Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car takes about 5 cranks to start and once it does start the car jerks and only idles at about 500 rpm

asked by on

the car takes about 5 cranks to start and once it starts its idles horrible with engine jerking when i drive down the road it bogs down eventually the rpms shoot up and the car takes off then there is a sputtering noise and it bogs down again even with my foot on the gas.

My car has 165000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This is a fuel supply problem. Fuel pressur...

This is a fuel supply problem. Fuel pressure will be the key indicator for which component of the fuel system isn’t performing as needed. Check to be sure the fuel pump relay is good, and the fuel pump is running continuously.

Make sure the fuel filter isn’t clogged if fuel pressure remains low all the time. If fuel pressure still isn’t coming up to design specification, either the fuel pressure regulator is not closing properly to keep pressure up, or the fuel pump is worn such that it can’t build up adequate pressure.

I would recommend having YourMechanic diagnose this issue, provide an accurate assessment of damage, and estimate the cost of repairs. YourMechanic can dispatch a mobile, professional mechanic to your location for a proper diagnosis of your starting issue and help you repair the issue as necessary.

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!

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: Car won't always start right away, after fueling up.

The purge valve on the engine is not supposed to flow fuel tank vapors from the carbon canister when the vehicle is off or at idle. When refueling the vehicle a lot of fumes are generated in the tank and...

Q: Low fuel pressure at the fuel rail (30psi) then drops to 10psi occasionally while idling. The fuel sending unit was just replaced. 2004 Dodge Dakota

Hi there - yes, you clearly have a fuel supply issue, mainly focused on getting enough pressure in the fuel rail to the injectors. Check problem codes first, even if the Check Engine light is not illuminated. I suspect your...

Q: Hesitating and missing in drive or park, fine over 45 mph

Hello. Quite a few different items can cause an erratic idle as well as an engine that misses. The spark plugs and wires are a great place to start. Other possible causes of this fault include: low fuel pressure, vacuum...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...