Misfires are a motoring phenomenon that with the right circumstances can happen to any vehicle, from high-performance race cars to your efficient family car. It is the most common engine issue which your Audi can develop. Because of this, let’s take a closer look at engine misfire and learn how you can fix it, should it happen to your Audi.
The Cause of Misfires
There are 3 types of misfires: lean, ignition, and mechanical. With low-maintenance standards and a patchy servicing record, any one of these can rear their ugly head. A misfire is what happens when one of the four steps of the ignition cycle is interrupted, be it the intake, compression, power, or exhaust step.
In a perfectly working engine, these steps or strokes happen over and over in a repetitive cycle while the engine is running. However, if for whatever reason the fuel is not compressed, or the fuel is mixed poorly, or the engine isn’t able to ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber, this cycle becomes interrupted. This causes a misfire.
Pretty much any part that is connected to your engine can contribute to a misfire. However, there are some more common culprits. The number one suspect is always the spark plugs. This is because they have quite a short lifespan since they take a huge beating every time you drive your car.
The spark plugs come in pairs which are spaced together at a specific distance, depending on the model of your Audi. They pass a high voltage electrical spark across the gap between them. Each time this happens, the powerful electricity naturally wears down the surface of the plug. Over time, the gap widens. When the gap becomes so wide that passing the spark is difficult or next to impossible, misfires occur. This is a normal occurance and is the cost of mixing electricity with mechanics.
Luckily, spark plugs are cheap and easy parts to replace. So, if your Audi starts to misfire, you should always rule out the spark plugs first. While you are replacing them, check your ignition coils too, as these parts work together and can sometimes fail at the same time.
Dirty or clogged fuel injectors are another common reason why your Audi is experiencing misfires. They come into direct contact with the fuel, as they are in charge of adding it to the engine’s combustion chamber. They are also exposed to microscopic debris and contaminants naturally present in the fuel. While the filters inside your Audi do a great job of keeping the majority of debris out, filers can’t catch everything. As with the spark plugs, over time, this dirt builds up and can reach a point where the fuel injectors become partially blocked. This results in misfire, because it throws the air and fuel ratio out of balance.
Poor Maintenance Habits
Poor engine maintenance will dramatically increase your risk of head gasket leaks. Without properly taking care of your Audi, this can even contribute to catastrophic damage that comes with a blown gasket. A simple leak is easily fixed, but without that repair, leaks can impact your engine performance and reduce the maximum amount of compression that can be achieved by your cylinders. This can make the fuel much more difficult to ignite.
As you can see by the examples listed above, there are many reasons why engine misfires occur, and we didn’t even mention them all. Because of this, you’re unlikely to be able to solve the issue at home, unless it is something as simple as the spark plugs. Poking around in the engine without a clue as to what’s wrong is a recipe for disaster and just isn’t worth the risk. Instead, for complete peace of mind and a long-lasting fix, when faced with engine misfires, you should bring your Audi to a specialist auto repair shop at your earliest convenience.
Visit Import Motorworx
Many drivers in the communities of Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA visit our team at Import Motorworx for all their motoring repair and maintenance needs. We’re the local experts, and our friendly, 5-star customer service rating means seeking auto repairs is no longer a stressful hassle. For trusted servicing of your Audi, call our helpful customer service team today.