Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Rough idling, shaking, sluggish engine

asked by on

When I start my car, it shakes and the check engine light flashes on the dash. I restart the car and everything is fine. The next time I start it up, the same thing happens. The car idles roughly. The check engine light goes on. The engine seems to be losing power during driving as well. It happens in the second gear. Also, the dashboard shows 12 volts on average with the gauge moving around. Do you have any idea what could be the problem? Thank you in advance.

Hello. It sounds like there may be a misfiring condition in multiple cylinders. A misfire means that one or more of the spark plugs in the vehicle’s engine are not firing properly. This will cause the engine to run rough and lose power. It will be necessary to have the check engine light and misfire inspected, as well as the battery and charging system, by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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

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!

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: No start

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 1999 Buick Park Avenue. You may have a bad ignition module and coils if you find that you are getting a crank and cam sensor, and no fire from coils. You should...

Q: What would you consider as a tune up?

A car is a mechanical device that wears out in a predictable pattern. Therefore, tune-ups are NOT determined by personal predilection. If someone tells you, "In my opinion, a tune up consists of....", run for the exits! In other words,...

Q: The Check Engine Light came on, I hooked it up to my scanner and got the code P0308 (cylinder #8 misfire).

An easy way to isolate if the ignition coil is the problem is to swap the #8 coil with another cylinder. Swap the #8 coil with the coil from the adjacent cylinder, then clear the codes. If the code remains...

Related articles

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 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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...