Sputters when cold start

Tiny
WILL GULL
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PLYMOUTH BREEZE
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 211,000 MILES
The colder it is outside the worse the condition is. Chugging and sputtering for a few seconds then starts. Runs fine the rest of the day until cold overnight again. Failed to start once and started second try.
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Saturday, October 16th, 2021 AT 11:05 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Since it happens with temperature, chances are the engine coolant temperature sensor is failing. The sensor signals the computer with the coolant temperature. If it signals a wrong temperature, the computer will either overcompensate or under compensate for how much fuel the engine needs to run properly.

Since the computer doesn't know if the sensor is correct, if it receives a signal, it won't set a check engine light.

We have two ways to check this. First, and the easiest, is using a live data scan tool. With the key on and the engine cold, see what temperature is being identified. It should be very close to the ambient temperature.

If that isn't an option, it can be checked using a multimeter. If you look at pic 1 below, I provided the directions for testing this way. Also, pic 2 shows the sensor's location.

Let me know what you find or if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below.
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Saturday, October 16th, 2021 AT 10:52 PM
Tiny
WILL GULL
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for your time. It was too tight to get my meter probes into the sensor while on the car, so I ll order a new one and let you know the result.
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Friday, October 22nd, 2021 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Will,

I appreciate the follow-up. I look forward to hearing if that takes care of the issue. I'll watch for your reply.

Take care of yourself,

Joe
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Friday, October 22nd, 2021 AT 8:00 PM

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