In recent years considerable interest has been placed on the detection of engine misfire. As part of the California Air Resources Board on-board diagnostics regulations for 1994 model year vehicles, misfire should be monitored continuously by the engine diagnostic system. It is expected that the next generation of on-board diagnostics regulations will demand monitoring of partial misfire as well. Several solutions to the misfire detection problem have been proposed and demonstrated for the detection of complete misfires. However, the performance of these methods in the presence of partial misfire is not altogether clear. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the performance of various misfire detection indices, all based on a measurement of crankshaft angular velocity, in the presence of partial misfire. The proposed algorithms are compared to a standard based on a measurement of indicated pressure. Experimental work conducted on a production engine confirms that it is possible to apply these algorithms for the detection of partial misfires.