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Thread: Car Question

  1. #1
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Car Question

    My car misfires / coughs / hiccups when it's snowing. It doesn't do that in the rain and it doesn't do that when it's cold and dry. It only does it when it's cold and snowing and slush is being kicked up. Does that mean that it needs a tuneup or wires are corroded or....?

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    mass's Avatar
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    It's getting old.
    I do the same thing when it's snowing.. cough, hiccup, misfire..

  3. #3
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    When you say "cold and dry" I'm guessing the same temperatures as snow (<=32F)? Does it only do this until the engine is warmed up?

    Anyway, Googling the symptoms turns up nothing useful. It looks like one of those problems that a dealer will bleed you dry on without solving the problem. Common fixes tried: Replacing ignition wires, plugs, coils etc. Replacing air intake and manifold system.

    Most common hypothesis: cracks in ignition or air intake/manifold that open when it is cold enough to allow water into the system.

    If that's the case it's probably a matter of luck in replacing the faulty components.

    I'd try finding a forum for your make of car (Ford, Toyota, Chevy etc.) and posting/searching the problem in the sub-forum for you model car.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 12-30-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I would guess plug wires, the moisture is giving the high voltage a lower resistance path to ground....

    But, drive to local auto parts chain store and get them to pull the codes, most do it for free.... many times this will even point to the specific cylinder that has been misfiring.... Might also be a sensor issue of some kind, this should show up in the diagnostic codes as well.

    Warren also made some good points.... but first get the diagnostic codes, its free and non intrusive.

    The poor boy way of finding cracks in intake was spray a little starting fluid at the suspected area while the engine is running.... but be careful, highly flammable.... easy to lose your eyebrows

    HTH's
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    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post

    Warren also made some good points.... but first get the diagnostic codes, its free and non intrusive.

    The poor boy way of finding cracks in intake was spray a little starting fluid at the suspected area while the engine is running.... but be careful, highly flammable.... easy to lose your eyebrows

    HTH's
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    Fire in the hole. I remember doing quick start with a little spray of gasoline in the carb and seeing flames

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    AshG2385's Avatar
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    Probably wiring, it can't hurt to replace your spark plug wires if you haven't done so recently (in the last 2+ years). My neighbors SUV is doing the same thing, except it doesn't want to start in the cold and snow. The way the snow and slush sticks to vehicles up here it's not a surprise that everything rusts and or is eaten through fast.

    How old is your car? A tune up won't hurt if it hasn't had one in awhile either. Do you have undercoating on it? What's your skid plate looking like? If it looks rough then a lot of the road slush is probably getting kicked up on your wiring and sticking to it.
    My 2004 Mustang had only spent 2 winters up here and the skid plate was rusted almost through (it came from AZ originally) and the drive shaft was so rusted it took me 3 hours and a whole can of WD40 to drop it for the car dolly. Also, when I replaced the rack and pinion (what a job!) it took days to get all the bolts off due to the rust and a lot of the wiring was looking sad.

    Go hit up Autozone like Av8tor suggested, they'll put it on the machine for free and give you the codes. Some of the codes are for multiple things (went through this with my old Explorer - stupid emissions component nightmare, it had similar issues and it was the Co2 sensors) but you can google them for the full array of what it "might" be.
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    mass's Avatar
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    I knew that'd work..
    One useless answer usually leads to many useful ones.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I'm leaning to getting a tuneup. I've done the Autotune code thing before. That was disappointing. Engine light was on. Turned out to be bad sensors.. attached to the expensive cannister!

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