Virginia Auto Service

Why does my car sputter on acceleration?

Does your car sputter when you step on the accelerator? If yes, it could be because you are low on gas.

However, if your tanks are full, then it could indicate a different kind of car trouble starting from either the fuel system in your car or a faulty exhaust or even worn out parts.

It is important to note that the problem will not self-correct over a period. If left unaddressed, it can lead to expensive repair costs which are not appealing even in the age of lower taxes.

Why does my car sputter on acceleration?

Here are five of the most common reasons why your car sputters when you accelerate.

1. Failing Catalytic Converter

If your car has a faulty or a failing catalytic converter, the engine will sputter or run rough.

  • When the catalytic converter is faulty, its ability to burn hydrocarbons within the exhaust get hampered which means the breakdown of sulfur produced by the engine will no longer happen.
  • For this reason, you may get a smell akin to rotten eggs if the catalytic converter is failing.
  • Another symptom that your catalytic converter is failing is when your dashboard lights up with the “check engine light.”
  • If the catalytic converter gets completely blocked, the car will not start.

2. Dirty Fuel Injectors

  • The job of the fuel injectors is to supply the cylinders with required fuel which mixes with the air and ignites. This ignition is necessary to power up the engine.
  • However, over a period, the fuel injector nozzle can get blocked leading to the engine sputtering when you accelerate.
  • Timely cleaning of the fuel injectors can prevent any kind of clogging. If, however, the fuel injectors are not routinely cleaned, they can get damaged and will need to be replaced.

3. Dirty Spark Plugs

If the spark plugs which help the fuel ignite within the combustion chamber are damaged or dirty, they will not be able to ignite the fuel.

When this happens, the engine will sputter, or you may experience a misfire. At this point, the spark plugs will have to be cleaned or replaced based on the level of damage and you don’t want to be doing this on the side of the road in a Phoenix summer.

4. Faulty Oxygen Sensors

  • The job of oxygen sensors is to keep a track of exhaust gases for how rich or lean they are at the point of leaving the combustion chamber.
  • This information is then passed on to the computer which then makes the necessary adjustments to the quantity of fuel inside the engine.
  • If your oxygen sensors are damaged or dirty, they will not be able to pass on this critical information to the car’s computer which means the computer will not be able to adjust the fuel entering the engine leading to the engine sputtering.
  • If you take your car for routine maintenance, your car technician will ensure they are replaced as and when required.

5. Leakage in the Exhaust Manifold

  • If your exhaust manifold which is responsible for collecting the exhaust gases springs a leak, you may experience your car engine sputtering upon acceleration.
  • Your engine will also become very noisy and its overall performance will drop.
  • The danger of a leak in the exhaust manifold is that the hot gases can damage the surrounding car parts, or the exhaust fumes could also enter the cabin of the car.
  • One of the first signs to watch out for is the “check engine light” flashing on your dashboard.

Notify a Professional

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is best to have your car checked up by a professional car technician at the earliest.

Keep in mind that the sputtering will not go away; in most cases, if the engine sputters on acceleration, it could be symptomatic of a wide variety of serious car troubles.

If you ignore the problem, over a period, your car will suffer from dropping engine performance and eventually not start at all.

Routine maintenance can help address most of the car troubles that you face. During a service visit, your car technician will carry out a complete checkup of all car parts and make necessary repairs or replace the parts as and when needed.

Reliable Car Maintenance with Professional Auto Experts!

Does your car sputter upon acceleration? Are you facing any of the above-mentioned warning signs?

If yes, you can visit us at Virginia Auto Service for a speedy resolution to all your car troubles. You can also reach us at 602-266-0200 or schedule a visit with us online as per your convenience.