I threw a rod and I'm afraid my engine is going to blow up or something

I was wondering if it was possible to cap off a cylinder or two and run my six cylinder car on four or five cylinders just to give it a little more life until I can replace the car?

  • Threw a rod through the block or what are we talking about Oct 29, 2017 at 17:45
  • I wouldn’t recommend this also as it may have many effects like throwing the balance of the engine off, firing order etc Oct 29, 2017 at 17:45
  • A car did race with a broken piston but the skirt was enough to hold the rod were it should be and the remains of the piston drilled to reduce pumping losses - back in the late 30's or so, inline 6 but won't work sadly for you.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 29, 2017 at 18:11
  • 1
    I slowly drove a car with a missing piston about 10 miles; the bare rod was doing bad things to the cylinder wall , but the engine was already junk. Olds V-8 , old one , about 5L. Jan 1, 2020 at 16:42
  • This is the dumbest thing I've ever read
    – 000
    Feb 7, 2021 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


In a word:


If you've actually thrown a rod, that means there's already a lot of destruction going on. A thrown rod means a portion of the rod is being thrown around inside the engine. As you run the engine, it will continue to cause more destruction. In almost every case, if you've thrown a rod, complete engine replacement (at a minimum, most likely a shortblock) is needed to fix your issues. Even if you do run the engine (if you can run the engine), most likely it's not going to go very far anyway.

  • 2
    Start rebuilding. Oct 29, 2017 at 17:55
  • Yeah kinda what I expected to hear :-( I was a hundred miles from home when it happened, kinda sounds like a pissed off dude with a machine gun is under the hood. I had to drive it home like that. It's the only transportation my mom and I have so I was kinda just hoping. Thanks for the input, Ill... IDK, figure something out. Thanks again Oct 29, 2017 at 19:55
  • 2
    I would bet you didn't throw a rod, but most likely spun a bearing. Much less damage, but still shouldn't be driven on. A thrown rod will usually punch a hole through the side of the block or oil pan, leak fluids everywhere, and will not run anymore ... period. A rod knock will make plenty of noise. If you drove it home, I'd suspect this is your problem, not what you suspected in your question. As an aside, if this answers your question, please consider selecting it as the answer and an uptick vote to codify. Oct 29, 2017 at 20:15
  • Thank you thats what i thought answer was very helpful
    – Mrs D
    Oct 18, 2018 at 18:55

I was in the automotive repair business for 20 years. The simple answer is NO! However, it sounds as if the vehicle is still running (if the author is merely "afraid" it will "blow up" at a future time, and is considering working on it to get it to "last longer"). In that case, I'm wondering what has actually happened to the vehicle.

This question makes no sense. It's not equivalent to an airline pilot who has 4 engines, and one fails in the air; he can still cut the power to that engine, rendering it useless, feathering the props, and still make adequate headway, and be able to land safely. He will STILL have to repair/replace the failed engine as soon as he lands. He will NOT make another flight with only 3 engines working. The notion is ludicrous.

As is the notion of "capping a cylinder or two." [e.g., A range top has 4 independent burners, you don't need to have all 4 working and on to fry an egg, yet, an oven is a singular closed unit.] The author might spend some time studying the configuration of an engine and then decide if it is a number of independent cylinders or a singular closed unit.

This is an amazing question. I would be interested in watching someone "cap off a cylinder or two." I would be particularly interested in knowing what type of products they plan to employ to get the job done; hoping it does not involve duct tape or welding.


You can but not for very long, the combination of metal in the oil and a completely unbalanced rotating assembly will ensure a motors death in a measure of seconds not minutes. A decent cut in one of the pistons will cause a motor to shake it self apart, can you imagine the stress of a motor spinning at 4k missing an entire piston!


  • Other then a link off site what does this answer offer not already present? Oct 19, 2018 at 20:47
  • @JamesJenkins the specific reason why destruction is imminent(metal in oil+unbalanced rotating assembly) and i really love that video lol
    – DatsunZ1
    Oct 20, 2018 at 3:10

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