What does this mean?
It is hard to be 100% sure of the problem, however it is likely related to fuel delivery. In your particular vehicle, the fuel injectors are a common source of failure. The fuel injectors meter fuel flow into each cylinder. When they fail, they can allow too little or too much flow in the cylinder, making it hard for the engine to run. There is smaller chance that it is related to a faulty ignition coil. Aftermarket ignition coils are often weaker than the factory ignition coils. The aftermarket coils are strong enough to function fine under low load. However, under high loads, they do not have enough power to create a big enough spark. Without enough spark, fuel doesn't burn - causing the car to shake. With fuel injectors, the problem gradually gets worse at throttle increases from idle. Spark plug coils are often fine at idle with no symptom. However, once you get to a certain load, the shaking starts suddenly and it's very strong. Spark plug coils also normally cause a blinking check engine light.
On a scale of 1 to 10, we rate this to have an urgency of 7. Some repairs have very low urgency, and we give those a 1. With these repairs, you can wait for as long as you would like, because it will not ever result in harm to you or your vehicle. These are usually cosmetic damages.
We consider a 5 to be something that will eventually need to be done, but you can likely get away with holding off for a while if other things are more pressing. However, if a repair is close to a 10 (or at a 10), this means you should NOT be driving the vehicle, and should get this repaired as soon as possible.
What happens if I wait?
It would depend on how hard the car was shaking. If shaking was imperceptible 95% of the time and the check engine light was never blinking, it would probably be okay recommending them to wait to get it fixed if they needed to save money. If the check engine light was blinking or it shakes often, we encourage them to get it fixed as soon as possible.
How complicated is this repair?
- This job has no tools required, and can be completed by just about anyone.
- This requires a relatively handy person, but little experience working on cars exclusively.
- This warrants an average person who’s done a fair amount of car repair. Think the weekend mechanic who’s done a brake job or two!
- At this difficulty, the average mechanic could do the job, but you wouldn't want to do it yourself without a fair amount of experience.
- This job is very specialized, requiring very expensive tools only a specialty shop has and a high level of expertise.