Q: Engine hesitating in the first 20 minutes of driving when cold

asked by on

Hi. I have problem with my car when the weather is cold. It would start stumbling and hesitating in the first 20 minutes of driving. The dash would show check engine light flashing as well. After 10-20 minutes of running with these issues, the engine would gather speed and run fine. Also, it would occasionally stall at traffic lights. I went to the dealership but they couldn't fix the problem. They used a code reader and no error codes came. They had the fuel filters and fuel pump checked and couldn't find anything wrong. The issue is still there and I would like to know what could be wrong. The car has gone around 70,000 miles. Do you have any ideas? Thank you.

This could be caused by a cold state vacuum leak. Basically, this is a condition where a vacuum leak is present until the engine heats up and the induction parts expand and seal the leak. When the vacuum leak is present, you may be getting too much air, causing the engine to stumble. Because this happens during the warm up phase, the engine is running on preprogrammed values, so no fault codes are stored.

A smoke test on the induction system while the engine is cold might make it possible to locate the source of this leak. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who has the tools and expertise to diagnose the hesitation issue and find the best path of repair.

Was this answer helpful?
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. Engine hesitating in the first 20 minutes of driving when cold

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: Truck shuts off, hard to restart - 2000 Dodge Ram 2500

Hello. The neutral safety switch should be checked for proper operation. There could also be a problem with the glow plugs and turbo system. Another possibility is that the fuel injectors may be causing the problem you are experiencing. Have...

Q: Puff blue smoke on startup

Your engine does not have a PCV valve. The engine is equipped with crankcase vent tubes that do not need replaced or cleaned unless line is broken. You may have valve seals that are leaking oil into the exhaust valve...

Q: Check engine and cruise control lights come on simultaneously

Hello. When the Check Engine Light comes on, it disables the cruise control. I would need to know the code to be able to tell what may be going on. I typically start by scanning the computer for codes to...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...