Q: Car starts fine, runs briefly, sputters and shuts off - 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood

asked by on

The car has gone around 170,000 miles. I have no problems starting the car. It is idling well too. However, when I'm driving and begin to accelerate to develop high speed, there would be some sputtering and complete shutoff. This happened to me the other day and I started the car back up immediately. The dashboard was showing the check engine light on. Now, when I start the car, it would shut off very shortly after. It would begin to sputter and few minutes later the dash lights would come on and the car turns off completely. I went to a few shops. I was tod this might be caused by a bad optispark distributor. Also, some bad fuel might cause this problem as well. I use Shell 93 octane. I was wondering if this could have something to do with a fuel pump maybe. Do you have any idea?

A: Hi! Yes, I have a couple thoughts for you t...

Hi! Yes, I have a couple thoughts for you to hopefully get your Cadillac back to being a reliable driver. From what you've said so far, I agree that the distributor and the fuel pump are high probability suspects. Now its time to have some diagnostic testing performed!

Both the fuel pump and distributor can be tested to determine if they are failing. A fuel pump test uses a pressure gauge to verify its ability to deliver correct pressure under various conditions. A distributor test will verify its ability to reliably switch the ignition coil on and off consistently , hot or cold. Additionally, the Check Engine Light is indicating that your vehicle's own engine control module (ECM) is recognizing a problem and has some information to provide to a technician using a scan tool that will aid in the diagnostic process. It's now time to have an experienced technician, such as one from YourMechanic, run some tests to diagnose the sputtering issue instead of saying, "maybe this, or maybe that". One or two good test results is worth twenty guesses, and prevents you from replacing expensive components that are not the cause.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I am doing the water pump. first 5 bolts came off. the middle driverside bolt is blocked by a bracket. how do I get bracket off?

I would recommend looking all around the bracket for all mounting hardware that attatches it to the engine. Once all mounting hardware has been found, you can then loosen and remove the mounting hardware in order to remove the bracket....

Q: Car is misfiring, losign power and sputtering

The first thing to check is the computer for any codes. If you are getting misfire codes like P030x, then you have a cylinder that is misfiring. The "x" is the cylinder that is misfiring. Also look for a bad...

Q: New battery died charged

It is possible that you may have a large parasitic draw or the new battery was faulty. A parasitic draw test should be set up if the battery passes a load test. The alternator should also undergo a charging system...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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 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.