Broken Alero Dilemma

My faithful 1999 Alero with 182,000+ miles started bucking-badly-when I was accelerating at low speeds on Christmas eve, and when I rolled down my window there was a very noticeable burning smell, and the car was not overheated. I let it sit for 4 hours and tried again. The engine light came on, and the burning smell came back after 5 min. I thought it would die at every stoplight b/c it was shaking so badly, but it didn’t. Haven’t driven it since. My problem is that I don’t want to put another dime into this car, having just shelled out $450 for new brakes and 2 wheels, and driving it to a shop to pay for them to tell me what’s wrong, and possibly for towing if it dies to/from there, is something I REALLY want to avoid. I want to sell it, but realize i need to know what’s wrong with it first, so can anyone help me here? Could it possibly be an easy and cheap ($200 or less) fix?! Any way to find out definitively what it is without taking it to the shop? Thank you!!!

If the Check Engine light is on, have the codes read for free at an auto parts store and post the results here.

Where’s the burning smell coming from? See any smoke anywhere?

ah, will do, thank you! There was no smoke, but the smell filled my garage and entryway after I got home. It wasn’t like burning rubber, either. I don’t know what burning transmission fluid or anything smells like, if it could be that.