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

asked by on

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.

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.

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

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: Car hesitating on acceleration.

Thanks for writing in about your Mazda 6. You need to make sure that the mass airflow sensor is not getting contaminated by an oil type air filter. If it is, replace the air filter with clean paper type one...

Q: Check drl system

Hello, thank you for writing in. The computer is trying to detect the bulb, but cant. Sometimes this can be a fuse issue, and it may require removing and replacing the fuse for the headlights. Secondly, the LED bulb that...

Q: Car will start and not start

I have seen may of these engines distributors get oil inside of them from leaking seals and this will cause failure of the crankshaft and camshaft sensors inside of the distributor. The distributor should be inspected to check if there...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.