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Car runs sluggish, alot of vibration in steering wheel and motor

The car stared running bad. Didn’t want to really go when I pressed on the gas. Felt a new vibration in the steering wheel. Also the motor sounded a little different. I changed the plugs,wires, and ignition coils. It seemed to fix the problem. Then the tensioner pully broke, fixed it. Ac compressor started going out, fixed it. I put a new fuel filter on it last night. It ran fine this morning but on my way home it started running bad again. Real sluggish when hitting the gas pedal. Same vibrations. I can start the car and hold the gas pedal down and the rpms just jump around 4000 back and forth. Like it won’t go any higher than that. Any ideas on what it could be would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

Is the Check Engine light on?

And what year is this Regal?


It’s a 94. The check engine light has always been on. Bought it from a relative who is the service manager at the nissan here. So I know it was well maintained.

If it was well maintained then this service manager should know what the problem is and be willing to help you.


Well? If the Check Engine light is always on, it means the vehicle isn’t well maintained.

Disconnect the battery to erase all codes.

Run the engine until the Check Engine light comes back on.

Then pull any codes stored in the computer.



I never cease to be amazed by how many people think that it is “normal” for the CEL to be lit-up.
As was said, this vehicle has not been maintained properly if the CEL was lit-up when the OP bought it, and is still lit-up.

Rather than bothering the relative from the Nissan dealership, I suggest that the OP have the stored trouble code(s)–there could be MANY–read at an auto parts store, free-of-charge, and that she return to this thread in order to report those findings for specific advice.

Ever since the advent of Check Engine Lights, I have only experienced a lit-up CEL on one occasion, and by replacing a solenoid in the EVAP system, that light was extinguished w/in about 1 hour, in 2003.
That was the only lit-up CEL that I have had in the 25 years or so that I have owned vehicles equipped with a CEL.

No, it is not “normal” to have a constantly lit-up CEL for…years.

Cannot forget a mechanic I knew, he said never buy a car from a mechanic.Just a quote from the past.

Good advice above, esp about using the check engine light diagnostic codes to figure out what’s wrong. Sometimes a problem like this can be caused by a tankful of bad gas. Water, dirt, or diesel fuel contaminated possibly. Did you buy gas at a station different from where you usually buy it recently?

How many miles are there on this 23 year old?
How long have you owned it?
Do you know anything about its history other than that the CEL has been illuminated since your relative sold it to you?
Was it one that his dealership took in and resold to you? Did he sell it to you dirt-cheap with the understanding that you were in fact taking a risk?

Off hand, it sounds like this buggy is getting tired. Really tired.
If it were mine, I wouldn’t spend any more money on it until I did a compression check. Have that done and post the numbers.

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This is a 1994 model year vehicle

While I believe many, or perhaps most, 1995 GM vehicles were already OBD2 compliant, I’m not quite sure about a 1994 model year. That would be quite lucky

2 things to do . . .

pop the hood and read the underhood emissions label. Does it say that it’s OBD2 compliant?

Is there a 16-pin d-shaped data link connector on the left side of the interior, somewhere underneath the dashboard?

It’s possible the check engine light is on for something relatively minor, such as an oxygen sensor heater circuit code

I’m not assuming the worst just yet, because we don’t have much information at this time

Did you miss the OP’s revelation that the CEL has “always” been lit-up?
Although a bad tank of gas could have exacerbated a pre-existing problem, the fact remains that this car has…issues…if the CEL has “always” been lit-up since the OP bought the car.

could be failing cat causing issues. Coworker had new cat put on Mazda 6. Happens. Coworker#2 had rusted flex pipe before cat fail and might have to buy new cat assy if it cannot be repaired. So 2 folks within 100ft of me have bad cats. It happens

Trouble is, there are 100 possible causes. But if the compression is poor and/or uneven, you can change parts until you’re broke and never get anywhere. I still think a compression test should be performed before dumping any more money into the motor.

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…plus finally finding out the nature of the trouble codes that have been stored by the car’s OBD system for years.

No, I saw that. I presume the OP already understands that , and since the CEL was on before these symptoms started, wants some ideas for what’s causing the new symptoms. You are absolutely right that the cause of the CEL is where to start. At least that’s where I’d start, since it is so easy to check for any diagnostic codes stored. But I don’t get the sense that’s the approach the OP wants to take. Just offering an opinion based on that approach is all.