Q: Station wagon sputters and hesitates

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My station wagon is in excellent condition and has 204,000. When at a stop sign the car started slightly sputtering and hesitating. When accelerating, it was fine, but when I pulled into my drive, it again started hesitating and sputtering a little. After putting it in Park, I left it running. The service light came on, so I stepped outside to see what was happening. It sounded like the engine was having trouble and the exhaust sounded like it had something stuck in it. I'm thinking the problem could be a sensor. I took it and left it at my mechanic’s. In your professional experience, what caused this?

It will depend on the the fault that is stored causing the service engine soon light to be illuminated. Based on the description, I would suspect either an input sensor to the engine management system, such as an oxygen sensor, MAF sensor, or possibly an airflow issue such as an intake system leak, or an idle valve that is sticking. It will really depend on the nature of the fault codes stored. I recommend having a certified technician come to your home or office to diagnose your engine’s hesitation issue.

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