Q: Engine light on. Problems accelerating

asked by on January 14, 2017

I have been driving this car for 5 years and it has had this issue for almost the entire time. It has high mialage.

It feels like the car does not want to accelerate and it shakes on and off then it goes back to normal. If I don't drive the car for a few days engine light goes off and drives smoothly.

Recently I had the car parked for three months while on vacation and all seemed fine but after traveling 40 miles round trip daily to and from work the problem came back.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, Shaking or vibration may be caused by many different things such as faulty spark plugs, poor fuel pressure or misfires. Other things such as a faulty idle air control valve may cause the engine idle to drop below the normal idling RPM which may also cause the motor to shake or vibrate more than normal. This creates a loss of power that resonates throughout the motor additionally causing other problems with ignition and fuel timing. Anytime a misfire is caused, this causes an imbalance in the motor which will cause the motor to shake or vibrate. The other issue that may cause this type of shaking or vibration is a broken engine mount. Engine mounts are generally rubber mounted braces that hold the engine in place to the chassis of the car. When these break or become weak or faulty, this may cause the engine to vibrate heavily.

Generally, the check engine light comes on when something fairly serious is going on with the vehicle. This can happen for many different reasons such as a faulty mass air flow sensor, a faulty O2 sensor, a bad catalytic converter, bad spark plugs or wires and many other reasons. Due to the wide range of possibilities for the check engine light to come on, the best and most efficient way to narrow down the scope of what may be causing this is to have the vehicle hooked up to a scanning tool to download any potential fault codes that may have registered in the computer. This will allow a mechanic to determine more specifically what to look for in diagnosing your vehicle. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle to determine what may be causing your check engine light to come on.

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