Q: engine sputtering in the rain and having a harder time starting in the cold recently

asked by on December 08, 2016

This June my engine started sputtering in the rain. I figured it had to do with the crack in the plastic top of my radiator, so I replaced my radiator and I stopped losing coolant and the engine stopped sputtering in the rain. but for the last month or so the engine's been misfiring whenever it's damp and starting with difficulty in the cold. last week my ipod would turn off and then on while I was driving, the heating fan was wavering, and then, all of a sudden, my car wouldn't even start. I got a jump, the engine started up just fine and I got it home. when I tried to start it later that day I heard current running through the engine but it wasn't turning over or cranking or even clicking. Are these the symptoms of a bad ignition coil? Could it be the wiring going to the spark plugs? I replaced the sparks about 40000 miles ago and they dont look particularly dirty.

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Engine is sputtering Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Consistent occurrence of poor operation during periods of high humidity is a clear sign of current leakage in the ignition system. Such leakage can occur as moisture provides an unintended path to ground on the high tension spark plug wires and could even originate at the coil on account of corrosion and rust (both attract more moisture) in the coil terminals. The contacts on the coil should be inspected as well as the coil itself and it might not be a bad idea to proactively replace the spark plug wires, which don’t last forever anyway. These wires are presently 15 years old on your vehicle if they are original. What I would recommend is a diagnostic for the sputtering during which the aforementioned possibilities will be examined as well as quite a few other possibilities, too.

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

What others are asking

2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8L car is sluggish and hesitates to accelerate code is p0016 changed both cam sensors no luck

There are two possibilities that could be causing this issue. It is possible that the timing belt was replaced incorrectly and now the timing is off therefore having the same problem as before. The other possibility is that the crankshaft...

Car does not respond when accelerator pedal is pressed on.

Hey there. This may be the result of a failing throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor is used to monitor the throttle position of the throttle plate inside the throttle body in relation to your foot position on the...

No acceleration or RPM increase while pressing gas pedal

It sounds like you may have an issue with your throttle position sensor. This sensor sends a reference voltage to your power-train control module, which uses that to determine ignition timing and fuel trims. If the power-train control module is...

dont know if my tranny is shifting into overdrive and the torch converter not locking in or the orther way around

Gear selection, and coincident operating parameters (e.g., line pressure; solenoid position), on your transmission are easiest to see with a manufacturer scan tool. If and once it is determined that there is no lock-up, or no overdrive gear, the cause...

transmission slipping

The transmission internal clutches may be worn out or the fluid is very low causing the issue. Check fluids first and if level is low then locate leak and fill system to see if it corrects issue or the transmission...

my car revs high without gaining speed for several seconds

You most likely are having more than one problem. The main problem of revving high is the clutch slipping and the clutch needing replacement. As with the problem with the hoses collapsing, if it is a coolant hose, then the...

Muffler is loud and the van jumps when in idle. When it jumps the muffler makes a puffing noise and smells.

This may be related to a failing catalytic converter or potentially a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it enters the motor and relays this information to the computer...

locating obc relay

Anyone know? I can't find it. OBC = onboard computer in-dash. VIN is incomplete

Rapid clicking when trying to start engine

Hi there. It sounds like you have either a faulty battery or a failed starter. If the battery has failed, insufficient voltage and amps are supplied to the starter and it cannot turn the engine. If the starter motor has...

Related articles

Are There Different Kinds of Spark Plugs?
Your Your engine needs at least one spark plug per cylinder to ignite the fuel and air mixture and make the engine run. But not all spark plugs are the same. There are several different types on the market, and...
How Often Do Spark Plug Wires Need to Be Changed?
Spark plugs provide the electricity necessary for combustion to happen by igniting atomized fuel in an engine's cylinders. However, they need a...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor
If your car is having trouble starting in the cold, the Check Engine Light comes on, or idle quality is poor, you may need to replace the ACT sensor.