Firing on 3 cylinders

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Ben_M, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Ben_M

    Ben_M Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I'm getting a new car next week which my sister has owned for the last 6
    months, a 1992 Honda accord LXi which despite its age (300000+ ks) has been
    running very well until now. The problem it has now, is it's only firing on
    3 cylinders, and I have to drive it 250 miles home before I can get it to a
    garage to be fixed, is that going to do any more damage to it? or just gonna
    be a pain in the ass to drive? Any advice would be appreciated.


    Ben_M, Apr 9, 2006
  2. Your catalytic converter will overheat.
    Gordon McGrew, Apr 9, 2006
  3. Ben_M

    hondaman Guest

    youre probably going to need a whole new engine and to get the car hauled to
    a garage. i wouldn't attempt to drive it because the engine will probably
    blow on the way. it has lost compression in a cylinder which is bad news.

    hondaman, Apr 9, 2006
  4. Ben_M

    Brian Smith Guest

    Take it to a closer shop to be repaired.
    Brian Smith, Apr 9, 2006
  5. Ben_M

    Marco Guest

    Question #1: Is there compression in the cylinder?

    Question #2: Is the spark plug good?

    Question #3: Is the plug wire good?

    These can be found out easily.

    If all are good, then I suggest disconnecting the injector wires to the
    offending cylinder and immediately getting it to the nearest shop or
    person where more info can be found. Preferably, by tow truck.

    At 186,000+ miles, it may still have some life left in it, assuming your
    sister changed the oil on time regularly. I say this because I have a
    sister, and she ruined a perfectly good honda by not changing the oil
    when she should have.. ;)

    Marco, Apr 9, 2006
  6. Ben_M

    jim beam Guest

    for the sake of a few bucks, you can replace the plugs and probably fix
    the problem. then the drive home won't be an issue. otherwise,
    disconnect the injector on the plug that's missing and drive it like
    that so you don't damage the cat.
    jim beam, Apr 10, 2006

  7. Ok, thanks a lot for all your replys, but I probably should have mentioned I
    know nothing about cars. :p I'm a bit concerned by some of your comments
    because my sister is still driving the car to work and back every day. :p
    Is it pretty much likely to be a write off? Thanks for all your replys.

    Ben_M via, Apr 10, 2006
  8. What do you think? Is it likely to be worth repairing? I'm willing to throw
    $1000 at it.
    Ben_M via, Apr 10, 2006
    Ben_M via, Apr 10, 2006
  10. Ben_M

    Marco Guest


    No-one can have any thoughts without some history on the car to help.

    Has the oil been changed in the past 6 months?

    Can you take it to a shop and get a quote on repairs? Remember my 3
    questions earlier? The answers will speak volumes on what needs to be done.

    If it is a spark plug, then be prepared to spend $2.00 to fix it.

    If it is a plug wire, then empty your wallet to the tune of $20.00.

    If there is no compression, then you may be spending close to $1000.00
    if you can't repair the cylinder head yourself. Caveat: If there is no
    compression, and the cylinder head is fine, then you may need to replace
    the engine.

    Double caveat: If the damage is due to oil starvation, replace the engine.

    More info needed. Have a mechanic look at your car asap.

    Marco, Apr 10, 2006
  11. some people might be better off taking the bus... if she wants a 3 cylinder
    car then she should get a geo metro. the car may have a simple problem or
    it may be more complex. driving it around in its current state is like
    pouring lime juice into an open wound, it can only make it worse.
    manic mechanic, Apr 10, 2006
  12. The catalyst is probably okay if it has just been driven around town. If the
    dead cylinder is actually pumping unburned fuel mixture into the exhaust,
    high speed driving may melt the catalyst. I've seen both undamaged catalyst
    with seriously rich mixture and melted catalyst for no obvious reason, so it
    could go either way. Similarly, if the cylinder is dead because the valves
    aren't operating or the injector isn't squirting, it should be safe from
    that standpoint.

    The big concern is why the cylinder is dead in the first place. In the
    larger view it suggests a lack of maintenance, which is always problematic.
    But in the smaller view if the problem is a dead injector or bad plug/wire
    or distributor cap it is ready for more years of service.

    If you truly have to drive it 250 miles to find out, I second Jim Beam's
    recommendation - unplug the injector and drive it. How do you know which
    injector? Start at one end and give each one a try. The engine won't idle on
    two cylinders, so when you find the one that doesn't make it any worse than
    it already is you've found the one.

    Michael Pardee, Apr 11, 2006
  13. Ok thanks for all your help, you guys are awesome. I think given my complete
    ignorance in cars, my best bet is to get her to take it to a local mechanic
    and hope they give her a courtesy car. :-/ lol

    Thanks a lot guys.

    Ben_M via, Apr 11, 2006
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