Cylinder Compression



I’ve found a car i’m thinking of buying, the only problem with the car is that one of the cylinders has low compression. I’m wondering how serious a problem this is and if it’s going to cost more then it’s worth? The car is a 1996 Eagle Talon, it has low milage and no problems except for the one mentioned above.


All of the compression readings should be within 10% of each other. Low compression means a burnt or bent valve or defective or worn piston rings. These are major problems.

Different methods are used to measure compression. Before I condemned this vehicle, I would verify the compression has been checked properly with a mechanical gauge.


How low is the compression? A 10% variance is generally considered OK.

If you have low compression because of a leaking valve, you can get away with pulling the head and doing a valve job. If the problem is leaky piston rings, you will need a complete engine rebuild.


It’s going to be (A)Major, or (B) REAL Major.

In order of seriousness, it’s head gasket, valve problem, piston ring problem, or all of the above.

Just what does the seller of this thing have to say about the compression test?