My 2000 Chev Metro began to idle very rough and the check engine light came on. I got a 0301 engine code, which I know means the 1st cylinder is misfiring. When I took the spark plug out it was black. The wire is still getting spark, when the engine is started. Do you know what can cause this to happen?
2000 metro 1.3lAlready Tried: I checked the spark plug and cleaned them.
I checked to see if there was spark getting to the #1 cylinder and there is. The plug wires are only about 10,000 miles old.
A misfire condition can occur if the cylinder is not getting spark, if it is not getting fuel, or if it is down on compression. Any of these things can cause a single cylinder misfire problem such as you are experiencing.
Step #1 with any misfire condition is to take a compression measurement. If compression is low on the affected cylinder due to an internal mechanical problem such as a leaking valve, you can spend hours testing other things and never find the cause. Measure compression on all cylinders; compression should be over about 125 psi and all cylinders should be within 10% of each other.
To check ignition, if you do not have a scope, you can try swapping spark plugs to see if the misfire moves to another cylinder.
To check fuel, first make sure there is not a leaking intake manifold gasket or other large vacuum leak near that cylinder. Listen to the fuel injector to make sure it is clicking when the engine is running. Repair shops can flow test the injectors, or you can swap injectors from one cylinder to another to find out if the injector is faulty.
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