problem by seeing a check engine light illuminating.

Whenever you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, you must consult your mechanic immediately and have him perform a detailed inspection to determine what's causing the engine misfire. First, your mechanic needs to confirm that there is a real misfire before moving on to fix or replace any components.

Can I drive my car with engine misfire?

The short answer is not recommended. Ed and was fired would not necessarily stop your vehicle from driving unless it's an extreme problem internally. Therefore, you will still be able to continue driving your vehicle. However, automotive experts recommend that you never do so.

Instead, you should pull over to a safe place and give your mechanic a call to check whether you can't drive your car or not. Sometimes ended misfire might be linked to another problem that could lead to significant engine damages and costs a lot of money to be fixed.

Once you discuss with your mechanic, he'll help you determine whether you can drive your car to the nearest repair shop or get a towing service to move it to the shop. Once the vehicle gets to your mechanic, he can look thoroughly at your car and fix the problem to get your vehicle going without any risks.

Can a misfire ruin an engine?

In certain situations, yes, engine misfire might lead to complete engine damages, especially if you ignored the problem and continued driving your vehicle for a long time without taking care of the issue.

However, if you were able to consult the mechanic and resolve the problem in a short time, it's unlikely that engine misfire will lead to damaging your engine.


Engine misfire is related to an internal problem that leads to incomplete combustion. As a result, your engine will not generate the required power, and your car will either lose power or hesitate.

Various reasons could lead to engine misfiring, including ignition system problems, air-fuel mixture, emission equipment, the engine itself, and the electric circuits. Despite the cause of the engine misfire, resolving the issue is a must if you are planning to continue driving your vehicle. The earlier you fix your car, the cheaper it is on repair costs and whenever you ignore engine misfire, expect to pay thousands of dollars on repairs!

As we indicated in this article, if you feel that repair costs are piling up and getting closer to your vehicle's value, we advise that you sell your car and use its money to buy a better vehicle.

Cash Cars Buyer is willing to remove your vehicle within one to three days only! Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States.

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money.

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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To learn more about our process and our teen, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.

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