This paper presents the theory and experimental performance of a system for detecting engine misfires in automobiles. The method is potentially suitable for meeting the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements under On Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) rules.The instrumentation for the present method measures (noncontacting) crankshaft instantaneous angular speed. Highly efficient signal processing algorithms permit detection of each individual misfire.The performance of the present method is expressed in terms of error rates made in detecting individual misfires. Normal operating conditions yield error rates under 10-4. Under worst case conditions consisting of light load, high RPM and rough roads with the torque converter in lockup are under 10-3.