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For the past couple days, my car has felt like its sluggish or idling at various speeds. The engine light has flashed once during all of this. Is the engine misfiring, and if so, what are the usual causes? Should I take it to the dealer or a common mechanic?
 

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If the CEL just flashes, rather than staying on, the engine is misfiring. Sounds like it could be the Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) - there's a post in the how-to section on how to replace it - just did mine & the sluggishness / misfire / hesitation are gone.

Chuck
 
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