What is an inspection for a car hesitating and bucking? 

In this service, a mechanic can inspect the components involved in the engine’s operation. The inspection will determine whether there’s a problem with the fuel system, the ignition components, or the exhaust system

How an inspection for a car hesitating and bucking works

A car’s engine is powered by:
  • a fuel delivery system, which sprays a fine mist of gasoline into the engine
  • an ignition system, which produces the spark that causes engine combustion
  • an exhaust system, which expels and recirculates engine fumes. 
If any part in those three systems fails, the engine can sputter, causing the car to hesitate or buck. 
A mechanic will use an OBD-II diagnostic tool to check for specific trouble codes. These codes will help locate the source of the problem. Depending on the diagnostic results, they may also need to test drive the vehicle to observe the issue. 

Fuel pump 

If the fuel pump is malfunctioning, your engine may not be getting enough gas. This might not require an immediate replacement, but it’s important to get a professional inspection to determine when the pump is about to give out. 

Fuel filter 

When you press down on the accelerator, gas is pumped into the fuel line through a filter. It’s normal for the fuel filter to become dirty and clogged over time—and it will cause your car to buck if it’s due for a change. 

Deteriorating spark plugs 

Eventually, spark plugs can build up residue or wear down so that the engine fails to get the constant spark it needs. 

Faulty wiring 

If your engine’s electrical current is interrupted, your driving will be too. The inspection will allow your mechanic to repair any wiring that’s worn out or misaligned. 

Clogged EGR valve

Not all engine fumes exit your car through the exhaust pipe—some get recycled by the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve. If that valve is clogged, the engine won’t run properly. 

Failing oxygen sensors

If one or both of the oxygen sensors wear out, the car’s computer will have inaccurate readings and the pressure in the engine could drop, leading to hesitation and bucking. 

How important is an inspection for a car hesitating and bucking? 

A car that hesitates and bucks on the road isn’t safe to drive for a long period of time. Some of the issues that can lead to this engine behavior have routine solutions, but others could signal a serious problem that needs immediate attention. 

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