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?