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Can a Bad Battery Cause a Misfire?

Can a Bad Battery Cause a Misfire?

Engine misfires can be a huge issue and dealing with this as a driver can become frustrating. 

Your engine won’t receive the power it needs, the car won’t accelerate properly, and the engine can lose power. 

But is a bad battery the only reason behind causing misfires?

A bad battery can absolutely be the reason behind your car misfiring since it controls everything electric on the car. Batteries can suppress charges to the ignition coils, cause an issue with fuel delivery to the injectors, and a whole lot of other things.

But simply having a bad battery isn’t the only reason why your car might be misfiring.

There are several different reasons which can cause a battery to misfire. 

This article will inform you about the different causes behind an engine misfiring, and whether the battery is the main cause or not. 

So, keep on reading!

What are the main causes behind an engine misfiring?

1. Ignition system

The ignition system handles the starting process of the car, and any component in that system can cause an engine to misfire.

This can be the car’s control module, a fault in the wiring, faulty spark plugs, or the ignition coils.

If your spark plugs are worn out or damaged, they can easily cause a misfire, causing the car not to run properly. Regularly changing and cleaning the spark plugs can help you avoid this issue.

2. Faulty fuel delivery

The combustion chamber in the car combines air and fuel and ignites it in order to create the necessary energy to run a car. 

When the amount of fuel is either too much or too little, some of it will leak into the exhaust and combust upon leaving the car, causing a “pop”.

This means that either the fuel injectors aren’t working perfectly or a vacuum leak within the car. 

Improper tuning can also cause the car to misfire, and lead to the car coughing or making popping noises while driving.

A low car battery can also lead to a diminished fuel injection rate, along with improper timing of the fuel injector opening, leading to a misfire.

3. Faulty wiring

If the wiring has worn out insulated coating, it might be causing a misfire. 

The bare wire might be touching the engine, causing sparking and misfiring.

4. Faulty Sensors

Newer cars have several sensors that have replaced the traditional fuel delivery methods and car controlling. 

While this is rare, faulty sensors might be causing improper fuel delivery, leading to misfires and backfiring. 

5. Broken distributor cap

A distributor cap sends electrical pulses to the spark plugs, which ignites the fuel. 

A malfunctioning distributor cap can cause improper timing to occur, leading to fuel leakage within the exhaust, causing misfires.

When do misfires occur?

Identifying the situation when misfires occur can help you pinpoint what the cause is. Misfires usually occur when the car is being driven and is being accelerated.

You may experience slower acceleration. 

This can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re on a steep slope, where the car won’t be able to drive upwards.

Another situation when misfires can occur is when the car is idling. This is usually due to improper fuel injection as mentioned before. 

While this issue may not register on the car’s diagnostic log, it is still good practice to have a mechanic look at your car. 

The underlying cause can be with the spark plugs as well, and having your fuel pump, spark plugs, or injectors changed might help solve the issue.

Can misfiring be harmful to my car?

Yes! Misfiring can be very harmful to your engine in the long term. The improper fuel injection can cause the engine to run over time, overheating it. 

The catalytic converter can also be harmed greatly, along with the engine itself. If misfiring isn’t fixed, it may lead to the engine being harmed as well in the long term.

Signs of a failing battery

While a dying battery can be a probable cause behind the engine misfiring, that shouldn’t be the only issue you should be worried about. 

A failing battery can cause a whole plethora of other problems, which we’ve listed below.

1. Ignition failure

A dead battery won’t create the necessary energy to start the car, which might leave you stranded. While a faulty alternator might also cause this issue, a failing battery is usually the main cause. 

This can be solved by having your car battery connected to another car’s battery and powering it enough to start the car, so the alternator can take over.

Upon starting the car, if you hear a clicking sound, and the car doesn’t start, the battery cannot send the electrical current to the starter.

2. Dying headlights

Dying headlights can be a huge safety hazard, especially if you’re driving at night. 

If your headlights seem dimmer than usual, this is a huge sign that your car battery is failing, and you either need to get it charged, or have it replaced.

3. Backfiring

Backfiring usually occurs when the car is started, because of accumulated fuel that ignites upon starting and causes an audible pop sound. 

This is another issue that a failing battery can cause, and you need to get it looked at!

4. Weaker or nonresponsive driver controls

If your battery is about to die, you will notice that your window controls are much slower to respond, and might not respond at all. 

Along with this, the locking controls and push start button might also not be responsive at all. This means you need to get your battery looked at.

Final Thoughts on Bad Battery Misfires

While a battery can certainly be a reason behind the car misfiring, there are a whole lot of other things that can contribute to the issue you’re facing.

The best advice would be to have your car looked at, so a professional can solve this issue before it causes permanent damage to your car’s engine.

We hope this article was helpful, and that your car gets the help it needs. Happy driving!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!