Q: My Check Engine Light is on and my engine starts to shake when accelerating.

asked by on

my engine light comes on and my engine starts shaking when I accelerate. someone said that the cylinder was losing compression but I should change the spark plugs.

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. Don’t change anything until you’ve determined the cause of the Check Engine Light and shaking. First retrieve the codes that may be stored; most likely these are misfire codes so investigate the cause of the misfire; simply changing spark plugs may not repair the problem. It could very well be mechanical and a compression test would clear the air on this part.

However, you could have a failing ignition coil and this will definitely give you what you’re experiencing. Without the codes, there is really no true starting point. I strongly suggest acquiring a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to perform an inspection to determine why the Check Engine Light is on and replace the ignition coil if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My Check Engine Light is on and my engine starts to shake when accelerating.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: After hard brake (down hill, 45mph) violent shaking occurs for about 5 miles, then resolves on its own. Is this a brake problem

This is most likely a braking issue. This may be caused by a collapsed or faulty brake line or otherwise lack of hydraulic pressure getting to one of the brake calipers. When this happens, this means that one of the...

Q: Loud noise from engine plus vibrations & shaking

Hello. The excessive vibration may be due to a faulty motor or transmission mount. The vibration likely can be coming from  the braking system as well. Warped rotors commonly cause such vibrations when stopping.  The loud noise coming from the...

Q: Ongoing issues with misfires

With the engine light being on, the very first step is to have the vehicle scanned for diagnostic troubleshooting codes. These codes will tell you what system is malfunctioning and steer you in a general direction for inspection. Misfires are...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...