Q: Hesitation, sputtering and check engine light flickering

asked by on

My car has hesitation issues. It accelerates from the dead stop, which is followed by hesitating for a few seconds. Then, the car returns to normal. This started happening a few months ago. While idling at a stop light the other day, the car stalled so I restarted it. Then, it worked normally for 15 minutes. The vehicle stalled again while I was driving at 65 mph on the highway. When I stopped the truck, I noticed that there was no RPM indication, while it was vibrating and sputtering. There was also problems with the check engine light, which went on and off, flickering. The vehicle gave no codes. Do you have any suggestions about what might cause this?

The problems you are having may be the electrical harness intermittently loosing contact with the engine control module (ECM). The ECM may be loosing power intermittently from the main power supply. This is not a common issue; a qualified mechanic should perform a thorough check - "a wiggle test" - of each and every harness to see which harness is causing the loss of connection to the ECM. A connector may have corrosion in it and a wiggle test with the engine running should be done before disconnecting the connectors.

Once the faulty connector is found then the connector can be removed and checked for corrosion or broken wires. It may take a mechanic a while to find and fix the problem for you through a thorough diagnostic of the sputtering issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Hesitation, sputtering and check engine light flickering

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: When I crank it up when it's cold or cooled down it has a loud whinnying sound and as it warms up it starts to quiet down a lot.

This may be a sign of a weak battery, a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while...

Q: when starting the car once you press the gas pedal it does not respond right away .Also happened on the highway

Hello. I usually start by checking the computer for codes. I also use the scan tool to see what the sensor are reading. Most of the time this is caused by an airflow sensor that is not reading right or...

Q: 2006 Ridgeline RTL engine light stays on. Vehicle runs great and has new catalytic converter. Did reset but light came back on. Best guess please.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The checking engine light that you are receiving can stand for a large number of issues with the vehicle, and knowing what codes have been triggered are the only way to resolve the issue....

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...