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Hi all,
A few weeks ago, my car just suddenly developed a misfire on 3 cylinders. It drove fine up until that point but suddenly jerked and then stuttered the last 500yards to work (couldnt get it over 15mph after that). OBDII says cylinder 1, 3 & 4 misfiring and "Multi-cylinder misfire".
Now, from what I am aware there are several options that could be the cause, ranging from compression issues to electrical faults but when I toom it to a garage, they heard a rattle on the engine (that has been there since I had the car) and said they didn't think it would be cheap to fix. Given that the rattle usually settles down after 30 secs to a minute, I dont think it is likely to be related but I may be wrong.
Now, here's the kicker. The engine starts and idles nicely for anything up to a minute and then the revs start to fluctuate and the EML comes on, another 30 seconds to a minute and the "service" light (car with a spanner in the roof) comes on. If I turn it off and restart it, the exact same thing happens with almost no difference in the timing between it starting up and the fault starting to occur. It DOES drive up to 15mph (1st gear only) but then loses all capability to accelerate (I managed to drive the last ½ mile home from the garage after my tow rope snapped on the way home). I was considering a compression test but have since realised that if it was a compression fault, surely the fault would start as soon as I start the engine, not up to a minute after the engine is running? It is possible that this might be sensor glitch/electrical (sparks for example)?

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Multi Cyl misfire on these petrol engines. First step is New Coil pack and the correct NGK-R spark plugs.

Be careful on the coilpacks are there are different versions for the 1.6 and 1.8. Try and get a genuine DELCO one, not a cheapy no name Chinese unit.
 
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