Q: Car Sputtering at Hwy Speeds

asked by on February 03, 2017

My van has a very intermittent sputter at highway speeds. (Feels like it's running out of gas.) It typically happens between 40-70 mph with no engine light. But is not consistent enough to create. If I cruise at say 65 mph it will not happen even when going up and down a hill, however it occurs when I am accelerating up to that speed. It does not make difference of I accelerate fast or gradually. I have changed the spark plugs and wires and have tried a fuel treatment. Other then this issue the vehicle runs excellent and has been perfectly maintained. Internet research has suggested the cam shaft synchronizer assembly. I didn't know if that sounded accurate.

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement $104.59 - $849.08 Get a Quote

There are several things that can cause this kind of sputtering to happen, however one that is very common is in fact the camshaft position sensor failing which can cause problems with ignition timing resulting in sputtering as you describe as well as many other problems. As you may know, the camshaft position sensor is a magnetic sensor that monitors camshaft speed to regulate ignition timing and fuel injection timing. It gathers and sends information about the car’s camshaft speed (and as a result the position of each piston) to the car’s electronic control module. This information is received by the computer, which then uses this data to further calculate the time of ignition and the timing of fuel injection required by the engine. When this is not working properly, you may experience a drop in power, poor idling, poor fuel mileage and problems starting the vehicle. As the sensor begins to fail and gets worse over time, the signal it provides to the computer weakens as well. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your camshaft position sensor.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $70/hr

What others are asking

2007 toyota rav4 code p0171

Why is my car making a squeaking noise when driving even when my foot not on the gas

Hi Jason. In most cases, when you hear a squeaking noise, it's caused by a component that is loose or worn out. Most common sources include a serpentine belt or pulley that is loose or worn out. To correctly diagnose...

Is Mototehnika a good driveshaft brand?

Hi there. Mototehnika driveshafts are a descent design to have for your vehicle. The best driveshaft to install in the vehicle is an OEM specified driveshaft. There are lots of good reviews about the Mototehnika driveshaft design and a lot...

98 camry starter clicking and the battery and starter is good.

Hi there. Check the battery cables and make sure that they are tight and clean. Check the battery for a load test. The battery should not drop more than 11.5 volts during a voltage drop test. If the battery does...

Truck starts and runs rough for about 30 seconds, then dies like it is out of fuel. It won'the restart for 15 minuets

Hey there: If the injector control pressure sensor is faulty, you should have received an error code or check engine light warning code that triggered that light on the dashboard. Try downloading all error codes first as it could be...

How do I bypass the heater core?

There are two hoses that go to the heater core on the firewall, these two hoses would need to be hooked together. This is the only way to bypass the heater. If you need some assistance with this, consider enlisting...

Right wheel shaking when driving

Being unable to drive your vehicle due to a shaky wheel is not a great experience. Unfortunately there could be a variety of reasons that can cause your right wheel to shake when driving. A failed strut, loose suspension components...

Related articles

How Long Does an Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor Last?
An An air cleaner temperature sensor is not overly common on newer vehicles. This is because in order to ensure that your car engine operates the way it should, several electronic sensors may actually be needed. However, if you drive...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing EGR Temperature Sensor
Common signs include engine ping or knock, the Check Engine Light coming on, and failing an emissions test.
How Long Does an Oil Temperature Sensor Last?
Oil Oil is vital for engine operation – you can’t drive without it. Trying to run your car’s engine without oil would result in catastrophic damage. However, it’s just as important that the engine oil is monitored at all times....