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2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT 5 speed stutters once each time I drive it

Wife’s car, has 142000 on it, started out 6 months ago as a hard jerky motion, has since calmed down to a single stutter sometime within first 20 miles. It was overdue for 120000 mile tune up, had that done along with timing belt replacement, still does it. Check engine was on before taking to dealer, off when I picked it up, back on next day. It’s sometimes almost not noticeable, other times it gets your attention. Seems like it has to be electrical to happen so quickly, then it’s gone in a fraction of a second, like it just doesn’t fire for a tenth of a second. Was going to try distributor next, but don’t want to continue sinking money in it and not be confident that I’m going down the right road, especially after the expensive tune up.

Could be an ignition component like a faulty crank sensor. Maybe a problem w/the ignition switch. Fuel pump problem. Sticking EGR valve. etc. There’s just too many possibilities to speculate. Please post the diagnostic trouble codes from the check engine light. That will narrow things down a bit.

This was recently fixed. Seems it was the mass air flow controller. Unfortunately I did not get the error code, but at any rate it’s been fine for a week now so it seems the flow controller was the problem.

Yes, a faulty MAF sensor could well cause that symptom. Needing to clean or replace a MAF sensor is a pretty common thing heard here. When you have a drivability problem and the check engine light is on, it’s usually best to start by finding out why the check engine light is on. My way of thinking, you paid for the diagnostic software build into your car’s computer, so you might as well use it.