Car Stutters When Starting (How To Fix)

Do you notice that your car stutters when starting, and are you wondering why that occurs? If so, keep reading because we have all the answers you need.

It is possible for your car to stutter when starting due to worn-out plugs, damaged motor mount, engine light, and many others. If this occurs, troubleshooting will be required. Continue reading to find out more.

The article tackles many possible reasons why your car stutters when starting and how these problems can be checked. The article also provides useful tips on how you can troubleshoot the problem.

Let’s Get started!

Why Does My Car Stutter When Starting?

If you notice that your car stutters when starting and then runs perfectly afterward without stuttering, you might have a faulty fuel system check valve.

The fuel system check valve is responsible for regulating fuel pressure which enables your car to start immediately it is turned on.

Its inability to do this could result in longer running of the fuel pump in building up pressure required for the engine to start, thereby causing your car to stutter when starting.

Before electronic injection, most vehicles used mechanical fuel pumps. This pump comprises a two-port check valve, one at the pump’s inlet and the other at the outlet.

The fuel pump check valve is a major component of the pump. Its function is to maintain the pressure required to get an engine running and also to regulate fuel flow in the correct direction from the pump. A defective fuel pump check valve can make your car stutter when starting.

Ensure that the fuel pump’s check valve is fixed as soon as possible if your car stutters when starting.

Also Read: How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter (9 Fast Ways)

Car Stutters When Starting (Other Causes and Solutions)

The following are various reasons why your car stutters when starting and solutions for each of them.

1. Worn Out or Faulty Plugs

Worn-out or faulty spark plugs is one of the possible reasons why your car stutters when starting. Worn-out plugs results in misfiring when there is improper ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the cylinders, and this explains the situation of “not firing on all cylinders.”

If this happens when your car is at high speed or not in motion, it could lead to stuttering. Check out our spark plug replacement cost guide to get an idea of what spark plug replacement cost.


This problem can be resolved by getting rid of the worn-out plug and making sure a new one is installed. You can clean off the dirt from spark plugs and still use them, but it is advisable that you call for a replacement. Spark plugs are less expensive.

2. Loose or Disconnected Hoses

A loose or disconnected hose can make your car stutter when starting. For an engine to work properly, certain requirements such as radiator coolant, air-fuel mixture, and vacuum need to be supplied into the engine.

This can be achieved with hoses. So if these hoses become loose or even disconnected, it becomes an issue. Take necessary action.


See that disconnected hoses are reconnected and if you notice any damage, replace them immediately.

3. Faulty Timing Belt

Another reason that could

d make your car stutter when starting is faulty timing belts. Timing belts ensure the proper functioning of critical components in the engine.

If there is a problem with the timing belt, these components in the engine, such as the fan and others, might not function properly. Car stuttering and noises indicate a damaged timing belt, and it is a critical issue.


Inspect timing belts and look out for damaged ones. Replace those that are damaged with new timing belts.

4. Damaged Motor Mounts

Defective motor mounts are another possible reason that could make your car stutter when starting. If this condition happens when your car is at high speed or not in motion, it could lead to stuttering.

Motor mounts support the engine in its compartment and control road shocks and vibration, so if it encounters any problem, it will not function at all.


It is possible to resolve this issue with the help of a trained technician. Make sure your motor mount is replaced.

5. Problems With The Engine

This is a critical reason that shouldn’t be overlooked at all times. The engine is the overall system of a car, and any issue in the engine can make the car tremble.

Insufficient air supply, spark, and fuel could bring about this issue and can cause the car to stutter, indicating it is faulty and need to be checked.


This problem can be resolved by getting rid of the worn-out plug and making sure a new one is installed.

6. Wrong Fuel Intake Adjustments

For an engine to work properly, an air-fuel mixture needs to be supplied into the engine. Adjustment in the fuel intake system allows this process. Improper fuel intake adjustments can lead to vibration of engines due to poor calibration.


When this happens, carefully adjust the fuel intake system and clean it properly.

7. Problems With the Brakes

Problems With the Brakes

Sometimes your car stutters when starting because of faulty brakes. Brake problems could be an issue. Have you seen a warped brake rotor? If you have an idea of what it is, you might know what action to take when you notice vibration.

Brake rotors are a silver-like, round-shaped material found in vehicles having a disc brake system. It is compressed with brake pads and calipers. Constant usage makes the brake rotors change shape. When it is no longer round, it causes vibration and stuttering of your car.


A routine check is very necessary. Your brakes and rotors should be inspected at all times.

Also Read: Car Shakes When Braking (Why & How To Fix)

8. Unbalanced Car Wheels

Most times, people act out of ignorance. They feel tires can’t make a car stutter when starting, even when other systems do. This is considered untrue. Imbalanced tires can make a car stutter when starting.

It might not be the tires causing the vibration or imbalance in some cases but the wheels. It could be because of dirt or particles inside the wheels. Getting the wheels cleaned can solve this problem.


Ensure the wheels are thoroughly cleaned on all sides.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Car Stutters When Starting

What Is Wrong if Your Car Hesitates to Start?

There could be an issue with the starter or something related. Maybe you ran out of gas, or your fuel system is faulty. Your spark plug, compression, and even some sensors, when faulty, can stop your car from starting.

Why Does My Engine Sputter When I Turn It On?

When you turn on your engine, and it sputters, there is an issue with the vehicle’s fuel system.
The fuel pumps, filters, and electronic injectors are the three important components of the vehicle’s fuel system. All three components see to the even distribution of fuel from the fuel tank to the engine fuel’s injectors and then into the engine.

Why Does My Car Crank a Lot Before Starting?

A weak or missing spark or fuel can make your car crank before it turns on, and each has its reasons. A bad sensor, throttle position, coolant sensor, a bad fuel pump, or a plugged fuel filter causes a lean condition making the engine crank for a very long period.

Why Does My Car Sound Like Its Choking When I Start It?

A choking sound means your engine is not properly fed fuel, and this could be a result of a bad fuel pump. Get the fuel system pressure tested by a technician and inspect any form of noise.

Why Is My Car Sputtering but Not Starting?

If your car sputters without starting, there is an issue with your spark plug. Spark plugs ensure proper ignition of fuel in engines. When your car hesitates to start or sputters when starting even when your lights and radio turn on, it is generally an indicator of a damaged spark plug.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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