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I ave a clio it is missfireing - 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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While idling the engine, use insulated wire pliers or just bare hands to remove spark plug wires one by one.
If you remove one and it runs worse, then reconnect it, that cylinder is working fine, however if you remove the spark plug wire and the misfire continues exactly the same then you've found your bad cylinder.
Now check;
-Spark plugs, Remove them and see if that cylinders plug is colored different than the others, different colors mean different things.
-Wires, to check if the wire was your problem, simply swap the wire from the bad cylinder and a good cylinder. Then redo the first test with removing the wires while idling. if you still get the same results as before the wires are fine, however if the "good" cylinder causes no change when removing the wires then change the wires.
Also a very easy way to check wires, spray bottle with water, spray all over the spark plug wires and it there's cracks the engine will literally shake.
If that's still not the problem it could be bad compression in the cylinder, you may need a garage to test this though, unless you have a compression tester laying around at home.
-Distributor cap, once removed (not hard, normally 2-3 bolts at most) there should be 1 contact point per cylinder, see that they're all intact, this normally isn't the problem for 1 cylinder to be misfiring though.
Could also be that the timing is off if it's not one of these listed above.

Posted on Feb 07, 2010


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