How To Do A Cylinder Balance Test (1.6L Toyota Corolla)

You Found The ‘Dead’ Cylinder, What Next?

Finding out which cylinder, in your 1.6L Toyota Corolla (1.6L Geo Prizm) is misfiring (‘dead’), is half the battle in diagnosing the exact cause of the problem.

The next step is to find out if the misfire is due to a lack of spark, or a lack of fuel, or a lack of compression.

My recommendation to you, based on my experience, is to check 3 specific areas:

  1. Check the ignition system:
    • Check that each spark plug wire is feeding spark to the spark plug with a dedicated spark tester.
    • Check that the spark plugs are not worn out, cracked/broken, or swimming in oil from a defective spark plug tube seal.
  2. Check the fuel injectors:
    • Resistance test each fuel injector to see if any one of them is fried internally.
    • Check the fuel injector activation signal with Noid light.
  3. Check the compression of the ‘dead’ cylinder and make sure it's ok.

The problem will reside in one of the engine components above (that has failed). You can find the recommended tests explained step-by-step in the following tutorials:

Where To Buy The Tools You Need

Check out the following links and comparison shop the specific tools you'll need to diagnose the misfire (rough idle) on your 1.6L Toyota Corolla (1.6L Geo Prizm):

The best place to comparison shop and buy is online. I now buy all of my tools online to save.

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Toyota Vehicles:

  • Corolla 1.6L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

Geo Vehicles:

  • Prizm 1.6L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997