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2002 Hyundai Elantra Jerks/Loses Power Briefly

Hello - my wife has a 2002 Hyundai Elantra (5-speed manual) with about 185,000 miles on it, which has developed an issue within the last 2 months. The car acts like it is shut off for a split second - tachometer drops suddenly, check engine light flashes very briefly and you lurch a little bit as you lose power, but then after maybe a second, it is back to normal. This has happened while accelerating, cruising down the highway, and idling at a stop sign. The car hasn’t actually killed while idling, but is close. Had it in to a mechanic, and they checked for error codes but found none, and of course it didn’t happen while the mechanic had it. On a recent 2 hour trip, it happened maybe 50 times? But hasn’t happened for the last week. I should mention that we had the exhaust manifold/front catalytic converter replaced about 3 months ago, as well as a camshaft sensor (those had error codes before we changed them). We’ve done the recommended maintenance over the years, but are due for another plug/wire replacement (could this be the issue?). Has anyone run across this issue before and have any recommendations?

It could be anthing but I would strongly consider the possibility of a failing fuel pump; especially if the fuel filter has not been changed on a regular basis.

A pump fault can also cause an intermittent problem like this. A fuel pressure test may show whether or not the pump is acting up.

That could be it - the fuel filter on that car has never been changed. The Hyundai dealer told me that it is a non-serviceable filter and that they never replace them. My regular mechanic said the same thing. I did see on-line that you can buy filters for it, and then tear out the back seat to get to it (they are in-tank filters that I believe are part of the fuel pump assembly). I will investigate further. Thanks for the post.

Any other ideas for me to check out?