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From the past few weeks whenever I crank my car there is a squeaking noise which may continue for about 30-60 sec or even longer (This is intermittent sometimes it doesn't really happen). The engine also misses once I try to accelerate suddenly from a total stop position. I feel the as if there is not enough power.

I checked the Air Filters and Engine Oil and found them in perfect Condition. I don't have much experience in such problems. Please Advice.

Can the engine missing be due to Spark Plugs?

Regards Arjun

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3 Answers 3

A miss when under load could be anywhere in the ignition system. Start with new plugs and wires (as these are cheap, and you may be able to change them yourself), and if this does not resolve the issue, move on to the coil packs or distributor and coil (depending on how your car is equipped).

Coil packs are expensive, so there is a way to isolate a specific coil pack if you can hear the miss at idle. Simply pull one plug wire at a time and run the engine. The engine will run rough, but if the miss is still present, you know that the cylinder for which you pulled the coil pack is not faulty. When you pull a plug wire and the miss is gone (the engine does not run much worse), then you have found the faulty coil pack.

Clarity If you can hear the miss at idle, it's missing with all plug wires connected. Pulling a good plug wire should cause a 2nd miss (and rougher running). Pulling the bad wire should cause no change (still missing just like with 1 wire connected). The miss will certainly not "go away" with a spark plug wire disconnected.

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I wouldn't be too concerned about the belt squeal. Generally the serpentine belt is not toothed and cold components are going to have more friction that warm components. It could be an early sign that an alternator, ac compressor, etc is going to go, but it's probably just a sign that it's cold. Cold weather can also cause condensation on the belts which can facilitate some initial slippage. When the squeal is more consistent or occurs with the engine running other than shortly after starting, it's time to have the belts looked at.

Unless the car is under warranty, the ignition system problem is what I'd be looking at/spending money on, not some minor belt squeal. Though if you take the car in for something else (oil change, the ignition problem) you could ask have the belts/pulleys checked for wear.

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Depends on the squeal. If it's not really there when idling, but squeals quite loudly when you rev up, it's probably the accessories drive belt a little loose. What's happening is that the alternator is taking quite a load to replace the battery charge. If the squeal is more or less constant, it could be the water pump (if not driven by the cam belt) or alternator bearings on the way out. Have a shufti at the water pump to check for slow leaks.

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