Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: There is something amiss with the performance of my car, but no warnings saying what.

asked by on

I'm always driving my car, so I know when something's wrong. When I start it up it idles really rough. I've replaced a ton of stuff already. My temperature gauge is running low. My heater blows out cold semi warm air. I'm constantly sneezing inside of my car. I have replaced all the filters. I have replace the blower motor. I have replaced the idler air valve thing. I have replaced the antifreeze coolant reservoir. I have replace the idler pulley, tensioner belt pulley, and serpentine belt. I have flushed the coolant out of my car twice. But my coolant is a brown looking color. I replaced a sensor that controls the lights. Recently had an oil change done. I live in my car so I travel everywhere. I have lived in some cold areas. And I start my car at night to warm up, about 3x a night. It runs really rough. It feels like something is dragging. I've had a full tune up as well.

My car has 159529 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The coolant always being brown indicates either very extensive corrosion in the cooling system, or possibly a head gasket issue. If the condition of the oil seems good (not milky or creamy), then it may just be extensive cooling system corrosion. I would try having the radiator removed and thoroughly cleaned, as well as the cooling system / engine block flushed while it’s out. Replace the thermostat at the same time. The rough running may very well be caused by a coolant temperature sensor that is not reading properly, either from being coated with corrosion, or simply an intermittent fault that is not setting the check engine light on. A certified technician can scan the system to located the cause of the rough running and inspect the cooling system.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. There is something amiss with the performance of my car, but no warnings saying what.

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: 2007 Ford Taurus...my wife was driving and Transmission overheating light came on and car engine cut off. We had it towed home and

You may have two or more issues. It sounds like there might be some sort of transmission failure, perhaps caused by a leak (low fluid leading to overheating), or perhaps a mechanical failure caused the leak. You also have a...

Q: Sounds like something is loose

If this all occurred right after the brakes were done, then it may be a backing plate hitting the rotor. This will cause the noise and can also cause some odor. It may also be a failing bearing which can...

Q: Urgent Car Pulling

The cause of the smoke seems to of went away a month ago. You may have got a stuck caliper that caused the smoke back then. If you think the pulling is due to the brakes then you should have...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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 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.