Q:

Why does my car sputter when I hit the gas?

A:

Quick Answer

If a car is sputtering when you try to accelerate, this indicates that it is time for a tune-up. A full tune-up of the engine is in order, rather than only swapping out the spark plugs. Ignition misfire is one of the symptoms that the engine is in need of some help; the sputtering is a sign of bad timing that also causes damage to other engine components.

Continue Reading
Why does my car sputter when I hit the gas?
Credit: epSos .de CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

When performing a tune-up on a car, check the entire secondary ignition system. This includes the ignition coil, rotor, cap, wires and plugs; some mechanics recommend a PCV valve as well.

If the tune-up does not solve the problem, air intake is another (although much less common) possibility. Look at the intake hose for cracks because if the system is not airtight and a car has a mass air flow sensor, sputtering at acceleration is one possible sign. Repair any air leaks that are present and then test the engine again. The reason why air leaks cause sputtering is that the air-to-fuel ratio is hampering the performance of the engine. For the best results, take the car to a shop, and then inform the mechanic all of the steps taken so far.

Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does a complete car tune-up include?

    A:

    A complete car tune-up includes spark plug replacement, rotor replacement, fuel injector cleaning, a new air filter, a new fuel filter, a new PCV valve and checks on various systems, including fluid levels, ignition, emissions, manifold intake, compression, timing, idle, distributor cap, battery, choke, vehicle computer, belts and safety. Anything that shows wear and tear should be replaced during a tune-up.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is a car tune-up?

    A:

    A car tune-up is a series of maintenance adjustments to a vehicle that can include a series of precise tests as well as replacing the spark plugs. A tune-up should improve the engine's performance or efficiency.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is included in a car tune-up?

    A:

    A tune-up on cars made before about 1990 consists of contact point, air filter and spark plug replacement, and the adjustment of igniting timing, carburetor and fuel mixture. A tune-up for cars made since 1990 involves spark plug and air filter replacement. Tune-up intervals are considerably longer for newer cars.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What does "eco" mean on my car?

    A:

    The effects of eco mode vary depending on the manufacturer, but in general, it makes some power from the car temporarily unavailable to enhance the gas mileage. Most manufacturers state the eco mode increases fuel economy 5 to 10 percent. These gains could also be realized by practicing more conservative driving in a car without an eco mode.

    Full Answer >

Explore