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Matt, Engineer
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 20399
Experience:  Automotive Engineer for 20 years, BEng hons degree,
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Started to splutter sitting in park. i took off then it

Customer Question

started to splutter sitting in park. i took off then it drove fine. i parked hopped in again now the engine light is on
JA: Has your vehicled stalled? Has anyone run a diagnostic test to pull the trouble code?
Customer: no and no
JA: What is the make/model/year of your car?
Customer: 2003 xtrail manual petrol
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: no and no light is still on but running fine
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Australia Car
Expert:  Matt replied 2 months ago.


On any car if you get a check engine light or other fault light this typically means one or more of the sensors has failed or has a faulty connection.

The fault can be something quite simple and nothing that’s going to stop the car to something quite major that will reduce engine power and possibly stop the engine

The ECU senses this and may put the car into 'limp home' mode which typically limits the revs and the amount of power available. Usually the car is safe to drive for a short distance as the mode is intended is intended to get you home without incurring any engine damage

The quickest route to repair is to have the car plugged into a diagnostic machine which will read off the fault code stored in the ECU (providing the light is still on at this point) and indicate which sensor has failed or whether the fault is more serious.

You can do a very rough and ready check yourself by unplugging sensors one at a time and seeing if any of them change the driving condition which would indicate the most recently unplugged sensor is the faulty one. This method is not foolproof though and reading a fault code off is the better method.

also you don't mention what make and model this is ? also how does the car drive with this fault?

Expert:  Matt replied 1 month ago.


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