Is Your Car Shuddering? Allow Me To Save You $60

I’ve recently found all be driving along the road, somewhere between 45 and 60 mph, and my car will start to shudder. The first time this happened, I called my friend Robby who knows a lot about cars. He told me I should probably pull over and while I was looking for shoulder to pull off the road (there aren’t a lot of those in Maine), the car stopped shuddering. I attributed the incident to bad luck/ice/cruddy road and continued with my evening.

Then it happened again. Another time. And another time.

Since I recently took a long road trip that involved other people, I decided to bring my car to the garage to get the shuddering thing checked out. An hour ($60) later, it turns out I have a very common problem.



Apparently new ethanol additives in gasoline are making car shudder at cruising speeds. My mechanic says he seen this at least six or seven other vehicles recently (and other people apparently have too), and that it can’t be anything else because my car is in really good shape.

So if you found that your car will randomly do this, I hope I save you a trip to the garage.

Want to do more reading about ethanol in gasoline? I found this article on Voice of America and this one on MSNBC.

Have you heard of or experienced this yourself?



Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

2 Responses to “Is Your Car Shuddering? Allow Me To Save You $60

  • Robby
    10 years ago

    No Kidding! I have heard of that happening to people although it really hasn’t happended to me (of course northern maine roads don’t really give me the opportunity to sense a long range of smooth driving). This is good information to know! It stinks that you had to pay $60 bucks though.

  • Thanks for the tip. I have felt this in my car as well and was thinking about bringing it in. Now I don’t have to.

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