For the last couple of weeks, off and on, my car hasn't quite been "feeling right" while driving. There were a few times when it felt like I was driving on a rough road… on roads that I knew usually felt really smooth. It never lasted long, so I just assumed it was a non-issue – maybe a squirrel stuck in my tire throwing off the balance or something.
Last night though.. ugh. Driving home I could feel the car hesitate when I left the first stop light. Then my check engine light came on and I could feel the car stuttering. My first thought was "Oh crap.. my car is going to explode!", so I decided to stop at the gas station, check my oil, and fill up my gas tank before leaving town. I figured if my car was going to explode, I might as well make it as spectacular as possible.
I took it slow leaving the gas station, and my car drove a lot smoother. She still didn't feel right, but I wasn't as worried.
I decided this morning that getting it fixed was more important than going to work, so I did that. It turns out that the parameters in the Engine Control Module (or "ECM" as the guy said.. before I asked him "The what?") were set to be too sensitive. So, basically what was happening was the car was thinking that the engine was mis-firing, so it tried to compensate and caused the engine to – wait for it – mis-fire.
So, all is good. Which is good, because I love my car. She's a trooper.