Why does my car misfire when it’s cold?

The weather is starting to get colder where I live and I’ve noticed on really cold mornings my car will misfire. Why does it only misfire when it’s cold?

Bonnie Stinson · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
It’s always a little worrisome when your car doesn’t start or run as it should. In this case, cold temperatures can cause a misfire because of your air-to-fuel mixture.
At normal temperatures, fuel has a pretty wide range of temperatures it can combust at. Colder air temperatures narrow that range, making it harder for combustion to happen.
If your vehicle is misfiring or has a rough idle when the temperatures drop, here are some tips to help fix the problem:
  • Let your engine warm up before driving
  • Check the oxygen sensors to make sure they’re functioning properly
  • Replace any damaged or corroded spark plugs
  • Make sure the fuel injector isn’t damaged or clogged
Having a mechanic check your engine to make sure the misfires aren’t a sign of an underlying issue can give you some peace of mind, and so can ensuring you have the right
car insurance
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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