Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car is sputtering while in drive or reverse

asked by on

I have a 1998 Honda Accord. I was driving and I felt a big jerk and it started sputtering and missing. I changed the spark plugs and wires, distributor, distributor rotor, and alternator. It idles fine but when I put it in reverse or drive, it shakes and won't go. Can you tell me what's wrong with it?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This can be caused by a variety of reasons however a common reason for many engines to struggle may be a faulty throttle position sensor or mass air flow sensor. The throttle position sensor is a sensor that monitors the position of your foot on the gas pedal which then relays this information to the computer which then directs the fuel injection system to supply more or less fuel to the motor depending on the position of your foot on the pedal. When this sensor is not working properly, this will cause the hesitation and shaking you describe. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose these issues and make necessary repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: What does it mean if the Tire Pressure Monitoring System indicator comes on in the dash?

Your car is equipped with a pretty advanced system designed to monitor the amount of air in your tires (the tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS). The light will come on for a number of different reasons. Here’s what you...

Q: Hydraulic problem with engine lifters knocking.

Hi there. If the lifters are indeed tapping, then they are probably sticking. Try putting one quart of transmission fluid in the engine and run the engine for 15 minutes at 3,000 rpm. This will thin out the original oil...

Q: Fans, AC or heat doesn't work

This may be related to a faulty blower motor or blower motor relay. Occasionally, the blower motor itself will wear out or become faulty working intermittently as the brush contacts inside the motor wear out. The blower motor relay supplies...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...