Engine Hesitation: 7 Solutions that May Work for You

When your vehicle is running and you step on the gas pedal, you expect to move. Those surprising moments when the car doesn’t start to accelerate the way you expect are known as hesitation.

At best, the problem is an annoying fluke that happens in your driveway and sorts itself out quickly. At worst, it’s a dangerous malfunction in rush hour traffic that leaves you vulnerable to the hazards around you.

It’s unusual for a car or truck to hesitate, and it isn’t something you need to tolerate. If you believe your car may have been sold to you with a defect, reach out to us at 833.4.CARLAW for a free consultation and we will investigate the problem.

Why Hesitation Happens

To understand hesitation, we first need to understand the basics of how your car works. When you step on the gas pedal, the fuel pump sends gas to the fuel injection system, which then mixes the gas with air. This gas-air cocktail slips into the cylinders, where it’s ignited by a spark plug. The energy from the cylinder’s movement is eventually transferred to your tires.

There’s a lot going on, and if anything interrupts the flow of operations before a cylinder ignites, you might be stuck with hesitation.

There are generally three reasons an engine may hesitate:

  • It’s getting too much air
  • It’s not getting enough fuel
  • It’s misfiring

In short, anything that interrupts the fuel or air on its way to the engine can reduce your power.

Solutions for Hesitation

To resolve your vehicle’s hesitation issues, you or your dealer can consider the following:

  1. Replace your fuel filters. Dirty or worn filters lower your fuel quality as it reaches the fuel injection system.
  2. Check your fuel pump. A damaged or worn fuel pump could reduce the amount of fuel the engine receives.
  3. Check your oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor is responsible for telling the computer how much air is in the exhaust system. This helps the computer determine how much air and fuel is needed. If this is broken, the ratio of fuel to oxygen could get thrown off.
  4. Replace your spark plugs. Worn spark plugs mean you won’t have any combustion.
  5. Check your EGR valve. EGR stands for exhaust gas recirculation. This valve reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by recirculating some of the exhaust back into the engine. If it’s dirty, clogged, or broken, your air levels will be thrown off.
  6. Replace your air filter. Like the oxygen sensor and EGR valve, a bad air filter could lead to circulation issues.
  7. Look for other leaks. Tiny holes in your intake manifold or your positive crankcase ventilation valve, for example, reduces the amount of air successfully entering your engine.

Seek Legal Assistance for Hesitation

If you experience hesitation frequently, despite your dealer’s best efforts, you may have been sold a lemon. Robison Lemon Law Group can help you navigate both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and lemon laws to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, so you can get into a new car and put hesitation behind you.