2000 Ford Taurus Sputtering

Recently my car has been sputtering a bit after I start it. It starts fine, but it sputters like it is going to run out of gas, but it’s always at least 1/2 full.

To get it to stop I have had to pull over, turn it off, and restart it after a few minutes of running, then I haven’t noticed anything again until the next morning when I start it again.

One time it turned off by itself when I stopped it and put it in park.

If at all possible we’d like to repair it ourselves, but we are not sure what could be wrong.

Our thoughts are: clogging/clogged fuel filter or spark plug issues.

Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this sputtering?

Again, it is not constant, as after restarting I continue to drive almost 60 miles to work, then back home in the evening with no issues yet. It has stopped once, but never while moving.

The possibilities are endless, and include a weak fuel pump, a plugged filter, one or more weak ignition components, and even just a tired old engine with liittle compression left. There’s way too little to work with here.

Can you tell us a little about the vehicle’s maintenance history? That might help, although it won’t be the same as actually getting one’s hands on the engine.

Check engine light on?

Check engine light has been on for a year or more.

The vehicle has been maintained regularly (oil changes, filter changes, spark plugs, and so on) and is driven with care (we drive to achieve the best gas mileage possible, no fast starts or braking, etc), Yes, it’s tired and old with 192,000, but we take good care of it.

As I already stated, it ONLY happens in the morning and doesn’t do anything until I start accelerating. Then I pull over, turn the car off, restart it, and all is well. What would be the reasoning behind that? Seems weird.