Here Are 12 Major Symptoms Of An Engine Misfire To Address!

Written By: Terrence Hines
Category: Engine

A misfire is a significant problem that must not be ignored. Some most common symptoms of an engine misfire include decreased power, rough idling, and reduced performance.


Engine misfires can result in vibrations, check engine light activation and more. Prompt attention is crucial for safety and to mitigate further damage.

12 Major Symptoms Of An Engine Misfire!

As a car owner, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of an engine misfire. Ignoring this mechanical issue can lead to unpleasant and potentially hazardous consequences.

The engine misfire occurs when there is a problem with the combustion process, causing a lack of power or strange noises while driving. 

Other signs to look out for include rough idling, decreased fuel efficiency, and stinky exhaust fumes. 

Drivers need to take action if they experience any of these symptoms to avoid further damage to the engine and ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

1. A Malfunction Indicator Light Illuminated:

When the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) on your dashboard illuminates, it’s crucial to act quickly to ensure your vehicle’s safety and durability.

The check engine light often illuminates due to an engine misfire, where one or more cylinders are not firing properly. 

Here Are 12 Major Symptoms Of An Engine Misfire To Address!

This issue can cause a decline in performance and even lead to engine damage.

While there are other potential causes for the MIL to turn on, addressing the possibility of an engine misfire should be a top priority. 

Taking your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for an assessment and any necessary repairs is best.

2. The Smell Of Gasoline Inside The Car’s Cabin:

If you’ve ever noticed the strong and distinct smell of gasoline inside your car’s cabin, it may be a cause for concern. 

Although some may argue that it’s just a regular smell, the odor of gasoline inside your vehicle’s cab might signal an underlying issue. 

Engine misfire could be a likely cause of this particular symptom. Neglecting to address this issue can cause additional damage and lead to more severe problems with your vehicle. 

It’s crucial to have a professional mechanic inspect and resolve the issue to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your car.

It’s better to be safe than sorry; addressing the problem early on will save you money in the long run. 

Remember, if you notice anything unusual with your car, it’s always better to get it checked out by a professional.

3. Unusual Loud Noises Coming From The Engine:

Unusual loud noises from the engine can be one of the symptoms of an engine misfire. This occurs when the engine’s air/fuel mixture is not igniting, disrupting the engine’s performance. 

The loud noise is typically accompanied by a decrease in power and fuel efficiency, as well as vibrations from the vehicle. 

It is important to address this issue promptly, as a misfiring engine can cause damage to other components of the car and even lead to a breakdown. 

A trained mechanic should perform a diagnostic test to determine the root cause of the misfire and provide a solution that ensures the safe and optimal functioning of the engine.

4. Sputtering Or Jerking When The Car Accelerates:

Have you ever experienced your car sputtering or jerking when you step on the accelerator?

 This can be a frustrating and even dangerous experience, especially if it occurs during highway driving. 

Sputtering Or Jerking

This symptom is often a telltale sign of an engine misfire, which occurs when one or more cylinders in your engine fail to ignite properly. 

This can be caused by various issues, from faulty spark plugs to clogged fuel injectors. 

It’s important to address the problem promptly, as prolonged engine misfires can lead to more serious damage and increasingly expensive repairs. 

If you’re experiencing this symptom, schedule a diagnostic appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible.

5. Visible Exhaust Smoke Of Different Colors:

Different-colored exhaust smoke can indicate an engine misfire. The smoke’s color varies depending on the type and severity of the misfire.

For example, black smoke indicates a fuel-rich condition, while blue smoke indicates oil consumption. 

White smoke may be caused by water or coolant mixing with combustion.

Drivers can identify and address engine misfires by observing the color of exhaust smoke, preventing further damage. 

This early diagnostic step helps preserve the health of your engine and keeps you on the road with confidence.

It’s important to address any engine misfire promptly, as it can decrease performance, fuel efficiency and increase emissions.

6. Vehicle Stalling Unexpectedly:

Experiencing a vehicle stalling unexpectedly can put anyone on edge. This may be due to several factors, but one common cause is an engine misfire.

An engine misfire is a symptom that indicates something isn’t working correctly in the fuel-to-air ratio or ignition system. 

