Engine Misfire in Cylinder #3 - I am baffled - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 06:32 PM
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Default Engine Misfire in Cylinder #3 - I am baffled

My wife just bought a 2001 Kia Rio from a used car dealer. I had it tuned up (new plugs and wires, timing), and new tires at a local national chain mechanic. I also put some Techron in the tank. After a week of having the car, the CEL comes on and I had the code checked at Autozone and it is a misfire in Cylinder #3. I had noticed no change in performance accelerating or at idle. I took it to the national chain mechanic and they showed me a balc spark plug and said it was oilin the cylinder and they did a compression and leak down test shoing very low compression in that cylinder and my engine was basically shot. I took it back to the used car dealer and we took it to the Kia Dealer down the street (where I had incidentally bought myself a 2002 Spectra a week before) and they swore the compression in all cylinders was fine and that the misfire was caused by ill-fitting non-OEM wires. They replaced the wires yesterday, but this afternoon after several trips in the car, the CEL came on again (again, I don't notice any change in power, idle, or acceleration). Again the code showed a misfire in cylinder #3. I had autozone reset the code and drove it home and the CEL stayed off. I am at a loss of what to do next. I am not sure who might be lying to me or what may be causing this. Woudlnt' I notice power loss if the cylinder was constantly misfiring or if the cylinder had such low compression? Can a single misfire set of the light without the integrity of the plug being compromised? I am at a loss.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 06:40 PM
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If they told you to change the wires because *non OEM * wires cause the problem then they married it.. Take it back to them and say WTF.. They should own up and reliase that there is a bigger problem.. Did you personally see the compression test or did you just hear the numbers.. Ask the dealer to do a compression test and if it has low compression ask them for the cost of the wires and installation back because they mis diagnoised your car from the begining.. That's where I would start anyways.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 07:24 PM
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The dealer did pay for the compression test
and the new wires even though I offered to. She was prepared to get a replacement engine as well and already priced it and found a guy to put it in. She has been very cooperative. I took the wires the first mechanic put on back for a refund. I have more reason to think the first mechanic was trying to screw me than the Kia dealer. I was shocked when the first dealer acted like my engine was shot because the car honestly has not lost one bit of power. I had to get on the interstate to take it to and from the Kia dealer and drive it 10 miles and the car was cruising along just fine, accelerating to pass, comfortably going 75 mph.

The CEL coming on was strangely correlative to when I got it back from the tune-up and put Techron in the tank. I am trying to figure if a carbon cleaning fuel additive can cause a cylinder misfire - I know it can cause weird codes, but it is usually stuf fassociated with the emission system. I am still on the tank of gas that has the Techron in it.

I just went down and checked the oil again and it is still perfectly full and clean (I had it changed when I bought the car), so I don't think I am losing any to the cylinder. I also cranked the car again and it fired right up, idled smoothly, revved smoothly and no CEL is on right now.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 08:28 AM
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OK, here is what I decided to do. I took it to a disinterested third party this morning and without mentioning the check engine light or the code, I simply asked them to visibly inspect my spark plugs and wires and to do a compression check and told them I would tell them why after we got the resuls so as not to prejudice the results. I drove my wife to work this morning in the Rio and the CEL stayed off and it performed just fine.

I think my initially post my have been confusing as I was irritated and flustered when I wrote it. The Rio was purchased from a used car dealer, not the Kia Dealer - they just happen to be about a quarter mile apart and I happened to have bought a Spectra from the Kia Dealer. I am increasingly suspecting that the first mechanic was trying to rip me off and the Kia Dealer was telling me the truth, although I can't account for the second misfire - I am suspecting a simple computer glitch. I'll be curious to see what the third mechanic says about the plugs and compression.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 10:34 AM
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So I took the Rio to a third shop to get them to visually inspect the plugs and do a compression test and I didn't tell them why or what they might be looking for - I told them I would tell them afterward so as not to prejudice the test. They said when they pulled the plugs three of them looked brand new (as they should) but the plug in cylinder 3 was sooty and dirty (but not oily). They did the compression test and the compression was good in all cylinders - 160-165 in each one. He also said the car seemed to be running real good but he suspected the dirty plug might have misfired (he guessed this before I told him what code I had found and reset). I am wondering if I just got a bad plug or wire with the tune-up at Jat the first shop and then the Kia dealer replaced the wires without even looking at the plugs so I still had the originally dirty plug (since the bill was only $99 counting labor that is what I guess since wires cost almost that much). I knew the first shop just put the bad plug back in when I drove it over the to the dealer but I figured the dealer would have changed it out. I told the whole story to the third shop today and they said they would just try replacing the plug and see if it misfires again and if it does, I should find a shop that has an ohm meter that can check the voltage getting to that wire and that could indicate or rule out a bad ignition coil He said there is a good chance the original wrong aftermarket wire caused it to misfire and a misfire can rseult in a sooty plug because of fuel contamination and the sooty plug simply misfired again.
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-18-2007, 12:12 AM
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It sounds like you have a lot of variables in your equation.

I have a 2001 Rio and I had a misfire on one of the cylinders about a year ago. My engine light didn't come on until it was missing pretty badly. It was obvious enough to know what was happening before the computer told me. However, when the plug stopped missing badly, then the light would go off after a few minutes.

I took it to Autozone and had the code read. I was surprised to see the missing on cylinder code since I had just put in OEM plugs from them a few months before. I decided to just buy some cheap Autolite plugs from Wal-Mart and replace the OEM plugs. The missing continued, so I went to Autozone and bought some plug wires and it took care of the problem. I haven't had a miss since. I didn't buy the cheapest wires, but I didn't buy the most expensive ones either. The Autolite plugs have done just fine, as well.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2007, 01:33 AM
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i had 1 cylinder not firing and it was a problem with the coil
just another possiblity or what might be wrong
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2007, 01:53 AM
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Default Engine Misfire in Cylinder #3 - I am baffled

Just a thought. I get one every once in a while and it hurts. I read on one of the repair sites that if you don't get the plug wires back in the correct order in the wire holder you can get misfire or crossfire. You stated you had them replaced and I thought whoever put them back on may not have done them one at a time or kept them in order.

Not saying they put them in the wrong firing order ( the car would definitely run bad) but maybe not in the correct order. If you know some one who owns a RIO and is not having the same trouble, look at theirs. Just a thought. Hope this helps.
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 05:37 PM
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After getting a new spark plug, I drove for about a week with no misfires and then another CEL with the same code. I took it to another mechanic who could check for problems with the ignition coil and he said he couldn't find anything at all wrong with it and didn't charge me for his work. One other variable is that these misfires happened after having put Techron in the gas tank and I haven't run it on a tank without it since the first misfire. I know Techron can cause CEL codes rlated to the O2 sensor from detecting strange gasses, but a misfire? The most recent mechanic said it is conceivably possible, though improbable and just to drive out the tank of gas I have, reset the light, and then see what happens without the Techron. He said the plug is still firing and it was just a random isolated misfire, that it isn't continually misfiring.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2007, 05:25 PM
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weird man. In a seemingly related issue (but really not) I got the same trouble code alongside a bunch of others when my mass air flow meter conked out. But that's definitely not your problem. And why would only one cylinder burn that fuel additive so roughly? Is that plug gapped properly? You could try a vacuum test on that cylinder. Maybe your problem is a leaky valve seal. Hope not though as that is a big repair job.
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