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Misfire - Cylinder 3

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  • Misfire - Cylinder 3

    So I have been enjoying my civic (more or less) since I got it in August. It is a 99 with about 55k on the odometer that I got on ebay. (The seller - CNGDEALER is a punk and will not answer calls and in my opinion misrepresented the car but that is a matter for another post.)
    Anyhow, the other day I was driving and suddenly at a stop light I noticed that the engine was missing lightly on one cylinder. By the time I got back to work my CEL was flashing and the miss was a bit more pronounced. So anyhow, I get home and pull the code and find I have a misfire on cylinder 3.
    I have started going through things because I do not know the maintenance history on this so I begin with the obvious and pull the distributor cap and rotor. Both of them look like crap so I replace and check the coil to make sure it is okay. It checks out and I got to put the new cap back on and notice that of the 3 screws that hold on the cap - one snapped clean off when I was removing it and another is partially stripped. So I just put the cap on with the two screws to see if my problem is gone. Nope.
    I still need to do plugs and wires, though switching the plug from one cylinder to another does not make the code switch to that cylinder.
    So now I need to try that and if that is not it move on to injectors. Added to that I still need to figure out what to do about the plate that the distributor bolts on to because now it either needs to be removed and heli-coiled or replaced all together.
    If I replace it can I just source one off of an equivalent year civic LX?
    Also, can anyone fill me in on how to depressurize the lines so I can swap the injectors? I imagine I just shut off the tank and run it till it dies. Is this right?

    Thanks!

    -Daniel

  • #2
    Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

    My first comment is, take those codes with a grain of salt. They tell you something's wrong, but it may not necessarily be cyl 3.

    Yes, shut off the tank and run the engine till it dies to reduce the pressure.

    The 01-05 have problems with injectors. Don't know if it's the same for the previous generation, but I think that's more likely than an ignition problem at this mileage, especially if the fuel filter hadn't been changed often enough.
    02 GX
    01 GX
    03 Crown Vic
    06 GX
    Home Fueler

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    • #3
      Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

      Alright, so it isn't plug wires. I am going to try to swap injectors tonight. I have a new one ordered from Autozone that will be here on wednesday.

      I will keep my fingers crossed.

      Also, can anyone tell me if the plate the distributor cap bolts to is the same as on the Civic LX or not?

      -Daniel

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      • #4
        Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

        A call to your local honda parts dept can answer the question on the plate. I would also add that we have seen numerous instances in which people have installed after market spark plug wires and ended up with a miss in one or more of their cylinders from a miss-firing wire.

        Factory wires are a much safer bet. I'd hate to see you trade one miss for another, especially after putting in new wires. It tends to drive you crazy because you think you've eliminated that potential source for problems. Just be aware of the potential for this type of an issue as you proceed, and down the road.

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        • #5
          Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

          Just a note-FWIW, a freind of mine who is an independent small engine shop owner for more years than the age of most folks here has given me some valuable tips from time to time.
          One was that Honda front brakes wear more on the right side (and only the pad on the side that the hydraulic cylinder is on, (I confirmed this) and that most places doing brakes wil try to sell you all sorts of parts either due to their quest for $$'s or lack of knowledge that this is normal.
          (the tire shop tried to sell me brakes, rotors and lots of parts, my local HONDA dealer (Sierra Honda) agreed with my findings and said the rotors were also fine and didn't need replacing at all.)
          and:
          2) Often misses are caused by the need for a valve adjustment. Not that there haven't been injector issues, but with an occasional CEL, do a valve adjustment before spending a massive amount of money on injectors.
          I am NOT saying that with an OBVIOUS miss you experienced that it isn't an injector, rather that the random CEL indicating a miss often is due to tight valves, and that a valve adjustment at 30-35,000 vs 60,000 is common and fixes a LOT of the problems.
          I undertand that the 'miss' CEL flag is set by information gleaned by a crankshaft position sensor and computerized intrepretation. Pretty complex!
          Aloha,
          Jeff
          Last edited by CaptJeff; 12-16-2009, 09:42 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

            So I just finished up on my car. Looks like I had a bad injector. I switched the injector from cylinder three to one and cleared the code and then restarted the car. The code followed over to cylinder one with the injector. I replaced it and it is running smooth now. I took some pictures too. I was wondering if we wanted to create a section within the Civic GX area for How-To's. I have been a regular on protege5.com and the How-To section there is an awesome resource. If there is an interest let me know and I will get the how to together and post it.
            On a second note. Many people have said that the Autozone injectors are not going to last as long as the stock pieces. I have a picture to post on this subject:



            Can you tell me which is which? One came out of the car and one came from Autozone. Yes, I know you can tell me because the one on the right doesn't have the top seal in place yet. But it seems to me that they are the SAME injector. Anyone else agree with me on this?

