Missing, stuttering

I’ve been having a problem with my 1991 Toyota Camry, which has a manual transmission. Sometimes when I am accelerating, it seems to stutter, something other people have referred to as “missing”. It seems to happen when I am in “too high a gear”, by which I mean for example, if it is happening while I’m accelerating in 4th gear, the stuttering will stop if I downshift to 3rd gear. Friends have suggested I need a tuneup, others think it may just need new spark-plugs, but the fact that it depends on what gear I’m in strikes me as odd (not that I know much of anything about cars, though). Any thoughts?

If you haven’t put in new plugs in the last 30k miles, you are due so you won’t be wasting money on these. Replacing the plugs is all there is to a tune up on this car.

If the plugs don’t solve the problem, I would recommend getting the valve lash checked and adjusted if needed, then try a fuel system cleaner like Techron. BTW, the valve lash check is also due about every 30k miles, check the service schedule in the owners manual.

A 12 year old Camry does not accelerate well in 4th gear. But I agree that plugs are likely due for a change. Just don’t expext miracles, but the “stuttering” should stop, unless you have a fuel delivery problem.

Thanks to both of you, I’ll have the plugs changed and see what happens. The stuttering happens in 3rd gear, too, not just 4th, it just depends on how fast I’m going to begin with. I used to think it was just because I was going too slow for a given gear, but then friends seemed to think that wasn’t the problem, and over time it became clear they were right. BTW, the car is 22 years old, and it runs pretty darn well, really, all except for this.