Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Idle problems when stopped. Car stops running. 4WD and Check engine lights on and solid. Gas cap tightened to verify

asked by on

I drove 180miles one way for work yesterday. About 50 miles after a gas fill, my check engine light came on along with 4WD and possibly another light, all solid. I checked the gas cap and verified it was tight. Lights still didn't go off after another 180 miles. Today, I stopped for gas again and when I went to start the car, the idle was low and it shut off. Took a couple of times to restart, but worked fine as long as I was giving it gas. Next time I stopped, no idle problems. Restarted after about an hour of being off and it didn't have any problems starting but the lights are still on. Tried fuel injector cleaner as well, but have only driven about 5 miles since used.

My car has 89000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you are describing sounds like a dirty or faulty mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. This sensor relays vital information to the ECM which uses this to make adjustments to fuel supply to the motor. A dirty or faulty sensor can cause an imbalanced air/fuel load to be supplied to the motor which results in an over fueling or under fueling situation depending on the conditions. This type of inconsistent fuel supply to the motor may cause a hesitation, loss of power, a jerking reaction, potentially a bit of black exhaust smoke and typically a strong smell of fuel when this sensor is malfunctioning. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Idle problems when stopped. Car stops running. 4WD and Check engine lights on and solid. Gas cap tightened to verify

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: What's wrong w/ my steering?

There are many, many components in the suspension that could account for the noise, some are not expensive to repair and all can be repaired right at your location. Thus, I encourage you to seek out a diagnostic and then...

Q: i recently upgrade my Radio to a multimedia system wiyh GPS, evrything is functiong except the radio sound and volume is fading in

Hello, and thank you for writing in. Start by checking all of the electrical connections. Make sure none of the wires are loose or exposed. Turn then to the amplifier in the vehicle and make sure the speakers are getting...

Q: How do I use the power windows?

The power windows allow you to roll down or roll up the windows with a single button. The front passenger door, and the rear doors all have a Power Window switch on the inside of the door, which controls that...

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...
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...
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.