            -Daniel

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            • #7
              Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

              I had good results from the AutoZone injectors. I had a '99 GX that was on AutoZone injectors for over 2 years and about 25k miles when I sold it. It had about 160k miles total on the engine.
              2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
              2013 Tesla Model S 85

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              • #8
                Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                Wow, my luck is awesome....I have another misfire going with a CEL showing. It is showing a misfire on cylinder 3. I moved the last defective injector from 3 to 1 before replacing it, so it isn't the replacement that has gone bad. I imagine that injectors normally fail a couple at a time seeing as the cause is normally oil in the lines and if there is oil that kills one, normally there is oil to kill more of them? So my question is: should i just order a set of 4 for 400 or should i just replace one more for 156 and pray my other two injectors hold up?

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                • #9
                  Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                  Very small quantities of oil does tend to be a big culprit in taking out cng injectors. If you are doing the recommended filter changes it goes a long ways in reducing the problem, if it is oil. Some older infrastructure can have worn rings if it isn't maintained properly, making oil blowby a real problem. Just do the injector swap to confirm it's the injector again.

                  It's your call on how many to buy, but the 4-pack (4/$400) is a great deal. You could always sell unused ones in the CNG Marketplace Forum if need be.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                    And my question is: Where is the 4 for $400 deal?
                    Originally posted by pro5utah View Post
                    So my question is: should i just order a set of 4 for 400 or should i just replace one more for 156 and pray my other two injectors hold up?
                    2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
                    2013 Tesla Model S 85

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                    • #11
                      Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                      Connections. Hopefully they still work!.....I will likely have some for sale if I decide to go that route.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                        Hello all,

                        I'm having the same problem with my '98. I tried having a faulty injector rebuilt by Rockauto, but they weren't able to rebuild it. I tried getting the Autozone injector that members have used on their Civics, but they've been out of stock for a couple of months. They didn't have a clue as to when the manufacturer would restock them. I had to go with Echlin fuel injectors from Napa. This injector is almost double the price than the one offered by Autozone ($309.00) but didn't have any other low cost alternative.

                        The car was running well for about 2 weeks when I felt it begin to misfire as I was heading home this evening. The Check Engine light confirmed my fears before I made it home. I attached the OBD II scanner to learn that it detected 2 misfires. One of them is for the same injector that was just installed -- this may be a bad reading but will swap injectors to make sure. I'm hoping that it was a bad read and that I only have to replace one of the old ones.

                        I checked the fuel filter element when I replaced the last injector, and it only had a couple of drops worth of fluid, so I doubt that this is the main cause. However, I bought the car used, so who knows what conditions the injectors were put through. Does this seem to be the norm? If so, does anyone know of any other after market injector that is offered at a better price?

                        Pro5utah: Any other injectors replaced since you last posted?

                        Any responses will be greatly appreciated!

                        - Sam

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                        • #13
                          Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                          I have had friends with the same problem. They replace one injector then have a similar problem with another cylinder shortly there after. All four injectors have had about the same amount of fuel flow through them and are probably in the same condition. As a little bit of a side note, it has also been my experience that when the injector goes out it makes a louder clicking noise than they normally do. Take a listen and see. My friend's car also coded for multiple misfires when there was only one. The shop foreman at our dealership said it is a common occurrence on these cars. In the end after we replaced two injectors, we replaced the remaining two injectors for peace of mind and reliability.

                          Hope this helps.

                          Mark

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                          • #14
                            Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                            Mark,

                            Yes, it's making that familiar loud clicking sound. In addition to the sound, there is a different smell coming out of the exhaust pipe. It's not the same burnt CNG smell; It's a bit stronger. In any case, it sounds like I may have to replace the other 2 soon. Were your replacement injectors OEM's or after-market?

                            - Sam

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                            • #15
                              Re: Misfire - Cylinder 3

                              Apparently there was some miscommunication. I talked to someone who said that they could get a "set" for $400. When I followed up and they looked into it the "set" was just a single injector with its needed seals. No 4 for $400.

                              Autozone - $156. Still the best deal I have found.

                              -Daniel

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