How to Fix a Dead Cylinder

When a car engine dies, it is often the result of one or more dead cylinders. These are the pistons in your engine that can no longer generate power due to low compression and/or air pressure. The good news is that there are many ways to fix this problem and get your car back on the road quickly. In this article, we will discuss an easy process on how to fix a dead cylinder. So let us get started. The first thing you need to do is identify which cylinder is dead. This can be done by checking the spark plugs. If one of the spark plugs is black and sooty, then it is most likely the dead cylinder.

How to Fix a Dead Cylinder

How a Car Engine Dies?

A car engine could die due to a variety of reasons. For instance, it could be because the car has run out of petrol or diesel because the battery is dead, or because the oil pressure is low—all of which need to be addressed. There are also mechanical issues that can cause a car engine to die, such as failure of the ignition coil, ignition wire, or spark plugs.

How To Find Out The Reason Behind My Dead Cylinder?

If your car engine dies, the easiest way to find out what’s causing the problem is to contact your mechanic. In the meantime, you can perform a simple test to see if the problem is with your battery or alternator. You will need a multimeter to do this test. A multimeter is a device that measures electricity and other things in cars. You can use either an analog multimeter or a digital multimeter.

Remove the keys from your car’s ignition and turn off the engine. Then, using electrical tape, attach the red lead of your meter to one of the positive prongs on your battery. This will prevent you from getting electrocuted.

Next, connect the black lead of your meter to any unpainted metal surface under your hood. Now turn on your radio and set it to static. If you are using a digital multimeter, set it to the resistance function and then connect the black lead to your car’s engine block (you should be able to feel a strong electrical current). Now, turn your meter on and check the resistance. If it is low, then you have a good ground. If it is high, then you will need to find another place to connect your black lead.

Next, turn on your ignition switch. The radio volume should go up and down and display static if your battery is providing sufficient voltage for your car’s electrical system. If the volume is extremely low or you don’t hear anything, there could be a problem with your battery.

Alternator Is Something Wrong

If this does not happen or if the sound of static coming from the stereo goes away when you disconnect either red or black leads from under the hood, then there is something wrong with your alternator—the device that generates electricity in cars that run on internal combustion engines.

You can also do this same test by attaching one lead of your meter onto each of the positive and negative terminals on your battery. If the current is insufficient, pay a visit to a mechanic near you as soon as possible.

Procedure on How to Fix a Dead Cylinder

1. Ensure the Engine Is Off and Cool

To fix a dead cylinder, you’ll need to buy new parts for it and replace them after you’ve drained out all the fluids. First, you will need to drain out all of the fluids at any gas station in your area. When you are done draining, take off the air filter, dipstick, and spark plugs.

2. Remove the Spark Plug Wire From the Cylinder to Be Repaired

Once these are off, you can remove the distributor cap and pull out the spark plugs with a ratchet extension. The next step in this is to remove the distributor gear from its place on the engine (the left side of it) and put it into the engine bay to be shorter to reach while under the hood.

From there, unscrew both bolts that hold both halves of the fuel distributor together. Please take note, there will be a metal clip in between the two halves of the distributor that is hard to see, but you’ll know it when you grab it with your hand.

3. Pull Out the Old Spark Plug with a Socket Wrench or Ratchet

Once those bolts are out, take off both halves of the distributor and let them hang under the hood; you don’t need them for this step as they won’t interfere with anything. After those are out, go ahead and remove the fuel line from its place on top of it (the fuel line itself is in two pieces).

From there, unscrew all four bolts that hold down the intake manifold cover/plate. It’s a quad-socket head cap screw, so use one to do each corner. Next, pull up on the plate and look into how to get to your dead cylinder. There will be a metal plate covering the hole where you can get to the spark plug and injector. Take out all four screws that hold this down and then pull up on it to slide it off of the engine. It’s also a piece like any other, so don’t worry, take it off.

4. Clean Around the Opening of the Cylinder

Once this is out of the way, you’ll have access to your spark plugs and injectors. Remove these with an extension and ratchet, then put them back when you are done with them (don’t leave them lying around).

At this point, go ahead and remove three bolts from both sides of each intake manifold runner for access onto the engine block below (the one attached to the trunk into which you can remove your block). Next, go ahead and shove a clean rope or rag down into the hole where all of the spark plugs were. You want to do this because if you don’t pull up on the engine blocks below, they will drain oil onto you.

Make It Clean Otherwise It Will Drain Oil Onto You

5. Insert the New Plug Into the Hole, Making Sure It’s Seated Properly in Place 

Once the rope/rag is in there, pull it back out, unscrew the top head bolt (the one with a pulley) on each side of both intake manifold runners. When these are off, grab them at an angle with a couple of other people and slowly slide them off their places on the bottom of your engine blocks. If there is too much resistance, try wiggling it around before applying more force, as that might help. After they are both off of their places, there will be a dipstick tube that you’ll need to push down from the inside.

