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Cylinder 4 misfire

04-22-2005, 03:41 AM
first off - thanks for checking out this post. I hope someone here can help me! My post is a little long, so if you scroll down to the bottom you can read the symptoms I am having and what I have tried to resolve them.

I have a 2000 Mazda protege DX 1.6
I had some problems with the power cutting out in short spurts while accelerating. Eventually the check engine light came on. I had the code pulled and it confirmed what I had thought "cylinder 4 misfire."

Speaking with a few mechanics, I learned that cylinders will generally misfire due to a bad set of wires coming from the distributor. When I look at my engine, two of the spark plugs are covered by two different distributor coils, and the other two just have the reguler wires.

From left to right (I will say leftmost cylinder is A and rightmost is D) B and D are covered by coils, and A and C are open. You with me?
So I replaced all the spark plugs and the wires on cylinders A and C.

Problem is I don't even know which one is cylinder 4. A mechanic told me that cylinder 4 is the fartherest cylinder from the distrbutor. So that means cylinder A=Cylinder 4, right?

So having replaced the spark plugs and wires, what else could be causing the probem? The next thing in line is the distributor coil, but since the problem is intermitent and coils usually either work or don't work, I think that's not the problem.

Today the problem got really bad for a few minutes and my check engine light even started flashing. I don't know what that means. Could I be damaging my engine if one of the cylinders is misfiring randomly?

So my question is what else could be causing the misifre? Could it be a fuel problem (fuel pump, injectors,etc.) or something else (timing, etc.) or is it for sure going to be an electrical issue? What else can I try, or is there some way to better tell what the problem is?

-Short, intermitant, random loss of power (causes vibration as if I didn't know how to drive a clutch)
-Code reader says: cylinder 4 misfire
-The problem comes and goes
-Flashing check engine light

STEPS I HAVE TAKEN TO FIX IT ----------------------
-Replaced spark plugs
-Replaced wires on two exposed cylinders (leftmost cylinder and second from the right)
-The other cylinders are covered by coils.

-Which is cylinder 4?
-What could it be besides spark plugs and wires?
-Could I be damaging my engine?
-What can I do to pinpoint the problem?

Thankyou again for any help anyone has to offer!

04-25-2005, 02:46 PM
Number four cylinder is on the drivers side of the car or if you are in front of the car facing the engine # 4 is on the right. If I understand your description you have worked on the wrong cylinder other than new spark plugs. If you have a timing light with an inductive clip on it you can hook the timing light on each plug wire and if a cylinder is mis-firineg the timing light bulb will not flash or may flash intermittently.

Remove #4 spark plug after the engine has mis-fired and check for signs of no fuel (dry) or is the plug all wet? If it's wet the injector is probably working and the problem is probably ignition related.

The mis-fire isn't good for the engine and should be corrected.


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