Which cylinder is number 3? Location for most common engines

Engines have various configurations and layouts based on the number of cylinders and their arrangement. There are several cylinder engines, including single-cylinder engines, inline or straight, v engines, flat,opposed-piston W engines, X and U engines.

All these engines have different cylinders; for instance, some feature three cylinders, four cylinders, six-cylinder, and even eight cylinders. The engines have a different performance based on the number of cylinders. Since engines have varied configurations, the cylinders will often take a separate order. 

Which is cylinder number three in a 3-cylinder engine

Three-cylinder engines have their cylinders configured in a single row, with one being behind the subsequent one. However, those are arranged vertically like in modern vehicle engines and horizontal like in coach engines. In a typical 3 cylinder engine, cylinders are configured upright and in line with the crankpins arranged at an interval of one hundred and twenty degrees around the engine shaft.

Cylinders are numbered based on their position along with the crankshafts. The number 3 cylinder is located at the rear part between cylinder two and the camshafts in this engine. In other words, the rear cylinder, which is number three, is the #3.

number 3 cylinder on a 3-cylinder engine
number 3 is the one on the right

Where is the location of the number 3 cylinder in a 4 cylinder engine?

In a 4 cylinder engine, cylinders are arranged orderly and numbered from 1 to 4, that is 1-2-3-4. The numbering is usually indicated on the engine’s front part and near drive accessories. When you view the engine cylinder chamber, the frontest cylinder is always 1, followed by 2, 3, and 4. What brings the difference is the firing order in all the 4 cylinders in a 4 cylinder engine.

The engine configuration will also affect how firing will follow; for example, a particular engine can have a firing order of 1-3-2-4. The firing will start with cylinder 1, then cylinder 3, 2, and 4, respectively. Other 4 cylinder engines can have the firing order of 1-3-4-2, meaning ignition will start with cylinder 1, then 3, 4, and 2 ignite the last.

But cylinder 3 in 4 cylinder engine is numbered relative to its firing order.

number 3 cylinder on a 4-cylinder engine
the no. 3 cylinder is the second from the left

Location of the number 3 cylinder in an inline 6 engine

An inline 6 engine is designed to have 6 cylinders arranged in a line (usually straight). The arrangement of the six cylinders aligns well with the crankcase for easy mounting with pistons controlled by the crankshaft. These cylinders are numbered orderly, from 1 to 6, and it is easy to identify cylinder 3 from other cylinders.

Cylinder 3 is located between cylinders 2 and 4 and can be found in one of the banks, either right or left bank. There are two approaches you can use to know the exact location of each cylinder, positioning, and sequencing in banks, but most importantly, the front part of the engine will have the numbering of the cylinders.

number 3 cylinder on an inline 6r engine

Cylinder 3 in a v6 engine

Cylinders in a v6 engine are numbers in a series beginning from the #1 to the back of the engine on every cylinder bank. The engine is a six-cylinder piston, and its cylinders have a common crankshaft configured in a V layout.

Since the most forward cylinder in a v6 is the first cylinder, the number three-cylinder is the third forward most cylinder in that engine bank. This engine types use the left front cylinder as the cylinder number.

A more simple way to number the cylinders is, if a v6 is mounted horizontally, the 3rd cylinder is determined by numbering from the left cylinder located in the back, and if it’s vertically positioned, the 3rd cylinder is the one on the bottom left.

number 3 cylinder on a v6 engine
number 3 is the one from the top left

Which is cylinder number 3 in a v8 engine

As their name suggests, v8s have a total of eight cylinders located underneath every spark plug under the two valve covers on every half of the engine. But there is no standardized numbering used on the v8 engines. This is because every manufacturer has their system or just share the basic from other companies. Cylinder number 3 is on the right side, close to number five. 

Importance of number 3 cylinder

Cylinder 3 helps in fuel consumption efficiency as it requires lightweight, and there is law production of friction.

Problems with the number 3 cylinder 

Issues with misfire caused by fault spark plugs and failures in fuel injections, low compression, injection issues, and low pressure of fuel are common. The common error that can occur is the P0303, which indicates that there is a misfire on the number 3 cylinder.

Symptoms of a bad number 3 cylinder

  • Slow acceleration
  • Increasing of vibration
  • Rough acceleration
  • Engine changing sound 

Can a car be driven with a three-cylinder misfire?

Yes, but this is dangerous as it can lead to accidents and injuring those around. 

How to fix a three-cylinder misfire

  • Spark replacement
  • Replacing rotor and cap
  • Repair intake air leaks

Cost of a cylinder misfire

The cost of fixing the misfire depends on the cause of the misfire. But generally, it can cost about $150 $ to $1000 for new sparks and vacuum flasks respectively. It can even go up to $3000. 


The number 3 cylinder plays an essential role in your car as it marks the efficient use of fuel. It is easy to locate as most engines have their cylinders arranged in order and numbered on the front part. The most immediate is always the 1 cylinder, 2, 3 up to several engine cylinders.

However, cylinder 3 encounters some problems, such as misfire. Misfire is likely to reduce acceleration, change the engine’s sound, increase vibration, and even check engine light.

The most important thing is to consult the car manual because there you will find valuable info regarding your engine, but also you should check your engine with a good OBD scanner because it can help and guide you too.

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