Once this is out of the way, go ahead and use your ratchet extension to pull off the two spark plugs and injectors. After they are out, drain as much oil from them as possible (it’s easier with an extension). You can also take the time to clean up any caked-on dirt that may be near/on top of those injectors.

Now you can start removing bolts to get access into one of these cylinder heads. The head itself has 8 bolts around it, so remove all but one bolt (the two on either side, for instance, should not be removed at this point) before trying to remove the head itself.

Once that’s done, grab the head with something (I grabbed it with a cloth not to scratch anything, then put it on my lap) and slowly pull upon it while trying to keep everything level on the engine block below.

Once you’ve gotten that off, go ahead and clean any dirt/oil/etc. From around your dead cylinder and check for parts that might have gone into there (sputtering oil out of one side of an injector is common). Afterward, take the new injector out of its box and put it back in place by screwing it onto this area like before.

6. Tighten Plugs Securely With a Socket Wrench or Ratchet Until They Are Snug but Not Too Tight 

Next, take your old spark plug(s) out, followed by putting in the new ones after that. Once this is done, take your injector and spark plug wires and put them down each of the runners on either side, then make sure you screw in those old head bolts back onto their places (don’t tighten them all the way).

Next, go ahead and slide the intake manifold plate back over these runners and tighten down all four screws that hold it there. After that’s done, take a spark plug socket with an extension and ratchet, then put it into one of these new holes along with the two other tools to get rid of your air bubble. By now, you might have picked up some more oil at this point, so go ahead and re-oil everything as best as possible. 

7. Replace the Wire on the Spark Plug and Start the Engine

After you’ve re-oiled everything, put your dipstick hose back into its place and screw it in at the bottom of this manifold plate. Once that’s done, put all four screws back on to hold down that piece, then slide the two runners together and tighten them back up with those three bolts from earlier.

Now that they are together go ahead and turn each bolt a few times (each should have an ‘X’ line telling you how many times to do so) for the oil to fill that cylinder and then check for leaks. If you find any, take whatever was leaking off its place once again and try tightening it accordingly.

Start The Engine


It is always a good idea to take the necessary precautions before starting any project. One of the most important things to remember while fixing a dead cylinder is to make sure not to rush. Take your time, organize your steps, and take care of every step you take. Be patient, plan for all contingencies, and only take on one challenge at a time. This will allow you to work more logically and systematically as opposed to working in an inefficient frenzy.

When you are trying to fix a dead cylinder, the first thing that you should do is make sure that your equipment and tools can handle the job. Also, find someone who has worked on this type of problem before. They will give you important tips about what to look for and where to start working.

Most people make the biggest mistake when fixing a cylinder is buying cheap generic versions of replacement parts or not knowing which part they need in the first place. There is nothing worse than ending up with a box full of useless parts because you did not know how to identify the problem properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes a Cylinder to Go Dead?

There are many reasons why a cylinder will go dead. Some of the common causes include:

• If the battery is low, you may need to replace it.

• If the car has been sitting for a long time, there could be corrosion in the battery terminals.

• The alternator belt may have broken or come off, causing an electrical short and draining power from the battery.

What Happens When a Cylinder Dies?

When a cylinder dies, the remaining gas inside the cylinder is released into the atmosphere. If you have any more questions, let us know in the comments below!

What Would Cause a Cylinder to Not Fire?

A cylinder firing is a mechanical process that involves a piston being pushed up and down by the gas pressure of an engine. The piston travels up and down in the cylinder to compress or release gas.

To fire, it must be able to move freely without friction from other moving parts. If the piston becomes stuck or blocked, then there will not be enough force behind it to push it back down again, which can cause damage to your engine.

Can You Fix a Misfiring Cylinder?

Misfiring cylinders are a lot more common than you might think. Here are some tips to fix them:

1. Use your headlight’s high beam to locate the misfiring cylinder.

2. Place an Allen wrench on the cylinder and turn it clockwise until it makes contact with the valve stem; this will help increase fuel pressure and allow for better fuel flow.

3. If you don’t have an Allen wrench, use a screwdriver instead, but be careful not to touch any of the valves as they may break if too much force is applied.

Can You Drive a Car With a Dead Cylinder?

Yes, it is possible to drive a car with a dead cylinder. However, you will need to know the basics of how cars work and follow the instructions provided by your car’s manual.


Lastly, we hope that the process we have stated here will help you fix a dead cylinder properly. Therefore, ensure the safety precautions properly and follow the procedure accordingly. Thank you, and have a good day.

You may read also: How Do You Fix a Hydrolocked Diesel Engine

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly