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I drive a 1995 Volks Cabrio - with almost 200, 000 miles on it. Recently, it has been "missing" especially after I sit at idle in traffic for a while. A good long drive at steady speed doesn

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA The term "miss" in car talk is that one... or a few... spark plugs are not firing in the cylinder at the correct intervals. I would check the spark plugs. There are a number of factors that we could get into for the cause of a "miss", a lot has to do with mileage. If a spark plug is fouled by bad gas or mileage the only thing to do is replace them.

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Michelle, Engines have cylinders - 4, 6 or 8 are the most common engines. Each cylinder has a valve to let air in, a valve to let air out, an injector to let gasoline in, a spark plug, and a piston at the bottom of it. When the air and gas is let in, the piston moves up to compress the mixture, the spark is ignited and there is a controlled explosion in the cylinder, forcing the piston down. When your engine is "missing", either one or more of your cylinders is not performing this controlled explosion. This may cause a "bumpy ride" feeling and will definitely reduce power in the vehicle. Reasons for an engine to miss include no spark from the spark plug, no gas to the cylinder, a stuck valve that is not allowing air into the cylinder etc. A great place to actually see an engine work is on I hope this helps! Suzanne New from Askpatty: Ask Patty is announcing CarBlabber. It's car reviews for women by women like you! What does your car mean to you? Do you love or hate your car? Is your car a fashion statement or a pile of junk? We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about your car. Ask Patty is offering a lineup of amazing products as prizes to CarBlabber members (and signing up is totally free!). All you have to do is create a profile, review a car and add a photo to your review! Sign up at

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