Misfire on one cylinder

Tiny
GOT NO CAR
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
It sounds and feels like it's misfiring on one cylinder at idle speed and up through about 3.5 RPMs. At higher RPMs the problem is undetectable. But the whole car shudders with hesitation during acceleration until higher speeds are reached.

I've changed all of the spark plugs (got fancy new iridium ones), and that didn't help the problem. But I noticed that the ignition coil tubes were covered in oil and the spark plug heads were in oil. So I changed the valve-cover gasket, but that didn't fix the problem. Also, one of the coil tubes is slightly cracked at top part that holds on a rubber gasket.

I tried to isolate the problem, but whenever I disconnected a spark plug wire the engine would just die. So it seems to be an intermittent misfire.

There is no real fuel filter on this car, the whole fuel pump assembly has to be changed, although there is a little strainer that can be replaced. I haven't tried toying with that yet. I don't think it's the fuel pump, but I have no idea.

The air filter is clean. The radiator fluid is good. Transmission is fine. Pieces of plastic are breaking all over the place, and the ceiling foam is falling apart, but otherwise it's been a great car. I can't figure out this problem.

I think that is everything.

Any suggestions?
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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 AT 2:41 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Hello,

This sounds like a low cylinder compression issue lets remove the plugs and follow this guide.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

this guide can help as well

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-misfires-or-runs-rough

Please run down this guide and report back

Cheers
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Friday, June 20th, 2014 AT 6:35 AM
Tiny
JAMIEJONES
  • MEMBER
Thank you for this post I had the same problem and # 3 cylinder has down to 90 pounds it had a burnt valve cost me $980.00 of a valve job runs great!
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:27 PM
Tiny
ROVER61
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 170,000 MILES
If a vehicle that has rings going out (whatever that means) and no compression on cylinder 3 but good compression on the others could I still run it for a while as long as I keep oil in it? Seems like it might last a while, especially for short trips (50 miles or less).

More Details/History:
My 2000 Corolla has been increasingly eating oil for 18 months. In the last 6 months there were Fault codes thrown: Misfire on 3 (first), Random Misfire, Catalytic Converter fault of some kind. First time I replaced the plug for #3 no "check engine" light for a few months. Check Engine recently started flashing indicating ongoing misfires. Has some stuttering, mostly at low rpms. Recently changed plugs but made little or no difference. Mechanic checked it today and found cylinder 3 has no compression, the other cylinders have good compression. I drove the vehicle back home from far away recently (450 miles). I have free towing for 100 miles. Would prefer to drive it until it dies then tow it home to my barn (store for parts, I have another similar corolla) or junk it.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Bad rings will not cause "no compression." Are you sure it is at 0?
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Also, running on 3 cylinders is going to cause other problems. You will be dumping raw fuel into the exhaust system which will destroy the catalytic converter, cause the O2 sensors to send bad readings to the computer to lean the system. Can you drive it? I guess you could, but other issues will come up and the vehicle could stall in a bad situation or other things.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ROVER61
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your responses. The mechanic said bad rings would cause loss of compression eventually since the rings hold some compression for the cylinder.

As far as still driving the vehicle; What I have heard is that the catalytic converter will cause back pressure to build up and eventually blow a head gasket or something like that. But it could take a while. One person suggest I could remove the catalytic converter and go "straight pipe" as he put it. Not sure what all teh implications are of doing that.

Do you know?

Thanks Again.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I can't tell you to do that. It's against federal laws. As for the rings, you could remove them and still have compression. It would just be lower. I think you had a valve stuck open.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SFEDDER
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,000 MILES
The code says I have a misfire #3 cylinder. I have replaced the spark plugs and the coil on #3, and have tried fuel injector cleaner. The engine light (yellow) still remains on as well. The light then will blink when driving.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check compression on #3 cylinder.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HONOLULU
  • MEMBER
On my '88, misfire was caused by oil leaking down the distributor shaft into the distributor cap, insulating the lowest tower (forget which cylinder). Obviously, changing plug wires didn't help. Eventually, since the leak was non-fixable (only have to buy new diz for $400) I drilled a hole in the cap so the oil could drain. No more misfire, but oil all over the trans.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check and test injector no.3
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JEROMY1998
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA COROLLA
Electrical problem
2000 Toyota Corolla 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 129xxx miles

It really just started missing out on my way home yesterday. I took it to the local AutoZone for them to run diagnostics, and it came up "Cylinder 1 Misfire". I changed the plugs, which were in pretty rough shape. However, this did not fix the problem. I also, while the car was running, unplugged each Coil, one at a time. All four coils, when unplugged, caused the car to die. So it appears as though the coils are working. Anyone have any insight on what may be my problem? I have a fairly long commute to work each day, and would hate to have to drive it like this. Thanks
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVEW84
  • MEMBER
This is what I would do. Take the number 1 coil and move it to number 2. Clear the code(you can disconnect the battery to do this, but it is better to do it with a scanner). Then drive it until the check engine light comes back on then take it to autozone to have the code checked again. If it says p0302(#2 misfire) then you have a bad coil. If not then you have another issue. Probably bad fuel injector, inj. Control, spark control, etc. Number 1 cyinder is the cylinder closest to the crankshaft pulley.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCOTT KAYSER
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 260,000 MILES
Misfire on cylinder three: changed all plugs, installed new coil pack on cylinder three, swapped cylinder three injector with another cylinder. Codes never changed still misfire on cylinder three. If I unplug electrical connection to cylinder three injector, no change to rough running engine, do the same to other cylinders and engine almost dies. If I unplug electrical connection to cylinder three coil pack then engine dies. Idles a little rough but really shakes under load. Check engine light blinks at about forty mph but stops below that or when idling in park. Why would unplugging coil pack on cylinder three kill engine but when I unplug cylinder three injector there is virtually no change in how the engine is running?
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Really does not make much sense why it would do that. Have you performed a Compression test yet? Sounds like you might have low compression on number three cylinder.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCOTT KAYSER
  • MEMBER
No I have not. Never have done that. This may be one for the true mechanics.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
It is easy to do a compression test, rent a compression tester from auto zone. Then all you do is remove all the spark plugs screw the tester in hold the gas pedal to the floor and crank the engine like ten revolutions and write down all the cylinder readings.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCOTT KAYSER
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I will try that tomorrow if I get the chance.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BAZSPAZ
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
I used a Acron CP1980 Scranner and got codes P0300 P3001 and P0302 Which
are multiple and misfires in cylinders 1 and 2. The car runs fine untill it warms up then it misfires. The spark plugs were just replaced. It ran fine after they were replaced but this problem started shortly after.
Could this be the Fuel pump located in the tank.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
You would have to perform a fuel pressure test to rule out/in fuel as problem.

Could also be a weak coil.
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Monday, September 17th, 2018 AT 2:29 PM (Merged)

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