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2001 GMC Yukon XL 8.1L Sputters when idle

We just bought this Yukon and the previous owner was the original owner. He had every possible meintenance record from the time he first bought the SUV. It has 179,400 miles, but it looks like it’s very well taken care of. Recently, when I stop at the the stop light or just idling on the driveway, I have noticed sputtering. it’s almost as if the engine is not getting enough gas and it misses, it’s just not a smooth one tone sound. If you pay enough attention to it it almost feels as the car jumps a little as if it was going to die. But it doesn’t. It runs great otherwise. You can not feel the sputtering or the missing while driving, it runs very smooth.

What could it be?

My thoughts are, as I said in the begining, that the fuel is not getting to the engine the way it should. Somthing is stopping it, maybe dirty fuel injectors, or the fuel filter or fuel pump.

How can I diagnoze this without being taken advantage of at the mechanics.


Andi in Edmond, Oklahoma

My answer concerns the very last part of your post “without being taken advantage of at the mechaics”

You are going to need to create a relationship with a mechanic this is how you can avoid being taken of.Use your senses in creating this relationship,don’t be swayed by a “sales job”,reasearch as best you can this individual,get references,check out his shop.

Unless you plan on tooling and schooling you are going to need a mechanic.

It is unfair for you to lump all mechanics into the “rip-off” catagory.

Thank you for your concern.
I am trying to educate myself before I go to the mechanic.
However, no one seems to have an opinion about the actual problem here.
I’ll take any suggestions.



When it’s doing this, with your foot firmly on the brake pedal, slightly step on the accelerator. If the engine idle smooths out there could be a problem with the Idle Air Control circuit. This could be a dirty IAC motor, a plugged/dirty idle air bleed port on the throttle body, or defective IAC motor.


I would start with a bottle or two of Chevron-Techron fuel system cleaner in the gas tank. If that doesn’t help get a compression test. If the compression is a little low on all cylinders, as I suspect, just live with it. I assume the CEL doesn’t come on and it passes an emissions test.