How To Tell if Car Is Running on 3 Cylinders? SOLVED

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Some cars are designed to work finely on only three cylinders; meanwhile, other cars should not be running on three cylinders. When the car is not designed to run on three cylinders, this can cause much damage to its parts, like the piston, rings, and catalytic converter.

How To Tell if a Car Is Running on 3 Cylinders?

To tell if your car is running on three cylinders, you will notice certain symptoms in the car; for example, the engine’s sound will be jittery and rough while it’s running on idle mode. In addition, there are other symptoms that you can look for to know if your car is running on three cylinders, for example:

  • Troubles in Starting
    If you are running on three cylinders, you will face problems starting up the car. It will take a lot of time and tries to get the car working, many people always think of the battery when the car takes more time to start, or they question the fuel; however, they may be running on three cylinders, and it’s the reason for this problem.
  • Misfiring
    Misfiring can be a symptom of running on three cylinders; when the engine misfires, it becomes jerky and cuts out for a moment; this is due to the cylinders don’t fire properly. As a result, the emissions will increase, and the ride will become uncomfortable.
  • Surging Engine
    A surging engine sucks more air than the required amount for consumption, making the engine work inefficiently; this will cause an uncomfortable ride and dangerous due to the start-stop motions, leading to accidents.
  • High Consumption of Fuel
    If a car is running on three cylinders, you can notice that its fuel consumption is higher because the engine will be working inefficiently, consuming more fuel than needed. If you doubt that your car is running on three cylinders, you can compare your fuel consumption to what you used to consume before.
  • Low Acceleration
    Low acceleration can be another symptom of a car running on three cylinders; if you feel that your accelerator is losing its sensitivity, you might be running on three cylinders.
  • Rough Engine on Idle Mode
    If you’re running on three cylinders mode, the engine’s sound will be jittery and rough while it’s running on idle mode. This will result in resonate experiencing vibrations which can cause more damage.

What Causes a Car to be Running on 3 Cylinders?

The car will run on three cylinders; if the spark plugs or the coil are misfiring, you will need to check which cylinder is misfiring and then pull out the coil of the faulty cylinder and replace it with a new coil; you can also swap a coil from a working cylinder with the faulty one.

This will help you determine if the coil causes the misfiring problem. If the coil is not the reason, you will need to check the spark plugs; they can be the reason for this problem.

What Happens if You Run a Car on 3 Cylinders?

When a car runs for a long distance on three cylinders, the injector will continue injecting gasoline to the cylinder that has the problem; this can damage the crankcase. The gasoline will continue to the piston and the rings, in addition, when the gasoline reaches the piston and the rings, it will wash their lubrication away, which will increase the fraction in these parts.

As a result, the piston and the rings will be damaged; the catalytic converter can be damaged due to the amount of gasoline injected and not being burned; the gasoline can also damage the turbo. 

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How To Fix a Car Running on Three Cylinders?

To fix a car running on three cylinders, you need to check two different things first to locate the main reason for the three cylinders problem. First, you need to check the coil in the faulty cylinder to know if it’s the reason for the car running on three cylinders.

    • The Coil
      Open the cylinder and remove the old coil; you can buy a new coil to test in the cylinder or try another coil for a working cylinder. Place the new coil inside the cylinder to test if it’s the reason for the problem if the cylinder worked properly and the symptoms disappeared like misfiring and the troubles in starting up. 
    • The Spark Plugs
      Remove the cover covering the spark plug, which is known as the shroud; it covers the plug on the outboard or chainsaw. Disconnect the ignition wire from the spark plug’s end, Don’t pull the wire from its body because this way you can damage the wire; you need to remove the plug by pulling the end of the wire gently; the best part to pull from is the last piece in the wire which is fitting over the spark plug. 
    • After removing the plug, you need to test the plug with a spark plug tester, connect the first end of the tester to the spark plug, and connect the other to the ignition wire. Next, turn on the ignition and start the engine; you need to observe the spark plug in the tester to see if there is a spark that happens or not. If there is no spark, you need to test another working plug first before determining that the plug is bad. The spark can be missing due to another issue in the ignition system itself. If there is a plug, then the spark plugs are fine, and there is no need to replace them; therefore, the problem might be in the ignition system or the cylinder’s coil

How To Test a Spark Plug Without a Plug Tester?

  • Use Spark Plug Wrench
    You can test a spark plug without the presence of a plug tester; first, you need to use a spark plug wrench to remove the plug from the engine, remove the ignition wire, then use the wrench by rotating it counter-clockwise, rotate the wrench gently to avoid damaging the plug. 
  • Touch The Spark to Metal Surface
    After removing the plug from the engine, you need to connect the ignition wire to the plug again. The spark plug consists of two parts; the lower part is made from metal, and you need to touch the metal part to a metal surface. You can use the metal part of the engine as your metal surface, 
  • Turn On the Engine 
    Turn on the engine; you should know that removing the plug will cause the engine not to start; however, you can freely turn it over. Observe the plug while turning the engine; if the ignition system is working correctly, you should see a spark between the metal surface and the spark plug; if the spark is not formed, you should replace the spark plug because it is the reason for your problem. 

Conclusion

To sum up, to tell if your car is running on three cylinders, you will notice certain symptoms in the car; for example, the engine’s sound will be jittery and rough while it’s running on idle mode. In addition, there are other symptoms that you can look for to know if your car is running on three cylinders, for example:

  • Troubles in Starting
  • Misfiring
  • Surging Engine
  • High Consumption of Fuel
  • Low Acceleration
  • Rough Engine on Idle Mode

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