Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Sputtering when engine is running

asked by on

Our Jetta has progressively gotten worse running well in wet weather. (Sputters as it's going down the road) We replaced the spark plugs and wires. It started after completed, but is still sputtering horribly when running and we are afraid to drive it out of the driveway. I don't know much at all about cars, but it seems like an air flow problem or something. (A good friend with some car knowledge helped do the plugs and wires) Sounds like the lawnmower does when the choke is acting up. It's our son's car while in college, so taking a car with this many miles on a shoestring budget to an auto store is scary! And we aren't sure it would get there anyway.

My car has 189 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

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: I have a 2002 Chrysler 300m that had been sitting up for a year. I replaced the rack and pinion but when backing up steering is hard. Plus I have a P0740 code.

Hi there. The issue with the steering being hard seems to be with the pump still having air in it. Start the engine and open the bleed valve slightly. Turn the steering wheel several times from left to right and...

Q: I got hit in the back. How much has my car depreciated in value?

Hi there. Unfortunately, the determine depreciated value of a vehicle is something that's nearly impossible to do without inspecting the vehicle onsite. Something like this is best left to a professional claims adjuster or one who is certified in that...

Q: Headlights not turning on

If both headlamps are not working and the bulbs are in good condition, I suspect the head lamp switch is faulty. The head lamp switch on your vehicle houses several other functions like the turn signals and the cruise control...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...