Has your car recently lost some of the power that it once had? Have you noticed a decrease in gas mileage? If so, it is quite possible that your car is misfiring.
What is a misfire?
A misfire in your car is caused when all of the cylinders are not receiving the electrical charge, air or fuel they need to operate properly.
What could cause a misfire?
There are a few things that could cause your car to misfire. Most commonly, it is caused by bad spark plugs and wires, the fuel injectors, or your car could simply need a good tune up. These are just the most common causes that can easily be fixed. Other problems include a blown head gasket or burned exhaust valve.
What do you do to stop it?
The first step to resolve the issue is to replace the spark plugs and wires. Do not make the mistake of replacing one or the other. If you replace the wires and not the plugs, faulty plugs could damage the new wires that you have put in the car.
When you remove the spark plugs, examine them. Look for black lines in the porcelain part of the plug. If you see the black lines, then the spark plugs are most definitely bad. This is carbon tracking, which is caused by the electrical current that the spark plug is emitting traveling around the outside of the plug. This causes the electrical charge to not fire and spark the fuel as it should.
If this didn't fix the problem, you might want to try running some high-quality fuel injector cleaner through your car for a few days. The problem could be cause by dirty fuel injectors. When this happens, it prevents the cylinder from getting a proper mixture of air and fuel. The cleaner could help to remove the build up from the injector and stop the misfire.
If the two easy fixes presented here did not stop the misfire, you will have to take your car in to a garage like Scotty's Automotive Center for repairs. This is not a problem that will fix itself. In fact, the problem will likely worsen and cause your car to begin stalling at the most inconvenient moments. Your mechanic should quickly be able to find the problem, provide you with an estimate for repairs, and make the repairs for you. Hopefully, you will be able to get your car up and running the way it did before the misfire began.