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Alright guys, you were a huge help when my car died on the side of the highway. You steered me in the right direction and took a problem where the shop wanted $1,000 for and allowed me to fix it solo for no more than a couple hundred. The capacitor in the distributor shorted out. I should probably do a write up with all my pictures to possibly help others. See link in my thread.

New Problem:

New Camry from the previous thread. 2000 Camry 2.2L 73k miles (low I know). Car started with a rough idle one day. Nothing out of the ordinary a couple 2.5 hr trips and local driving. Refilled in an unusual place and many people have told me bad gas.

Codes came back as engine misfires of course. I had it taken into the shop who suggested a tune-up ($300, less if I brought the parts). I have put half a container of seafoam into about half a tank of gas. Didn't do much driving after, but no immediate change.

Rough idles at low rpms - 500 and dash lights seem to dim with the sputters. Can feel the roughness at 1.2k and when accelerating is not noticeable. At a certain point constant speed I also feel it hesitate. Under the hood I can hear air pulsate which I believe is normal for misfiring. The plug wires do not feel hard or anything.

How should I proceed with fixing this? I recently got a full-time career away from home and have yet to find a place to live so I don't have the luxury of time or tools. Should I go ahead and replace the plugs at a cost of $40 dollars? I realize MAF could be an issue as well as the oxygen sensor. I have a rockauto shopping cart with parts (change spark plugs to the denso double platinum). Let me know what I should get, don't get, or do some diagnosing).

Any input appreciated. I'll be replying at about 6pm EST or during lunch if possible.
 

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Hey, I remember you KeysLife! Welcome back!

It could be bad gas. Can you wait until it's nearly gone and then top off with gas from another place?... see if the misfiring goes away?

If not, I'd say start with plugs & wires. Maybe just the wires, if money's tight. They're more prone to failing due to age than the plugs are. And at 13 years, they're kinda due.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha yea I instantly recognized your name as well. Thanks for the help last time and the advice this time. I had it down to just under a quarter tank. Threw half a can of seafoam in and added 3 gallons of premium to maybe dilute bad gas (not sure if it works that way). I'll hold off on filling it up and start fresh once it's gone. Never had bad gas before so I of course assume something worse.

I'll probably just have some plugs and wires shipped back home. Or could I get them somewhere locally for near as good a deal as RockAuto? Easy enough change.
 

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I'd say chances are low that it's bad gas. But it costs nothing extra to run it down low and top it off with fresh. And yeah, it's all about dilution of the suspect "bad" gas. Also, don't bother with premium. It won't make a difference.

It's hard to beat Rockauto on price, but we're not talking a lot of money for plugs & wires. Maybe $20-$30 more, if you buy local? Just don't cheap out on the wires. NGK is widely regarded as one of the best. I've used Autolite's "professional grade" with good results on my Camry. But they're not much cheaper than NGK. There's some real junk out there on the cheap end that won't last more than 10k miles. Like Autozone's store brand, in my experience.
 

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DONT BUY AUTOZONE WIRES. just had a exact same issue as you and it was all due to autozone wires with only 17k on them. replaced with NGK i got off amazon, problem solved for 30$. you should run a 1/4-1/3 can of seafoam through the air intake lines. really helps get into every part and clean it out. ive noticed a difference and do it every 15k, or when I change my oil (10-15k, its the sythentic 15k/1yr oil). wires are easy to change (15min), and all you need is a flat head to help pop the wires from the coil.

what engine code is it throwing? p0300 and then p0301/p0302/p0303/p0304? knowing what misfire code can help.
 

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"Bad gas" usually means it has a higher amount of water in it, all gas has some water.
Water is heavier than gasoline, so if the car sits the water settles at the bottom of the tank, and the fuel pump sucks from the bottom of the tank so..........the longer it sits between drives the higher the concentration of water.

The water doesn't really hurt anything, it's just annoying until it is gone.

Most gas tanks don't have drain plugs any more, so best you can do is to add "good gas" and drive the car as much as possible.
Premium and regular gas have the same energy, so makes no difference in that respect, premium often has additives similar to SeaFoam which can help, but since you already added it use regular.

Yes, get new spark plugs for sure, wires as well if not on a tight budget.
 

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All good replies thanks guys. Seemed to drive well today until later this evening. I'm hitting near empty so that may be causing some problems.

It just got really bad nearing home. Getting more rough and check engine goes to flashing. I look under the hood and it seems one of the plugs has come loose. I pull it off and air seems to be escaping somehow.

Could be a bad spark plug? I have the tools to remove it, but not much other than that. I could take it out to see what it looks like, but don't want to lose a piece into the engine or anything. Anything I should worry about?
 

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It just got really bad nearing home. Getting more rough and check engine goes to flashing. I look under the hood and it seems one of the plugs has come loose. I pull it off and air seems to be escaping somehow.
What plug are you talking about?... spark plug? Spark plug wire came loose? If there's a hissing noise coming from a spark plug, maybe it's unscrewed itself a bit. See if you can tighten it up.

Could be a bad spark plug? I have the tools to remove it, but not much other than that. I could take it out to see what it looks like, but don't want to lose a piece into the engine or anything. Anything I should worry about?
Hard to hurt anything pulling the spark plugs and having a look. If the spark plug is broken and comes apart when you remove it, it most likely wasn't functioning already.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well that wasn't hard at all... I was under the impression plugs were checked by the mechanic, but my fault for not being sure.

Spark plug was obviously broken. Threw a single platinum NGK for the time being in. Cost me the plug and a ratchet set for like $10. I'll do the tuneup myself when time allows.

Sorry for the seemingly worthless thread. BMR, feel free to delete this or leave it up for other rookies or google searches. Glad it wasn't something worse, just wish I would have checked sooner... doh
 

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Hey, glad to hear it was something cheap and easy!

I had a similar problem on a motorcycle a long, long time ago. Had just put 2 new plugs in it, and it would intermittently run like crap. Took me forever to figure it out, because it had "new" plugs. Turns out I'd cracked the porcelain right at the base, where it joined with the metal plug body.
 
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