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cylinder #5 not working. Can i Drive?

04-04-2010, 12:43 PM
My mechanic has told me that my #5 cylinder in my V6 engine (1992 Camry) is not working anymore. It is very noticeable that something is wrong with my car.

My question is if it is ok to drive my car 90 miles twice a week?

My mechanic stated that it would be ok and that my car wont break down as a result.

Any thoughts or similar experiences would be great!

Brian R.
04-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Did he say why it isn't working? Get it fixed as soon as possible. You can drive it, but I wouldn't drive it very long like that. It may be a very cheap fix.

Mike Gerber
04-04-2010, 05:41 PM
^ To follow up on Brian's comments, the unburned fuel that is making it's way in and out (via the exhaust valves) of that cylinder is being sent through the exhaust system and the catalytic converter(s). This will greatly shorten the life of the converter(s). If the fix is relatively cheap, (faulty spark plug, faulty spark plug wires or a bad fuel injector) I would opt for fixing it ASAP. If it is something more expensive like a burned valve, then you have to decide how long you want to keep this car and how much money you are willing to put in to it.


04-05-2010, 07:59 AM
Ayup, the mechanic should be able to tell you why it isn't working. He should not have to string you along or milk you for "diagnostic" charges. A dead cylinder isn't rocket science. If he can't or won't, then go elsewhere where they can help you make a decision on whether to fix it.

Conversely, if a GOOD mechanic had spotted something easily wrong, he would have told you then. In this case, either he's not being good or there's something really wrong.

As for driving with a dead cylinder, I'd feel better driving it a short distance than a long ways, just in case something did go wrong. You'd at least be close to home....or have your Auto Club numbers handy. But do some checking to see why it is dead first. As mentioned, if unburned fuel is being dumped into the catalytic converter, it causes rapid degradation of the internals due to heat. I would not drive like this for long.

As long as a gasket hasn't failed internally and causes fluids to mix, then you'd probably be okay as long as you drove it hard acceleration, revving, and stay in the right lane. Check the oil, transmission, and coolant to make sure one isn't overfilled and another way low or has a strange color or sheen on top.

Good luck and let us know how you make out!

04-05-2010, 08:39 AM
I don't recommand you to drive a V6 with a no working cylinder. Even if you disconnect injector wire and remove plug at this cylinder to relieve compression, engine can stall.
Because in a V6, there's 120 phase between each cylinder. So the valve of another cylinder open vefore the one of the faulty cylinder is completely closed. So the working cylinder will suck too much air from the no working cylinder, so will loose a lot of power and may stall.

If you don't remove the plug and the faluty cylinder's valve is good, you'll get too much useless compression load and engine may also stall. Unless if you press gas each time you stop at a red light. But you should still disconnect the injector no 5.

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