Loss of power and running rough

Tiny
XOMUSIQUEXO11
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 HYUNDAI ELANTRA
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 166,000 MILES
The problem I am about to mention only happens sometimes, but is getting worse and happening more often as time passes, and always happens when I run the air conditioner. So usually starts when I am accelerating but does sometimes happen at normal speeds(40-50 mph) car will completely lose power, it shakes, it sputters, it jerks and I cannot even get the car to drive over like 15 mph and while this is happening the check engine light will then go on and start flashing. After I stop it will turn solid and stop flashing. Usually later or the next day the check engine light will go off until it happens again. Yesterday it just started stalling not while driving but while stopped and one time it stalled immediately after I turned on the air conditioner. While its sputtering etc. The rpm's will rise just a little up and down. Any advice is greatly appreciated thank you so much!
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 AT 4:39 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What has been done so far to solve this? Has a mechanic been involved or have you just continued driving? Have the diagnostic fault codes been read and recorded? If so, what are the code numbers?

First of all, you are supposed to stop the engine when the check engine light is flashing. The flashing light means too much unburned fuel is going into the exhaust system where it will overheat and damage the expensive catalytic converter. The first thing a mechanic will do is read the diagnostic fault codes. Those will indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis, or the unacceptable condition. Any time the check engine light has been on, there will be a fault code in memory. There can be codes stored in memory even when the check engine light was never on.

If there are no fault codes pointing to a sensor circuit or other suspect, the mechanic can use a scanner to view live data during a test-drive. If he can get the problem to occur, most scanners have a "record" feature that allows him to record a few seconds of information that can be played back slowly later to see what changed. The problem is there will not be anything to point to a suspect circuit if the engine is running normally. That is where the fault codes are valuable clues.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 AT 4:49 PM
Tiny
XOMUSIQUEXO11
  • MEMBER
When the problem first started I had the code read and unfortunately I cannot remember the code, but I do know it was a misfire of some sort. I did not know about running the engine and the flashing check engine light. I have not had a mechanic look at it nor have I had any work done. I am just a girl living on my own going to college and maintaining a part time job for rent and bills. Money is extremely tight, but I really need my car to get me to school and work. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 AT 5:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The people at many auto parts stores will read codes for you for free, but remember, they are in the parts-selling business. Fault codes will never ever say to replace a part or that one is bad. Here is the link to the list of codes and their descriptions:

https://www.2carpros.com/trouble_codes/obd2

and as you can see, they only point to the circuit that needs to be diagnosed. If your college or a nearby community college has an automotive program, they can read codes for you too, and they might be willing to work on your car, but you have to understand they are taking work away from the area shops, so they will only take in cars with engine performance problems when that is what they are studying. They wont look at your car during "brakes" class, for example. Also, they have to squeeze your car in when time allows between class periods, so you might have to leave it for a few days. If they can do anything, it will cost a lot less than going to a shop.

Regardless where you take it, reading and recording the fault codes is the place to start.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 AT 5:28 PM

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