Engine Running Like Crap


Jun 21, 2013
Brick, NJ
Ok firstboff right now I have a budget of $200. I need to do a tune up and change all the fluids. Any sugestions on what I should buy? Keep in mind I'm going to be buying every thing at the local parts store. Autozone Advance auto Napa and the family owned places. Also what am I going to need? Wires plugs cap rotor ect.
It runs fine when its warmed up butnot that its gettimg cold I have a rough time driving it untill she warms up. Even then it still runs crappy. What can I do to get the car running better.
Also I have a squeek in the pass front. It squeeks whenever the car moves, even the slightest bit. And it squeeks when I turn my steering wheel. So what could those be? Ball joints and tie rods? The car sounds like an old truck
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Remove and clean the MAF sensor element with MAF cleaner. This is extremely important and most overlooked. Remove and inspect the battery to engine and engine to chassis grounds. They must be absolutely solid for the various sensors to work properly. Search how to use a paperclip to retrieve trouble codes or buy a reader for $22. This item alone can save you $$$'s from replacing good parts based on hunches and guesses.
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Yeah took the words right outta my fingers bout the maf cleaning. As far as tune up you bout got it, plugs wires, cap n rotor, maybe fuel filter. No sure bout the squeak but after I had my frontend redone it was like a new car again very enjoyable. Ball joints and inner and outer rods. I think though if I was to do it over again I'd just replace the rack instead of inner rods. How old are your o2 sensors?
I'm not even sure how old anything or even when anything was done. Unfortunately the guy I bought the car off of didn't speak a word of english. I have to go over the car really good. Def needs a tune up could have been years since it was done. I think my father has a code reader but it might be obd 2. These cars are obd 1 right? I know his wasexpensive so it might read both.
One more question. Haow do I clean the engine and engine bay its filthy. I cleadned it once before but then my upper rad hose blew and sprayed rusty crud everywhere. Is it aafe to soak it with a degreaser and hose itdown really good? And is there a way to get rid of the ooxidation on all the metal parts like the manifolds and alt?
And about the tune up, will an msd cap and rotor fit the stock distributor? And how about msd wires, any good? And what would you guys suggest for plugs and wires I can get at a store? I don't need the 100 $+ wires yet I want a decent mid range price.
Accel yellow wires $50. Hell really the parts house wires will do u ok. Msd left a bad taste in my mouth. Their coil went bad in less than a yr and car wasnt driven much. Oh and yeah hose that fkr off. Clean your maf. They aren't too much maybe get a new one. Change fuel filter, use copper plugs. I'd replace cap n rotor w cheaper over the counter parts house stuff. Itll perform the same as the higher priced msd in the real world. The maf cleaner comes in a gray aerosol can
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If you have $200 to spend don't waste your money on MSD. Some swear by them - my experience with the wires is lots of cross-fire and arcing. Stock parts-store cap, rotor, wires are aok, as well as copper spark plugs. Dump in a bottle of injector-cleaner and get a can of MAF cleaner as mentioned above. Check / set your timing, read codes (if any). Longer term O2 sensors probably make sense too.

I assume you've already flushed & filled the radiator. You might want to flush & fill the rest of your fluids since the rusty gunk in the radiator doesn't make me think it was well-maintained.
Taylor wires fit great, I also used their cap and rotor, motorcraft plugs and fuel filter. Shouldn't cost you much more than $100

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Ill prob just go with motorcraft stuff advance auto has motorcraft wires in stock I have to see what they have for a cap n rotor. I just did the rad but I'm going to di it again because by the time I got the syst bled there was no antifreeze left in the system. Its getting cold now so abtifreeze is a must. I'm just a little nervous to mess with it because of all the priblems I had trying to get that damn air buble out. While I'm doing that I guess ill change the stat again. This will be stat number 7 in 2 months. The first SIX I bought from two dif stores were duds. Goingto order a motorcraft stat. I really hope a tune up and a good cleaning of things help things out. She really runs like crap in the cold mornings. Really choppy idle untill it warms up a bit. So for the wires what's evryone running 8mm? I think I might have 9mm on there now. I have to check.
Not a thing honestly unless you're running high-compression or forced induction and have a matching coil / ignition that can take advantage of the higher-capacity wires. They look neat but they're just bling for a stock engine.