"What is misfiring and what are the causes of misfiring?"

What is misfiring and what are the causes of misfiring?

Engine misfires can be caused by a list of faults, but there are a few suspects that occur more than others. The primary villains are simple – spark or fuel – usually manifesting in spark plugs, plug wires, the coil(s) or the fuel-delivery system.

In order for a cylinder to fire properly, it needs 4 things all working together:

  •   Proper Fuel/Air Mixture
  •  Good Compression
  •   Proper Timing
  •  Correct Spark

Common Misfire Causes

If one or more of the above factors aren’t in proper working condition, you’ll run the risk of misfiring. There are a variety of different misfire causes that can occur that can keep a cylinder from combusting properly. Sometimes it takes a combination of issues in order to make a cylinder misfire. Other times, misfiring isn’t consistent, and sometimes the cylinder will fire properly, while other times the cylinder will misfire. It depends on the type of issue and how severe the issues are.

Faulty or Fouled Spark Plugs,

Cracked Distributor Cap,

Lean Fuel/Air Mixture,

Lack of Compression,


The best way to avoid an engine misfire condition is through following the scheduled maintenance in your manual. Keep your vehicle’s engine tuned according to factory specs. Plus, a yearly trouble-code scan by a well-equipped shop will uncover any potential problems before they become major faults.

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