Have you replaced the plug wires? They are the most common reason for this type of problem. In fact, if it is dark where you are, open the hood, mist the engine with water and start it. If you see sparking from the plug wires where they are near metal, they are bad. Regardless, if you never replaced them they are due.
As far as the check engine light, you can have the computer scanned at a nationally recognized parts store (in most cases for free). If the light has been on, there will be a code storred in the computer to identify where the problem is coming from. If I had to guess, I would say you will get a "Random Misfire" code. However, it could be something different. Have it scanned to make sure. Also, try the plug wires and if it has a distributor, replace the cap and rotor too.
Let me know what you find.
Friday, February 27th, 2009 AT 7:02 PM