Spotting (and Fixing) Common Causes of Engine Misfires - aftermarketNews

Spotting (and Fixing) Common Causes of Engine Misfires

Sponsored by Autolite

No matter if you’re a vehicle technician or enthusiast, if you’ve worked on a car, chances are you’ve come across an engine misfire before. They can be a real pain, but like most problems, the more you know, the better off you’ll be. From the spark plugs to the ignition coils, many different things can cause an engine to misfire.

The most common causes of misfires are worn, improperly installed, and mishandled spark plugs, malfunctioning ignition coils, carbon tracking, faulty spark plug wires and vacuum leaks. It’s no surprise that spark plugs are some of the most common underlying issues when it comes to engine misfires, but advances in the metallurgy of these components is steadily improving their performance. Specifically, iridium fine wire spark plugs that have been engineered for more focused ignition, and fewer misfires.

With plug-related misfires, worn or improperly installed spark plugs make up the majority. Spark plugs deliver the electric current from the ignition system to the combustion chamber, igniting the compressed fuel/air mixture. If the spark plugs are not properly torqued down, they can leak air and throw off the air-fuel ratio, and if not installed properly, plugs can cause an air gap issue.

For ignition coils, they will send a misfire code if they fail, but the code may not be the cause of the actual problem. A misfire code can be triggered by anything that causes the cylinder not to fire, so a full diagnosis should be run to be 100% sure on what is causing the misfire.

Another common engine misfire is called carbon tracking or flash-over. This occurs at the coil-on-plug ignition on the spark plug insulator, and it is often caused by oil, dirt, erosion, or moisture that grounds the spark. But with modern spark plugs, you can prevent flash-overs through a high-alumina, multi-rib ceramic insulator design.

Spark plugs may be one of the main causes of engine misfires, but with the use of iridium in the design of spark plug fine wire, it addresses misfires like never before. It provides fewer chances of misfires because of the metal that protects against high temperatures, oxidation, and corrosion.

Engine misfires don’t have a “one size fits all solution,” so be sure your customers are exploring a full diagnosis of the engine misfire. If a customer’s misfire is due to a spark plug condition, make sure they know about their iridium options to experience fewer misfires.

Autolite® has been focused on developing spark plugs since 1935. We have done the research, including flame kernel measurements, heat range testing, micro material analysis, dielectric testing and many more evaluations, to enhance the performance, durability, and ignitability of plugs for domestic and import engines. Our latest advances in technology are our Iridium Ultra® spark plugs. This plug offers the highest level of performance and a limited lifetime warranty to show you we mean business. Explore the benefits of our Iridium Ultra spark plugs at

This article was sponsored by Autolite.

You May Also Like

Customer Growth & Vendor Relations: Drive Towards a More Profitable 2024

Introduction You could argue that the stage is already set for auto aftermarket commercial distributors. The automotive aftermarket is projected to grow at a rate of 5.8% through 2026. This means a lot of opportunity to capitalize on a growing market.  But becoming (and more importantly staying) that first call won’t happen on its own.

You could argue that the stage is already set for auto aftermarket commercial distributors. The automotive aftermarket is projected to grow at a rate of 5.8% through 2026. This means a lot of opportunity to capitalize on a growing market. 

But becoming (and more importantly staying) that first call won’t happen on its own. You’ll need a strategic plan to grab market share from your competitors. This can be seen throughout similar industries like building materials. During the Covid pandemic, organic growth was high, but those who leaned into strategies of higher growth out-performed at a great pace. 

Beyond Traditional Boundaries: The New Era of Manufacturer eCommerce

The world around us is continually changing, and the traditional boundaries of commerce are rapidly being redrawn. The once-clear lines between manufacturers, distributors, and consumers are blurring, transforming the way we sell online. Today, eCommerce isn’t just about selling more parts but reimagining current business models. From focusing on the end consumer’s needs and preferences

Digital Enablement Strategies for Parts Manufacturers

The digitization of the parts industry has ushered in a new era of opportunities and challenges. Manufacturers are now confronted with increased competition, the necessity to acquire new skills and technologies, and adapting to rapidly evolving consumer expectations. However, this transformation also offers significant opportunities, such as a wider customer reach, direct customer engagement, and

OE CV Axle Trends for Today’s More Demanding Drivetrains

Today’s vehicle drivetrain systems are far more complex and powerful than ever before. So, you want to make sure you choose a replacement axle that matches the original OE design attributes to ensure proper performance and durability. Avoid installing an inferior axle based on price only, that may not perform properly or worse yet, fail

Engineering For Excellence – MEYLE HD Solves Tesla Noisy Control Arm Issues

By Stefan Bachmann, Head of Steering & Suspension, MEYLE HD The effort that goes into creating one of the world’s most technologically advanced electric vehicles is staggering, and the engineers at Tesla who developed the Model 3 and the Model Y should be proud. However, they also should tip their caps to the engineering team

Other Posts

Longtime Aftermarket Exec. Ron Clair Dies at 79

With a 47-year career in the aftermarket, Clair held various positions with Fram, Bendix and Autolite and Auto Plus.

Ron Clair
DENSO Expands Aftermarket Line of Ignition Coils

New part numbers cover more than 9 million vehicles in operation.

Understanding Intermediate Shafts: What are they… and what do they do?

Intermediate shafts, often referred to as “stub shafts” or “inner shafts” act as the link that couples the CV axle to the transaxle or differential. They allow for the removal and installation of CV axle assemblies without the need to disturb or replace the transaxle or differential oil seal. Use of an intermediate shaft to

First Brands Group Announces Race Team Award Winners

Sponsored drivers and teams across multiple series were recognized for successes on the track and in the community in 2022.