My Car’s Engine Has the Hiccups!

If your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine is hiccupping and sputtering all the time, there is something going on that needs to be fixed. We can help here at Automobile Diagnostics. We are going to list the common reasons why engines sputter below. Chances are, one of these things is the reason why your engine sputters every time you drive your automobile.


Your vehicle can get clogs in many different places. Filter clogs, including the air and fuel filter, will make your engine sputter. It will also sputter if the catalytic converter is clogged. Fuel lines that are clogged or fuel injectors that are caked with sediment will make your engine sputter. A clogged catalytic converter will also cause engine sputtering because the exhaust is backing up into the combustion chamber.

Faulty ECU

One of the primary reasons why an engine sputters is an imbalance of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. The main computer chip, the engine control unit or ECU, is what controls the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the ECU is faulty, you may end up with too much air in the chamber and a sputtering engine. The ECU can also cause the spark plugs to misfire and your engine to sputter.

Faulty MAF Sensor

The mass airflow sensor can go bad if it gets too dirty. Usually, cleaning the sensor will resolve the problem. It’s rare that we have to replace the sensor. If the sensor is not doing its job correctly, however, the ECU may push too much air into the combustion chamber and your engine will sputter.

Faulty O2 Sensor

The same is true with the oxygen sensor, but this part usually needs to be replaced every 90,000 to 100,000 miles. If your oxygen sensor has gone bad, you will also end up with the check engine warning and a reduction in your vehicle’s fuel economy alongside the sputtering engine.

Vacuum Leak

A vacuum leak can also make the engine sputter. What happens is air escapes from the vacuum hoses and fills the engine and combustion chamber. This causes a lean fuel mixture and a struggling engine.

Worn Spark Plugs

Finally, if the spark plugs or wires are worn, this can make your engine misfire. This sounds like sputtering and hiccupping. Replacing the spark plugs or wires will resolve the problem.

Call Automobile Diagnostics in Columbus, IN, today if your car’s engine is sputtering all the time. We will get to the bottom of the issue and fix the problem.

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