Engine trouble: misfiring, shaking

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This is my first time here. I joined up because I'm having some engine trouble in my 96 Honda Accord. Just hoping someone could help me out. The engine sometimes misfires or jumps forward randomly or pulls back while I'm driving.

Last week I decided to replace the spark plugs. Before then, when the engine was idle or stopped at a stoplight, sometimes it would shake (not rough shaking, just like high-idle kind of thing).

I decided to replace the air filter and when I did, that seemed to help increase engine power. But the shaking of the engine continued, so I decided to replace the spark plugs. It is a 4 cylinder engine.

When I pulled the ignition things that plug into the spark plugs out, the 2 and 3 ones had some oil on them. I took an air gun and made sure to blow all the oil out of the cylinder tubes as well as made sure that spark plug igniter tubes were free of oil.

Initially, the engine seemed to run smoother. However, after about two days, sometimes the engine would shake more violently and harder randomly while I was at a stoplight. It would be random...like smooth, and then a pop, and then smooth, and then pop pop, and so on. (note the engine didnt make any unusual noises, by pop i mean it shook or misfired or whatever it does [im sort of new]).

It just seemed to get worse and then it got to the point where I was really worried about driving it because it kept shaking more and more and I didn't want to damage the engine.

So last Saturday I took it to the auto shop and I decided (with some mechanics' advice) to replace the gaskets in the engine. So I opened up the engine cover and replaced all the rubber gaskets lining the cylinders and the one that goes around the perimeter of the engine. I cleaned up all the oil around there and put it back together. Well, again, initially everything seemed good and smooth. But after a day, the same engine misfiring started to happen again.

I'm wondering what could be causing this or what needs to be replaced, and I'm wondering why it seems that it only happens sometimes.

Sometimes I'm driving and it's fine, while other times, the engine keeps choking on itself. Anyone know?

posted by  car_and_driver

I am pretty sure the 96 Accord is distributorless, and thusly uses a coil pack with the spark plugs. Find where your spark plug wires come from and that should be the coil pack. I believe the at home spark plug test works from the coil pack as well. That if you unplug one of the wires and no different sound is made then you know that plug is not getting a spark, try testing the 4 wires at the coil pack. Anyways that could be a possible source of the problem. Just a suggestion.

Also if you have a distributor then perhaps that is the problem. Or the distributor cap.

posted by  Flame Roller

I could give you some information, advice, pointers, diagnoses step, but I think the safer thing to do here is to tell you to take it to a shop and let them handle it based on your apparent knowledge of cars.

This paragraph, the terminology has utterly confused me.

posted by  DodgeRida67

i am new to the forum and i am joining to learn a little more about cars and hopefully discuse about my car problems. and i drive a nissian sentra 96 so yes i do have lot problems with that car, i should have bought a damn chevy.

but anyways i have the same problem as car and drive. i couldn't describe it better myself. my car stalled couple times before while idleing and than it got worst and started doing everything car and driver describe. i am taking the car to the mechanic tommorow but something tells me thats not going to get this problem solved so please feel free to elaborate on this as much as you like. but i don't think this could be spark pluges my guess would be vaccum leak but who the hell konws :banghead: so please write more on this forum :driving:

posted by  wheelsonice

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