Q: Car stalls and sputters while in idle

asked by on August 25, 2017

While in idle my car sputters and stalls at least once a day and occasionally knocks. I've taken my car to my usual mechanic but he could not and has not determined the problem. There is no check engine light on nor do any codes come back when it's hooked up to the machine. I've had the crankshaft position sensor and idle air control valve replaced along with purchasing a new battery (which was on its last leg) still to no avail. Any help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
My car has an automatic transmission.

Have the catalytic converter checked to make sure it is not blocked partly or rattling and sometimes blocking exhaust and stalling car. It can make a knocking noise without codes. Also check to see if camshaft sensor is reading correct and variable valve cam is not returning to idle position can cause this.

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 $65/hr

What others are asking

The front end and steering wheel shakes when I accelerate.

You may have a traction control system that is activating when you are accelerating. This can be due to one of two things: the speed sensors in the front detect that a wheel is going faster than it...

Loud metallic clicking noise from engine

Hi there. If there is a grinding noise when trying to crank the engine then most of the time it is caused by the starter failing. If the starter gear is not engaging correctly then this will occur. It is...

How hard is it to replace the EGR valve on my 2000 Ford Focus

Hi there. If the bolts to the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve are frozen in place by rust, you could put a small blow torch to the bolts and get them cherry red and then try to remove them. If...

Car hard starts, rough idles , fan on all the time and stalls when accelerating.

Hello. The symptoms you are experiencing can be caused by many things. A few things I would look at are the fuel, ignition, and engine management systems. If there is an issue with the components to any of these systems...

Saturn Vue 2006 exhaust leak in manifold

Hi there. An exhaust leak can be very tricky - depending on the location of the actual leak. If it is leaking near the exhaust manifold or the cylinder head, the potential for internal engine damage increases. In regards to...

How much to replace both motor mounts and transmission mounts

I'm not 100% certain that the noise would just be your transmission mounts and engine mounts. It sounds like you may have a linkage problem or a further problem with your transmission fluid. If you look at your transmission fluid,...

2002 Saturn l100 2.2. Weak crank no start. Replaced plugs, starter, battery.

There are a number of things this could be. If the turning the motor over without spark plugs did not change the sound or strength of the ability of the motor to turn over, this could suggest a blow head...

P0420 bad under body catalytic converter 2003 Nissan Altima

Hi there - you are correct that there are 2 catalytic converters on your vehicle; one (sometimes called a pre-catalyst) that is part of the exhaust manifold, and a 2nd converter further "downstream" in the exhuast system. It is the...

Engine Computer Issues (spark plugs & coils were changed 5 months ago as well).

Do you have ANY aftermarket electrical equipment in the car? Such components can impact the function of the PCM. Also, check the alternator output and stability. If the power supply to the PCM is not within specification, that could damage...

Related articles

P2078 OBD-II Trouble Code: Intake Manifold Tuning (IMT) Valve Position Sensor/Switch Circuit High
P2078 P2078 code definition Intake Manifold Tuning (IMT) Valve Position Sensor/Switch Circuit High What the P2078 code means This code will set if the Engine Control Module (ECM), or Powertrain Control Module (PCM), detects a problem with the position of...
Can a Bad Sensor Prevent a Car From Starting?
If your car isn't starting or has a hard time starting, a faulty sensor may be to blame. Car sensors monitor data to keep your car running smoothly.
How to Replace a Washer Fluid Level Switch
The washer fluid level switch fails when the Windshield Fluid Warning Light stays illuminated or there are unusual noises coming from the washer pump.