By December 31, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Car Runs Bad, Engine Shakes

Hi, I know you can’t tell me anything step by step, but if you could help me narrow down what the problem is, then I can figure out how to fix it. I have a manuel on my car on how to fix it when something goes wrong, but there is nothing in it about what the current problem is and I’ve looked online and called people and can’t seem to find anything helpful.

First of all I’m only 21 and I’m a girl and when I try to talk to a mechanic, he won’t tell me anything, just “put it in my shop and I can try to fix it” Well, I’ve worked on my car since I’ve had it and I’m trying to avoid putting it in the shop, I’ve fixed many major problems on my car perfectly fine by myself.

Here’s the deal: I have a hyundai (it is a standard). It was running rough, the engine shaking very bad and almost going dead at stop signs. When I was on the interstate and went up a hill, it would lose power and my mph would decrease quite a bit.

I thought maybe it was my spark plugs because it has done that before, so I checked them and they were pretty coroaded. I put new ones on and it’s still running rough, but it IS getting spark. The spark plugs are definately getting fire so there is something else making my car run rough (and I don’t drive it hard, I take care of my car). I was wondering if the timing belt somehow got off.

The last time I put a new timing belt on my car was 6 years ago. I know it can be anything from the timing belt to something as simple as a hose. I just can’t find any information in my hyundai scoupe manuel or online to help my narrow it down.

I don’t want to keep replacing everything that doesn’t need to be replaced because I’m in college, I don’t have much money and I know if I just replace everything I think it could be, it’ll be the last thing I replace. I really cannot afford to put my car in the shop. If you can give me any information to help me narrow it down to what the problem is, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank You for your time,

Becca M.


Yo Becca

How are you today? My first thought would be you might have a bad spark plug wire, since spark plug wires tend to “fail” under heavy load…like going up hill, or on heavy acceleration. I would assume you have an engine miss due to a bad plug wire. I would also want to look at the spark plugs to see if one or more of them had engine oil on them….which could indicate something more serious like a blown head gasket, or a worn out motor.

A compression test on the cylinders would determine if that was the case. BUT, spark plug wires are cheap….and easy to install, so I would rule that out first before we jump to conclusions.

Other things that I would check

  • Clean the throttle body, follow the fresh air hose from the air cleaner box to the engine, remove from the engine and clean the dirt and carbon build up around the metal vane inside.
  • Make sure you don’t have a vacuum leak under the hood….with the engine running, listen for a hissing noise and look for any rubber hose connections that might have come loose or broken off.


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."