Q: Rough idle and sputtering at times.

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We bought our vehicle used in July. All of a sudden it started having a rough idle and some hesitation with acceleration. The chech engine light came on. We took it to auto zone and let them hook it up. It showed #2 misfire. We went ahead and bought new spark plugs, wires and coil pack and had it all placed. It didn't help. We then replaced fuel filter. Helped for a couple of days, then it started again. The computer at auto zone said the same thing. The computer at advanced auto also said misfire on 2 and low battery voltage. When it occasionally idles rough it feels like a diesel bouncing . what could it be? Could it be the battery?

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Engine misfires can be caused by many different problems, but there are a few suspects that occur more than others. Generally, misfires are caused by either a spark or fuel issue or in cases, a combination of both. Spark related problems generally will result from things like ignition coils, crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, spark plug wires or ignition modules not working properly. When the misfire results from a fuel related issue, this is commonly related to a lean fuel condition (lack of sufficient fuel supply to the motor). Fuel related misfires can be caused by many different things such as low fuel pressure, faulty or dirty fuel injectors, a faulty O2 sensor, a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor, a faulty or dirty idle air control valve or a vacuum or intake leak. When the fuel supplied to the combustion chamber is insufficient, this results in an ignition (spark) that is igniting a less than balanced load of fuel and air. This results in a misfire or an explosion in the cylinder that is much less powerful than the other cylinders. This creates a loss of power that resonates throughout the motor additionally causing other problems with ignition and fuel timing. Due to the number of different things that may cause an engine misfire, the quickest and easiest way to diagnose this type of problem is to hook the vehicle up to a scanning tool which will download any potential fault codes that may have registered in the vehicle’s computer as a result of the poor running condition. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your misfiring problem.

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