Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Flashing Check Engine Light is on. The engine shakes at idle and has low power.

asked by on

My car started to shakes like a a piston isnt firing? How would I know,if is a dead cylinder or a bad coil I recently replaced sparkplugs and oiil I know it could be mechanical or electronics so I would like to know which order should I tske to diagnose the problem

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, the first task is to extract the proble...

Hi, the first task is to extract the problem codes which are causing the Check Engine light to flash. Most auto parts stores will do this for free. I would suspect plug wires next, and check the condition of the distributor cap and rotor while checking the plug wires.

Pull one plug wire off at a time, then start the engine. If disconnecting the plug in one specific cylinder does NOT make a difference in how the engine runs, that plug wire is your first suspect. With the age of the car, and your mileage, replacing all of the wires is the right decision, even if only one wire is bad.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, I would recommend having a misfiring inspection completed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose this problem, get an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: P0171 and P0174 codes

For one, these codes are for a lean condition and are not O2 sensor specific codes. It is true that some of the newer Fords have an issue with the purge valve staying on, putting a vacuum on the system...

Q: Tips for maintaining my Honda after 100,000 miles?

The best recommendation I can give to any car owner is follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. The 100,000-mile service typically includes inspecting and, if necessary, replacing the fluids in your transmission, hydraulic brake system, and cooling system. Engine and cabin...

Q: Opinion on 2016 Toyota Highlander

You never see them advertised because they sell themselves. Why should they waste money? I've got a customer with a Highlander that's got 450,000 miles, original engine, original transmission, and the thing runs like a clock. Great vehicles. Go ahead...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.