Q: Car has been randomly sputtering/hesitating when driving on the road.

asked by on

When driving on the interstate, it will start randomly hesitating/not wanting to go. It sputters along and usually will go back to normal. Yesterday it would not stop hesitating so I pulled over. I tried to start it up and it would not crank. After about 20 min, it started back up and I got home. Brought it 2 different places today and they could not find any "codes" or anything else wrong with it. One person said it might be the fuel I buy which is from Race Trac. Does that sound right or any other possible ideas? Thanks!

My car has 156000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. Bad fuel or too high of a fuel rating will cause a sputter problem. Fuel that has been sitting for a while and is not regularly added by fuel trucks will have excessive water. This water will sink down to the bottom of your fuel tank and when your fuel pump picks it up, the engine will stumble due to the engine not wanting to run on water. I recommend flushing out the fuel tank and putting in good new fuel from a high flowing fuel station and retest the car. If the issue persists, then seek out a professional, preferably a YourMechanic professional who can come to your home to diagnose the sputtering you’re experiencing and make the necessary repairs to your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car has been randomly sputtering/hesitating when driving on the road.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Problems with my truck slowing down.

The service engine soon message is not normal even if it has been on. One fault code can trigger the light and more codes can pop up while the light is on. If you smell a burning smell after driving...

Q: How would I know if I need to replace the rotors on my 2016 Mazda 6 sport without removing the tire?

Hello. Thank you for writing in. With the age of your vehicle, it is rather unlikely that you would have to replace the rotors already. The brake pads that stop the rotation of the rotors however do likely need to...

Q: Car tremble a short while sometimes when travelling in low speeds or changing from idle to drive at the traffic light.

Hi there. With the limited vehicle description, all I can mention is that the throttle pedal position sensor needs reprogrammed or replaced or the gas pedal cable is out of adjustment and need adjusted (carburetor cars). The throttle is out...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.