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Q: Sometimes while driving my service engine light flashes for a second and the engine sputters then goes right back to normal.

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Sometimes while driving my service engine light flashes for a second and the engine sputters then goes right back to normal. Most of the time it runs great with no issues while idling or anything, until about a month ago. At first it was rare but seems to be happening more often over this past week. I feel like it is mainly when I go over a bump but that could just be a coincidence. I would like to know what to check or fix.

My car has 45000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello there, thanks for your question. It sounds like you may have an intermittent failure, probably electrical.

If codes exist in history (i.e., downloadable), that would give a clue and there might be data loggers that could be applied to record exactly what is happening at the time of the cut-off (and setting of the CEL). The "mainly when you hit a bump" report may not be coincidental as the "jarring" may be enough to create the intermittent fault.

You could try a visual inspection of the engine or body grounds (clean them up and re-tighten) and try to do a physical wire harness trace. In other words, look for anything in the visible wring, including terminals that shows external damage, corrosion, looseness, rubbing, and so forth.

Unfortunately, a wire break concealed in a harness, will be hard to visually find if that is what it is, but there are techniques and tools that a mechanic will use to resolve this.

For any or all of these methods, consider having one of our certified automotive technicians come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue, and make the necessary repairs.

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