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The loss of a cylinder...what does that mean

I believe my number 1 cylinder is either dead or at this point it’s compression level is near 0. So with the car being a 98 Ford Taurus 6 cylinder/3.0 ohv engine, outside of just bad engine performance what else can i be looking at as the engine slowly dies.

If it has near ZERO compression and you intend to continue driving until the bitter end you might disconnect the injector on that cylinder. There’s no use wasting the fuel and the unburned fuel will wash down the cylinder and into the crankcase hastening the demise of all internal moving parts. The engine might run another 100,000 miles limping on 5 cylinders. But it’s not likely.

Let’s bear in mind that the vehicle in question is the Taurus with a blown head gasket that the OP has been driving for many months while waiting for it to die. Am I the only one who recalls his many questions regarding the mechanical issues of this car that has a known head gasket problem?

With that in mind, would it really be surprising if one or more cylinders had low compression or no compression?

I agree that the injector to that cylinder should be disconnected, but nothing short of divine intervention will give this engine much longer to live.

I agree. In this case…the loss of a cylinder will soon mean the loss of the engine.

How do I diconnect the injector?

Make sure you know which cylinder is “dead” and then cutting off the fuel injector to that cylinder is a good idea.

You’ve gotten your money’s worth and much more out of this car. It might have been worth the effort and money to repair the blown head gasket. But now, it is probably too late so just keep driving it.

With 5 cylinders you will be down on power. You will also notice the motor is out of balance and shakes and vibrates more than it should. Overtime this shaking will not help things like motor mounts, but otherwise shouldn’t do much harm. You will eventually lose another cylinder and then you’ll be down to a V6 running on 4 cylinders. This will mean even less power and more vibration, but the motor should still run. It will have trouble getting the car up any big hills but should be able to get you to the grocery store, to work, and home. When you get down to only 3 cylinders the car will be very hard to start and keep running. At that point it may run, but be essentially undriveable.

This process could take a few weeks or a year or two.

Disconnect the electrical connector on that injector.

Look on or near the top of the engine someplace for the fuel rails - metal rail with fuel injectors coming off if it. There will be a rail running along the back and one along the front with 3 injectors on each. Running along with the rail is a bunch of wiring and and a plug that comes off for each injector. Just unplug it.

I think that he just wants to know what to expect if he just keeps going - not how to fix it.

I had a leak down and compression test done on the engine back last Oct, and at that time the no. 1 cylinder was showing only around 60-70 while he other 5 were around 120-125. So i am just guessing that the no. 1 is now real low. The engine starts fine, and is fine until it warms up and then the problems start. It’s to the point of causing the transmission to shift funny, and I have a bad EGR, so I am just trying to do my best to nurse this little ole engine along for as long as possible. i really appreciate everyone help on this little ole car over time.

Also just wondering, why does the engine run okay when cold but only begin to act up once it has warmed up. When i first start in the morning, there is no sluggishness or anything, it doesn’t happen till after a few minutes of driving and the engine has reached it’s operating temp, which has never ever been close to overheating.

since you will need to take the head off to repalce the collapsed rings, and get the cylinder honed (if you desire to fix it) you will have to repalce the head gasket at the same time. How expensive can this be? less than leaving a rod on the highway is my bet.

Car not worth fixing, only paid $450 for it, it has 135,000 miles on it. I am looking at over $1500 to fix it, for that I can go buy another car at aution and drive it for a year or so. Just wondering why the engine operates better when cold then when hot.

With compression readings like that the engine needs to be rebuilt and the problem is likely due to piston rings. This could have been caused by oil coking or overheating, which can be connected.

The 3.0 is a great engine and for this one to have that kind of problem at 135k miles means that the previous owner(s) thrashed it.

My old Sable had the 3.0 and when sold at over 400k miles (still running/driving) the engine in that one was still carrying about 165 PSI per cylinder.

The gas/air mixture is richer or the metal expansion when it gets hotter.


Can we IMMEDIATELY ban this “3273701” user . . . ?

This is the CLASSIC case of a guy storming on the website, talking smack about the show, npr, Tommy and Ray, and even the regulars on the website

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Please? He’s been here 50 minutes with 1 post…and an extremely inflammatory one at that (full of crap as well)

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I’ll be blunt


Tommy and Ray ran a real auto repair shop for a long time. I would consider that professional

And there are PLENTY of “knowledgeable mechanics” on this website, who’ve been turning wrenches for decades, such as myself.

Don’t EVER expect any help from us

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion I guess … lol … And what does the number handle poster’s topic have to do with the OP’s topic about loss of a cylinder anyway? LOL … I’m guessing this particular poster is probably a 13 year old boy that hasn’t figured out how to get a girlfriend yet, so has plenty of time on their hands. Here’s a hint about getting a girlfriend btw. Speak politely and don’t insult her during the first conversation at the malt shop… :slight_smile:

Yeah but trolling for the sake of trolling? No time for that crap or blatant falsehoods

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