When your car stalls, it means there’s a disruption in the combustion cycle. 

Ignoring an engine misfire may cause damage to your engine, so it’s crucial to take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. 

They can diagnose and repair the issue, ensuring your car runs smoothly and safely.

7. Reduced Fuel Economy:

Reduced fuel economy can be an indication of many problems in your vehicle. An engine misfire is one of the most common causes of reduced fuel economy. 

This happens when one of the cylinders in your vehicle’s engine fails to ignite properly, causing it to misfire. 

When this occurs, the engine is not running smoothly and uses more fuel than it should. 

This means you’ll spend more money at the gas pump, and your vehicle will produce more emissions. 

If you suspect that your vehicle’s fuel economy has decreased, it must be checked by a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue.

8. Poor Acceleration Or Loss Of Power:

Have you ever noticed that your vehicle’s acceleration is sluggish or loses power unexpectedly? 

These symptoms of an engine misfire can be frustrating and concerning, but they often indicate a common problem: engine misfire. 

Symptoms Of An Engine Misfire To Address!

This occurs when the engine’s combustion process is disrupted, causing it to run less efficiently and potentially lose power. 

If you’re experiencing poor acceleration or other symptoms of an engine misfire, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. 

You can restore your vehicle to running smoothly and reliably with the right diagnosis and repairs.

9. Abnormal Vibrations Felt While Driving:

Abnormal vibrations felt while driving can be a somewhat unsettling experience for any driver. These vibrations can sometimes be among the symptoms of an engine misfire. 

An engine misfire occurs when one or more cylinders fail to function properly, causing an uneven power distribution throughout the vehicle. 

When this happens, the engine can produce a noticeable vibration, which can be felt throughout the car. 

The first step in addressing abnormal vibrations is to identify the source of the problem and address it as soon as possible. 

This will ensure the continued safe operation of your vehicle and prevent any further damage to your car’s engine or other systems.

10. The Car Won’t Start Or Is Hard To Start:

If you turn the key in your car’s ignition and nothing happens, or the engine struggles to turn over, it could be one of the common symptoms of an engine misfire. 

This occurs when the fuel and air mixture does not ignite properly in one or more of the engine’s cylinders.

Multiple factors, including defective ignition coils, spark plugs, or fuel injectors, can lead to this issue.

If you’re experiencing difficulty starting your car, it’s important to have it properly diagnosed and repaired by a qualified mechanic. 

Ignoring a misfiring engine can lead to more serious and expensive problems.

11. Vibrations Throughout The Car When Idling:

If you’re experiencing vibrations throughout your car while idling, it could indicate the issue regarding symptoms of an engine misfire. 

An engine misfire occurs when one or more cylinders in your engine fail to ignite the fuel at the right time. 

Inconsistent engine performance, including unsettling vibrations, can stem from misfires. Ignoring this issue can lead to further damage and more expensive repairs in the long run.

The good news is that a misfire can often be resolved relatively easily, typically by identifying and fixing the underlying issue. 


So, if you’re experiencing vibrations while idling, don’t hesitate to bring your car to a trusted mechanic for a diagnosis.

12. Backfiring Of Engine:

One of the most alarming sounds a car owner can hear is the backfiring of their engine. While some may consider it a cool and impressive noise, it is a symptom of an engine misfire. 

A backfire occurs when the fuel-air mixture ignites outside the engine’s combustion chamber, sending a loud pop or bang through the tailpipe. 

A variety of issues, such as faulty spark plugs, a clogged fuel injector, or problems with the ignition timing, can cause this. 

Whatever the root cause, it’s important to address the problem quickly to prevent further damage to the engine.


Diagnosing the root cause of an engine misfire can be daunting. It’s important to speak to a certified technician and have them run a diagnostic test as soon as possible. 

Stay alert for indications of an engine misfire while you wait.

Look for a lit malfunction indicator light (MIL), fuel smells inside the cabin, loud engine noises, and sputtering or jerking while accelerating.

Signs of an engine misfire may include visible exhaust smoke of different colors, stalling, poor acceleration, vibrations while driving or idling, difficulty starting, and backfiring.

Taking swift action if you suspect you have an issue with your vehicle is key to avoiding long-term problems.

Terrence Hines

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