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Signs & Symptoms of Misfiring

Updated April 07, 2017

Keeping your car in good running condition is important. Paying attention to unusual noises or issues your car may be having is essential to diagnose a problem with your vehicle before it develops into a serious repair job. Engine misfiring can be the result of any number of factors, from faulty wiring to the engine not running on all cylinders. If you notice any of these signs of misfiring, take your car into a mechanic immediately to get it checked out.

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Engine Problems

Since misfiring often indicates a larger problem with your engine, issues that come from using the engine in your car are often a clear sign. Difficulty starting your car and getting the engine to turn over are a common symptom of misfiring. The engine may also stumble or hesitate while you drive. While accelerating or decelerating, the engine might buck or speed up suddenly.

Shudders and Shakes

One of the most commonly noticed indicators of misfiring is a shudder passing through the vehicle. Shaking and shuddering can range from small vibrations that only you notice, or full-on shaking throughout the car. Often, moisture and humidity can exacerbate the problem, and you will noticed increased shuddering on rainy or overly humid days. Shuddering and shaking can happen during driving or when the car is sitting idle, so pay attention to any unexpected movement within the car regardless of your speed.

Slow Acceleration

Difficulty accelerating and decelerating is another potential sign of misfiring. Often, the engine will stall out during a fast accelerating, or suddenly jump and accelerate more quickly than you intended. It also might take more effort than usual to get your car to accelerate, and when it does, the acceleration will happen much more slowly than normally.

Flashing Check Engine Light

Although this may seem an obvious symptom, the "Check Engine" light on many cars indicates different things depending on its behaviour. A flashing or blinking "Check Engine" light can specifically indicate a misfire. Take your car into a trained mechanic for a check-up if you notice the light flashing, and he should be able to diagnose the cause through the diagnostic code provided by the car's computer.

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About the Author

Marysia Walcerz has been writing since 2008. She has been published in several compilations of artistic and philosophical work, including "Gender: Theory in Practice" and "Retold Comics." Walcerz has a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and philosophy from The Evergreen State College.

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