Why does my car misfire at high RPM?

I recently bought a used Honda Civic, and it runs great around the neighborhood, but when I take it on the highway, the engine starts to misfire. Anything over 3000 RPM seems to be too much for the engine. What causes a misfire at high RPM? Can it be fixed easily?

Lynell Spencer · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Several things could be the problem here, so if you aren’t comfortable with engine diagnostics, you may want to see your mechanic.
That said, if your car starts to misfire at high RPM, it is not getting the right mix of fuel, air, or spark.
  • Fuel: You may have a bad fuel pump, dirty fuel filter, faulty fuel injectors, or a blocked fuel line. Any one of these will prevent the right amount of fuel from getting to the combustion chamber when your engine is working harder.
  • Air: Your engine requires the right amount of air and compression. You may have a leaky seal, valve, or piston ring, preventing air from pressurizing.
  • Heat/Spark: You may need to replace your spark plugs so your engine can burn the fuel it needs at higher RPM.
Also, make sure you are using the right fuel for your car. This will make a difference in how your engine performs at higher speeds.
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