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Check Engine Came On And Traf Off Blinking (Car Shuddering)

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Hi All,

I have a 2001 IS300 and 152k on it, as I was driving to work this morning all of a sudden car began shuddering and then CEL came on and Trac Off began blinking. I had to go maybe half a mile to get to work. When driving it seemed okay but when letting gas off, it starts shuddering, brakes felt really stiff too. I had the car at NTB for oil and system flush. They also replaced spark plugs and changed air filter (OEM parts). This was roughly two weeks ago and car ran great until this moment. I opened the hood when I parked and visually everything looked okay and I couldn't see any moisture or leaks. I did some research on this and shuddering couple with these lights seems to indicate that engine is misfiring (could be because of the service). I'm trying to determine what it could be before taking it to the dealer or local mechanics. If anyone has experience with similar issues, would it be safe to drive to some repair shop with this condition (15 miles) or I need to get it towed?

Thanks for your help!

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Not easy to say at this point, without odb codes.

Misfiring is usually caused by bad ingnition system, injectors, compression, vacuumleak, fuelchain etc. Given the fact that your plugs were replaced, maybe the plug-wiring got bad or not fastened enough.

Driving depends. If the engine is still strong and relative smooth, go ahead and drive. If the power is noticeably down and the engine is shaking, better not to.

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Hi intakerGS,

Before the problem occurred, car can like a charm. It still seems to accelerate fine now but this shuddering makes me really worry. I'll have it sit for a while and maybe take a look at spark plug wires, maybe one of them is loose or something. After the issue, the breaks are REALLY stiff and don't seem to go all the way down to the floor, not sure if that tells you anything. If it looks bad I'll probably pull it out of the multi-level garage and call up a tow truck. Is there anything you can suggest I could check with limited tools (btw, it seems to shudder in any gear so at least it might not be a tranny issue)?

Thanks!

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Yep, almost forgot about the brakes. When brakes get stiff you likely have a brakebooster/vacuum issue. You can try to check this, by pumping brakes hard when the car isn't running. Continue this untill you've bled off the vacuum from booster. Keep foot on pedal and start the car. The pedal should sink a bit.

If you are lucky, a leaky or collapsing vaccumhose is cause, but there are also many other things that may contribute to not building up vacuum. Besides that, a lot of electronic systems assist in braking, you need to know the CEL codes. You don't want to experiment with your brakesystem, so pls consider my advice and tow it to a shop for inspection.

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