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Car won't go

Tom and Ray,

I have a 2000 Hundai Elantra. It is like a very old car from the 60’s that won’t run when it’s cold out. It spits and sputters until I get it up over 45 mph’s. It barely goes up hills.

I have had it tuned up, oil changed, battery terminals cleaned, added fuel cleaner, etc… It was fine all summer. I only use Marathon Gasoline. This has been happening for 2 years now.

2 mechanics cannot find the problem. The Check Engine light is now blinking at me.

It goes off when I take it to them and the problem quits just by them driving it.

They say it’s how I drive. I can drive other cars and that doesn’t happen. I think the car just hates me and I just got it washed. Can you help me?

Sherry VonBokern

The blinking check engine light tells you that immediate attention is required. Schedule an appointment ASAP with a mechanic and he can read the codes that are set. Setting the CEL indicates a real problem with the engine, not the way you drive. Let the mechanic diagnose or post the codes back here. Autozone and Advance Auto will read them for free and you can post the exact codes here for advice.

If you are unhappy about the two mechanics who have looked at the car, use CarTalk mechanics files on the home page for some local recommendations.

The blinking CEL light means there is a fairly serious problem and you need to have the engine checked real soon by a shop. If the shop you have been using can’t help you then you should take it to another one and have it checked out. Hopefully checking the codes will lead the techs to the trouble.