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2000 Honda Accord Ex 6 Cylinder 163K on the mileage

My car shakes when I start the engine, and continues to shake, it doesn’t matter what gear I’m in. It also smells like gas when I get out of the car. Since my check engine light is blinking, and with all I’ve heard on the show, next step is to to take it to a mechanic. My question is, would it be okay to drive it 5 miles to a mechanic, or should I have it towed? Also, I’d rather save money if I can fix this myself. Someone said it may be a misfire, and to change the spark plugs?

Thank you very much for your time,


@desak how long has the check engine light been blinking?
A blinking MIL means that your misfire is so bad that the catalyst may get damaged.
If you’re determined to fix it yourself, get the fault codes read and post them here, please.
Are your spark plugs way overdue? If so, now’s the time for new plugs.
If you want a pro to handle it, get it towed. If your cat’s still okay, continued driving might kill it.

How long has it been like this? Miles and time in this condition can often lead to additional problems.

Hopefully it’s not valve lash related.

About a month ago I drove it from San Francisco to LA, and back. Everything was okay on the trip. The very next day the check engine light came on, and the engine was shaking. I haven’t driven it since then just to save to get it fixed. Since there’s street cleaning the most I’ve driven it is to move it from one street to another. Also a note, that I had it smoged two months ago for registration, and it passed no problems. I’m not sure when the last time the plugs were changed. Worth buying plugs and trying it, or take it in? Thank you so much for your help!

With such a drastic change, I’d be more worried about a coil gone bad. Spark plugs tend to get worse gradually as they wear. With driving fine, then shaking the very next day, something has failed big time. If you don’t have the tools to determine if a coil is bad, you may need to take it to a mechanic.

@desak since you’re not sure when the plugs were last changed, now’s the time to replace them, provided you’re comfortable doing that yourself.
Get the ones called for in the owner’s manual.
If that doesn’t help, a shop would be the next step.
Have you gotten those fault codes yet,