The cylinders of an internal combustion engine must contain the proper amount of air and fuel mixed together before they are ignited by the spark plugs. If there is any problem in one or more of the cylinders which prevents this from happening, there will be something called an engine misfire. This simply means that a cylinder was not ignited completely or sufficiently. The driving function of the vehicle may still be intact, but the performance of the engine will vary. One of the most common symptoms of an engine misfire is jerkiness. You may also experience a gas odor in the interior cabin or smoke spewing from the tailpipe. Sometimes it will even get to the point where the were popping noises.
5 Causes of Misfire
Some people like to ignore the warning signs of an engine misfire. They figure if their vehicle is still drivable, then it must be okay. But you cannot ignore the warning signs because they will come back to haunt you. An engine that misfires on a regular basis will eventually cause it to suffer irreversible damage. You can avoid this from happening by addressing the initial cause of your misfiring engine so that it does not happen again.
Below are the top 5 causes of an engine misfire that you should be aware of.
1. Glitchy Engine Control Unit
The engine control unit is the computer which manages virtually all the components of your vehicle. One of its management functions is overseeing how much fuel gets injected into the internal combustion chamber. So, if your engine control unit were to mess up and inaccurately calculate the amount of fuel that is needed for injection, then it could result in an engine misfire if the chamber does not have enough fuel.
2. Bad Spark Plugs
The ignition system is comprised of several components. The spark plugs are some of the most important components because they’re responsible for generating the spark needed to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber. If you have a bad spark plug, then it could lead to an engine misfire problem. Make sure all the spark plugs in your vehicle are working properly and able to produce the spark that is needed by your engine. Also, make sure you are using the right type of spark plugs for your vehicle too. Sometimes using the wrong spark plugs could create an engine misfire soon after you’ve installed them.
3. Ignition Coil and Cables
Aside from the spark plugs in the ignition system going bad, you also must pay attention to the ignition coil and cables too. These components can wear out just as easily which will result in the engine misfiring. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace these components right away.
4. Bad Fuel Injectors
The fuel injectors are responsible for sending the fuel into the cylinder chambers of your internal combustion engine. If these injectors were to be clogged with debris or simply malfunction for some reason, then they would not be able to inject the proper amount of fuel into the chamber. Then you would have a misfired engine almost every time you start and drive your vehicle.
5. Bad Air-to-Fuel Ratio
The internal combustion chamber must have an air-to-fuel ratio that is balanced. This ensures the successful performance of the engine without any issues. However, when a driver experiences an engine misfire, it usually means there is an imbalance of either the amount of fuel or air that is entering the chamber. In most of these cases, it will mean the chamber has less fuel and more air than it needs. This could be attributed to any number of factors, such as a faulty air flow sensor or fuel pump.