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chrisinvancity

#1 and 3 cylinders miss fire

15 posts in this topic

Hi

I dirve a 2011 with 120,000 km. For the last 6 months my check engine light has been going on and off, and the car idles a bit rough. The error code states miss fires on cylinders 1 and 3. We changed the plugs, same issue. My mechanic suggested it might be a head gasket issue, and also said something like this is hard to pin down

Has anybody ever had this problem and solved it? And, is it something that needs to be addressed. The car functions fine, other than a rough idle at times, and an annoying check engine light.

I appreciate your expertise.

Edited by chrisinvancity

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Based on personal experience (as well as others) there's a good chance the valve seats are burned to the point you are losing compression. You can try new plugs, swapping coils, Seafoam or whatever but doing a leakdown check on each cylinder should tell the tale. New cylinder head will cure the issue. :)

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/p0302-solved-new-cylinder-head-94633/?highlight=cylinder+head

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A compression test will tell the tale.

What are your driving pattens? All city, or some highway? Do you drive gently, or hard at least once in a while? Short trips, or long?

Before condemning the engine, I'd try a tank of fuel with a good dose of Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil or some similar engine-cleaning agent, and then go on a good long highway run, preferably a couple hundred kilometers at higher speed. This MAY clean out some of the carbon and allow the valves to seat properly, at least for a little while.

But be forewarned that there is a fair chance that the damage to the valve guides and valve seats is already done, and you may be looking for another cylinder head, or another engine, or another car, depending on how the numbers work out. It is a very expensive repair if you have to pay someone to do it out of warranty, or a very difficult and time-consuming one with the car out of commission if you can DIY.

If (when?) this happens to mine (2008 at 209,000 km) it's not getting fixed. A giant crane will pick the whole car up and drop it on a junk pile. It isn't worth what it would cost to fix.

If you opt to either replace the whole engine or the whole car, you might as well extract your money's worth, and keep driving it until the situation becomes unbearable. If you opt to replace the cylinder head, do it soon to minimize consequential damage to the piston rings and cylinder walls.

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I commute from Vancouver to Abbotsford daily, 135 km round trip, 85% on the hwy. I drive conservatively, between 90 and 100 on the hwy in order to maximize fuel efficiency.

To be honest, I've never trusted the integrity of the mechanics of this car. The gas mileage is great, but I am not even a little suprised this has happened at 120,000 km.

Appreciate your input.

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The OP ignored a check engine light for 6 months, they might as well keep driving it until it breaks at this point.

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Condition of plugs will also tell their tale. Remove them and keep them in right order. Then do compression test, dry first followed by wet.

I bet you have burnt valves. The 451 petrol engine requires manual adjustment of valves at regular intervals just like engines in the olden days.

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Hi All.

The results of the compression test are in. Cylinder 3 is reading 130psi (8.9 bar) with the minimum spec being 11 bar, so I at least need a partial engine rebuild. So, that's it for me, not a cost I'm willing to incur given the luck I've had with this car since the get go.

I did want to say thanks for the input on this matter, and the many others I have posted on over the last three years. You've been very helpful.

Cheers.

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The results of the compression test are in. Cylinder 3 is reading 130psi (8.9 bar) with the minimum spec being 11 bar, so I at least need a partial engine rebuild.

Did you check the valve adjustment? A tight valve that doesn't fully close would cause that. Might be a simple adjustment. 130psi isn't terribly low like 50 or 75. Should still drive fine for a long time.

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It is entirely possible that the valve clearance has gone tight. It is possible that resetting the valve clearance might sort out the problem - but if the car has been driven with symptoms for 6 months with it like this, I'm not optimistic. Setting the valve clearance on a 451 is a big job because of the shim-bucket clearance setting method - the camshafts have to come out. It is the same as on a good many motorcycle engines ... but with more difficult access to the top of the cylinder head.

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Checking the clearance shouldn't take a half hour and will at least tell you what you have.

large.jpg

And while taking out the cams is required to change the clearance, a good diy'er shouldn't have a problem.

large.jpg

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Looks just like the top end of a motorcycle engine.

If you can do that in half an hour, including all of the disassembly and reassembly necessary to get to that point, wanna do mine?? I will work on bike engines any day (just rebuilt one a couple weeks ago) but the smart ... I open the engine hatch, look inside, establish that I don't wish to contort myself into whatever shape is necessary in order to get in there, look underneath the car and shudder at the thought of all the rusted bolts that have to come off, then close it up and keep on driving ...

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