Car is shivering like mad

Greetings, all. As I have listened to Tom and Ray’s show, I’ve become aware of this community and wanted to see if you were indeed as helpful as they claim you can be.

I’ve recently replaced the back tires of my Ford Escort (unsure of the year) and it’s abruptly developed a very worrying shake, like someone with hypothermia. The Check Engine light is flashing, and I loath having to pay someone to repair it because I am absolutely flat broke. My father is actually quite handy with cars, but he’s currently out of town and I’m utterly useless with them. I was wondering if anyone here had a diagnosis and perhaps a solution to the problem that does not require paying to get it fixed (fingers crossed).

Thank you in advance for anything you can offer.

And I forgot to mention: It does not shake when traveling over 50 mph.

A flashing Check Engine Light means there’s a significant problem. You cannot ignore this, broke or otherwise.

Take the car to someone who can read the trouble codes (a parts store, a mechanic) before it gets any worse.

If your check engine light is flashing then this shivering is very unlikely to have anything to do with tires. It is very likely to have a lot to do with a really bad misfire. Do not continue to drive the car with the light flashing or something small can turn into something really big.

You need to get the codes read from the car’s computer. What year is the Escort? If it is '96 or later many auto parts stores will do this for free. IF the light is NOT FLASHING I would maybe drive it gently to the nearest Autozone/Advance Auto Parts kind of place to have the codes read. Write down the actual codes that come out (e.g. P0300) and post them back here. If the light continues to flash call around to see if you can get an OBD 2 code reader on loan. Use another car - go pick up the code reader and bring it back to the car to read the codes. Post the codes up here.

I agree, as I usually do, with mcparadise and cigroller.

If you think that you are broke now, just wait until you get the repair bills that will surface from ignoring the flashing CEL. This is not something that can be ignored unless you want the potential repair bills to mount ever higher. Maintenance and repairs that are deferred are invariably more expensive than when done as needed.

Incidentally, if you really don’t know the model year of your car, just open your wallet, take out the vehicle’s registration, and take a look at that document. The registration will list the model year.

Well, shoot. That sucks! The bad news is that I most likely couldn’t pay for the cost of repairs, being that I’m unemployed and rock-bottom poor. The good news is that I have a bike to get myself around in the car’s stead AND I have a dad who actually owns the car (he’s lending it to me while he’s away) and would be more than happy to have it back when he returns.

I can’t really do anything with it at this point. I wish I could. Dad can investigate the Check Engine light (or more likely, he already knows what it is).

Have you considered joining the Military??

What does the military have to do with this topic?
They aren’t going to fix his car for him.


Once or twice, but I have a fear of drill instructors. :stuck_out_tongue:

But that’s okay! I can just bike around the city until dad has time to fix it. I just found out this afternoon that a mechanic friend of mine can take a look-see under the hood at no cost. Dad can take it from there.

Thank you all for your advice and concern!