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Help an Idiot?

Old February-11th-2005, 10:53 PM
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Help an Idiot?

Disclaimer: I'm not much of a mechanic at all. Just trying to see if I can take care of my problem while saving some money.

I have '98 Protege (DX) with 100k+ miles on it. Everything is stock. Aside from brakes I've had no real problems with it.

In a nutshell the car is running rough, especially in 1st and 2nd gear at low speed. It is idling rough too. In fact while in neutral it will die if I don't give it gas.
It seems to run fine (fair) in 3rd + 4th gear once I get up to "speed".

Wife took it in for an oil change and then a tune up. The tune-up didn't solve the problem. Guy at tune-up shop told her "it could be the distributor cap and/or rotor."

Replaced both cap and rotor tonight. Still running roughly...but maybe slightly better.

My question is: What next? I realize I could take it in to a shop but I just shelled out big bucks on repairs for my "new" car and would like to save some cash if I can.

Should I go ahead and replace the plug wires? The guy at the tune-up shop pretty much indicated that the problem it was electrical in nature...but who knows.

Any advice would be a big big help.

Thanks in advance and if you're ever in Central Calif I'll buy you a beer.
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Old February-14th-2005, 02:02 PM
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Not sure what the tune up covered, but with 100K miles if the wires have not been replaced it certainly wouldn't hurt.

Were the spark plugs changed? Whether or not they were you might want to pull them and check the gap.

That's 2 simple items to check right away. Not too sure of any other quick checks off the top of my head.
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Old February-14th-2005, 02:57 PM
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100K miles...could be a LOT of things...

1. Fuel system, new filter, BG's 44K cleaner in gas tank.

2. Vaccuum problem from dry or cracked hoses

3. air filter, pcv, fluids--change all

4. plugs are done with a tune up....wires wouldn't hurt, cap and rotor may not be a bad idea either but but I doubt it's the problem.
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Old February-18th-2005, 08:08 PM
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Check the plastic intake pipe for cracks between the MAF and TB.
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Old February-22nd-2005, 08:33 PM
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Looks like you called it. Not 100% sure yet but should be the hose. Thanks for all your input.
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