Loss of about a quart of oil and bogged down engine

Tiny
00MUSTANG
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD MUSTANG
  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 67,000 MILES
Hello,

I was driving today for about two and a half hours today in snowy conditions with my car. Everything was running fine gauges showed that everything was good until I got to the toll booth. I noticed that the car had dropped in revs when I was paying the toll and then the check engine light came on and started blinking.
I was still on the thruway so I was trying to get the car off the road quickly to see if I could find out what was wrong. Then the engine started to pulse like it had power, didn't have power, had power, didn't, etc. I also noticed a burning smell as well.
I got to a gas station and checked my oil and I had lost about a quart. I had no idea why, maybe burning it, but not sure. I filled it up to operating levels and limped my car to my apartment. I'm not sure what wrong with it but it is still blinking the engine light at me and pulsing. Also sounds like the exhaust is staggered almost like a four stroke dirt bike slowly putting when I go to take off. My rev meter jumps around 1000 then down to 550-600 and engine sounds bad. Jumps down especially when I come to a stop. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Concerned car owner
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 10:23 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The flashing Check Engine light indicates the most serious condition. Too much raw fuel is going into the exhaust system and is going to overheat and damage the catalytic converter. You're supposed to stop the engine as soon as possible to let the exhaust system cool down. Based on the snowy conditions, my best guess is the spark plug wires are deteriorated and they got wet. If the spark voltage arcs to ground instead of firing the spark plug, the raw fuel will go into the exhaust system. That would cause the poor running condition too.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 10:39 PM
Tiny
00MUSTANG
  • MEMBER
Hello,

Thanks for your help. If the spark wires are wet should I just let the car sit and replace the plugs/ spark plug wires. Or should this problem correct itself as the weather gets better?

Thanks again for the quick response
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 10:44 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Just allowing it to dry out might get the engine running okay again but it doesn't fix the problem. At least you wouldn't want to pay a mechanic to solve the problem that way. If there is a misfire due to an arcing spark plug wire, you will usually be able to see it and hear it but you have to do that before it dries off. The other problem is whenever arcing takes places, a carbon track is left behind. That occurs in distributor caps too. Once that carbon track develops, it will continue to conduct the spark current to ground and the misfire will still be there. The proper repair is to replace the spark plugs and wires.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
00MUSTANG
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for all your help, I will replace the spark plugs and wires as soon as my friend can drive me over to the auto parts store.

I am definitely recommending this site to all of my friends, family, and car guys.

Thanks for all the help!
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 11:16 PM

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