Question about 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE CA Value

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Check engine light came on and began shaking everytime I start up

I was driving home one day and suddenly my check engine light started blinking and my engine was shaking. I couldn't accelerate quite right, I was only two miles or so from home and I didn't think I was going to make it but thankfully I did. It still starts up but the engine visibly and audibly shakes. I haven't driven it since but I'm going to drive it to a mechanic either tomorrow or the day after since tomorrow's a holiday. I was hoping if anyone could help me out with this problem before I take it in and probably get some outrageous inflated price for fixing. I have a pontiac bonneville SE, 1996. Had it for a year almost 190k miles on it, and haven't had any engine problems the entire time. I do regular oil changes, all fluids are filled, I may be due for a transmission fluid change and maybe a tune up. I don't know how well the previous owner took care of it.

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  • danasia16 May 24, 2009

    I have no idea... not the year I've had it. Can I buy these cheap, is this part of a tune-up? I was hoping to get a tune up and a transmission fluid change. Also hoping to purchase parts I can to save some money. I have no idea how well the car was taken care of before I received it.


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When was the last time the spark plugs and wires were replaced?

Posted on May 24, 2009

  • Jason May 28, 2009

    Change the spark plugs and wires. This is part of a tune-up. If that doesn't help at all, take your car some place like autozone and get an engine diagnostics and find out what the trouble code is.


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Jun 18, 2012 | 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 Sedan

1 Answer

The other day my car's CEL and cruise lights were blinking plus my engine was shaking to the point where I couldn't drive. The acceleration was also very strange.I had a friend do a diagnostic scan...

You didn't mention whether you knew what the P0303 code indicated but it means that you had a misfire on #3 cylinder and on any 4-banger, it will shake pretty hard. There are several potential sources for this; a cracked or severely fouled spark plug, a defective ignition wire to the plug and a sticky injector are probably the most common.
Once the RPMs are increased, the shaking may not be as noticeable but it will definitely impact acceleration and fuel consumption.
Our Outback is a couple years earlier than yours but I replaced the ignition wiring a couple of years ago.
To check these you need either a spark gauge which can be found at any auto parts store for a couple of dollars or a multimeter to measure the wires' resistance which should be in the range of ~7,000-12,000 Ohms. The latter can also be had at parts stores (don't spend more than $20; the higher cost will bring little advantage for you) or on line (eBay) for much even less. They are useful for both home and auto used and are simple to use.

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The check engine light came on last night. I started the car this morning and the cara was shaking really bad from the engine and the engine is very quiet but the whole car has a shake or little knock to...

Could be a broken motor mount. Not uncommon to break one. However, for it to shake badly you may have just broken a second motor mount.

If the service center is close by, I would likely take the chance and drive it. I just wouldn't accelerate hard - and I would be very gentle. That is just my opinion - can't be "for sure" without knowing more.

Good luck.

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I drive a vw jetta 2003 gls 1.8t. a few days ago the engine dash light started blinking. the car was hard to drive, accelerating with difficulty and shook when stopped. we took it in for repair, they...

I had the same symptoms and found I had suffered from turbo failure and the final cost at the dealer was $3500, last VW I will ever own. I hope this isn't your trouble too, good luck

Jan 06, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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