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I was coming out of a stop and my car started shaking when I would try to accelerate, and running poorly. The engine light had been on for about a year with not really any signs of any trouble, other than slight jerking when accelerating out of a turn or a stop. But not very much. It starts fine, and it idles in park. But I can't give it much gas because it shakes more the more gas I give it. It struggles going uphill because of this, and I can't really go faster than 30 or 35. I haven't drove it since driving it back home when the trouble started. Could this be something simple like the crankshaft position sensor or bad spark plug? Or does it sound more like a major transmission or fuel line problem?
 

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I was coming out of a stop and my car started shaking when I would try to accelerate, and running poorly. The engine light had been on for about a year with not really any signs of any trouble, other than slight jerking when accelerating out of a turn or a stop. But not very much. It starts fine, and it idles in park. But I can't give it much gas because it shakes more the more gas I give it. It struggles going uphill because of this, and I can't really go faster than 30 or 35. I haven't drove it since driving it back home when the trouble started. Could this be something simple like the crankshaft position sensor or bad spark plug? Or does it sound more like a major transmission or fuel line problem?
Crankshaft position sensor will prevent it from starting, so that's not it. It's only guessing until you find out what codes are being thrown. The list is too long and the codes will narrow it down. Some auto parts stores will read them for free. Once you get them; post them here and we can start helping you.
 

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You've had an engine light on for a year and are just now getting it checked out? Wow. This could be anything from a sensor to a clogged cat con. Get back to us on the codes.
 

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Well, I thought I was gonna go. But now I can't get it to start. It tries to start, but it just feels and sounds like it's clogged or flooded. So maybe it is something like the converter or something to do with the fuel line. I haven't noticed smelling any fuel though. I'll try to start it again.
 

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Still no go. I didn't want to run the battery all the way down so I gave up on starting it. But the converter would make sense, cause it did feel like the shaking was from underneath the car in the middle all the way to the back end. And shook when I tried to accelerate. Not much power. I guess if the converter is the problem, my next question would be can they be fixed or do they have to be replaced altogether? I tried to check prices for them on google, but it pulled up different looking parts ranging from $250 to over $400.
 

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Oh yeah, I don't know why I didn't think of this when I first posted. I had gotten the message "gascap" once within the past few weeks. It only stayed on til I turned the car off, and didn't come back on the next time I started it. I looked on Advance Auto and saw that the converters were around $70 for my Caliber. I assume that is the entire converter and not just a part of it.
 

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You're wasting money by buying stuff you don't know to be the problem. You could spend well over $1000 only to find a $1 item was the problem. If you can't get the car started, and you don't want to spend (the well spent) money on a code reader; then you are better off having it towed to a mechanic. You are shooting in the dark, and as I posted earlier; the list is long and without codes you're wasting money and time. You'd be better off to spend that $70 for a Cat on an OBDII code reader.
 

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Try loosening the gas cap and putting it back on. Make sure it clicks. A faulty gasket on it or it being loose may be all that's wrong with it. The lights on the dash come on for a reason. They're not there just to be ignored. Unless you really don't take care of your car at all and have a couple of hundred thousand miles on it, I doubt that it's the cat con. Maybe you should also try a reset of the TIPM. Disconnect BOTH battery cables and hold them together for 10 minutes. If you don't want to hold them, tape them together. After 10 minutes, put them back on, making sure both the cables and the battery posts are clean and tight and then see if it'll start. If it does, haul ass down to Advance and get them to read the codes for you. Write them down and post them here.
 

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Got it fixed.

It turned out to be some bad plugs, and a bad ignition coil. Runs great now.
hello, I’m having these same exact issues with my 07 caliber, literally the same exact issues you’ve described, so you’re saying to just buy new spark plugs and a new ignition coil and to have the mechanic install these parts for a quick fix?
 

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I'd replace all plugs and all coils.You can buy them and install them yourself, saving a bunch of money.

Yet... I've had this problem on a VW Passat. Replacement coils randomly failed within their warranty. Three times. Parts from Autozone. So you might get some bad batches.
 

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hello, I’m having these same exact issues with my 07 caliber, literally the same exact issues you’ve described, so you’re saying to just buy new spark plugs and a new ignition coil and to have the mechanic install these parts for a quick fix?
If you are looking to get your fix as cheaply as possible, then I would not do that. Any competent mechanic can diagnose which, if any, of your cylinders are misfiring in less than one hour. If they find that one or more cylinders are misfiring, then you can have them replaced with confidence.

If you just want to replace them all preventatively, that is good, and that is what I did, but if your only goal is to fix the problem cheaply, then your best bet is to have the car diagnosed by a mechanic.

Alternative to a mechanic, you can buy a good code reader and check for misfires and otherwise try to diagnose the issue yourself.
 
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