I’m looking for some help and advice as how to proceed after a series of unfortunate events with my usually very trustworthy 2002 Hyundai Accent.
The problem started when my clutch fluid began leaking a couple of months ago. I first noticed that it would take an unusual amount of effort to shift into gear and, after checking, found the clutch fluid completely gone and I filled it up immediately. Three weeks later, the fluid was gone again, so I took it in to a reputable mechanic, who said I needed my slave cylinder replaced. A week after replacement, I start to notice that my car increasingly had trouble “catching” into gear (my engine was accelerating, but not moving very fast; aka: soft clutch). I thought maybe something went wrong with the slave cylinder repair and took it back to the same place, but the news came back that I needed a new clutch. At 143,000 miles on the original clutch, I wasn’t surprised it was time for a new one. Immediately after picking up my car with the new clutch–and by immediate, I mean right after I pulled out of the mechanic’s parking lot–I noticed my car was driving horribly. The engine was idling extremely rough and it felt gritty when pressing the gas pedal during acceleration. I took it back to my mechanic the next morning to explain the problem, but they treated me like I was an idiot, didn’t detect anything wrong with my car, and clearly didn’t know what I was talking about even though I personally showed them my steering was shaking pretty badly while idling. A few more days of the rough idle/gritty acceleration and I went back, but they just suggested getting my fuel injection system cleaned for another $100 and offered no other suggestions as to the cause of the problem. I personally checked to make sure that the wires in my car were connected properly, as well as making sure the hose connecting to the air filter was on there correctly. Today on a whim, I took my car to Autozone to have them check the computer, even though I don’t have a check engine light on, and sure enough the only code read was P0302–Cylinder 2 misfire.
My question for anyone willing to give me advice is, what is the most likely cause of the cylinder 2 misfire (given my car’s very recent history) and most importantly, could the mechanic have caused the problem I am experiencing? How should I handle this situation with them from here? I will no longer be using their services after I get this problem sorted out, as I feel like my car did not receive the best service.