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A little over a week ago bought a 2003 Automatic GT. A few days ago I started to notice some issues that might or might not be so common - I'm new to this, after all. I'm going to list them and would appreciate any advice on where to start... thank you to anyone in advance that provides help. The car is my daily and I need to have this resolved as soon as possible.




The car has 176k original miles and seemed to be running healthy before this starting happening:
  1. Rough idle - 2 times that I have started the car, the RPMs went all the way down upon start-up and nearly died, but did not. After this, a rough idle is present when starting up and slowing down while driving.
  2. At 50-60 mph ONLY when I am off the gas the car starts to "kick" or studder. Not too sure on how to describe this but the car starts to kick back and forth.
  3. At low RPMs and even at idle there is an excess amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust with a weird smell.
I have replaced the spark plugs at the advice of a friend but these problems all still persist. Any help/advice is appreciated! Thank you.
 

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A little over a week ago bought a 2003 Automatic GT. A few days ago I started to notice some issues that might or might not be so common - I'm new to this, after all. I'm going to list them and would appreciate any advice on where to start... thank you to anyone in advance that provides help. The car is my daily and I need to have this resolved as soon as possible.




The car has 176k original miles and seemed to be running healthy before this starting happening:
  1. Rough idle - 2 times that I have started the car, the RPMs went all the way down upon start-up and nearly died, but did not. After this, a rough idle is present when starting up and slowing down while driving.
  2. At 50-60 mph ONLY when I am off the gas the car starts to "kick" or studder. Not too sure on how to describe this but the car starts to kick back and forth.
  3. At low RPMs and even at idle there is an excess amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust with a weird smell.
I have replaced the spark plugs at the advice of a friend but these problems all still persist. Any help/advice is appreciated! Thank you.


What color is the smoke? Have you pulled the dip stick? If so any coolant and oil mixing?


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It was hard to tell when I saw it the one time it happened...

This is what the dip looked like when I took it out just now:


Doesn’t look milky but some of those signs sound like a head gasket being blown. I’m sure there’s going to be someone who’s gonna chime in soon. Does it happen often though? Does the smoke clear or it stays that way? And is the smoke think and white?


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It was hard to tell when I saw it the one time it happened...
This is what the dip looked like when I took it out just now:
Doesn't look like any water contamination but if you are experiencing an exhaust
smoke simply start the car let it run for about 2 mins then put your hand about 3 inchs
from the exhaust pipe leave it there for about 30 secs. Is your hand wet? If it is that is a
good sign that water is getting into the combustion chambers. Another way to tell if it is a
head gasket is remove the rad cap and start the car let it reach operating temp when the thermostat
opens water should start to flow you will be asble to see this clearly. if the water starts pulsating
that is another sign of a bad head gasket. Considering the mileage on this engine there is a good
possibility it is burning oil also. I would clean the MAF sensor. Check for any vacuum leaks from cracked hoses
an stuff like that. It wouldn't hurt to clean the throttle body either. Here is a ASE study giude link which shows
different color exhaust smoke. You can also learn alot from this site.

https://www.freeasestudyguides.com/exhaust-color.html
 

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I know you said you changed the plugs, majority of the time it’s actually the coil packs depending on what kind you have my v6 did it and changed out wires , plugs, and coil pack... planning to do it in my GT now cause I feel a little shake. Not expensive or hard.
Best of luck to you
 
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