2007 Ford Ranger Sputtering Problem, Please Help!

Hey there. First time poster. Hopin someone out there can help me. I have a 2007 Ford Ranger Sport with 85000 miles. Just yesterday, it started sputtering while idling, as if I was out of gas, but I’m not. The cabin shakes a bit sporadically with the sputtering sounds. It seemed to go away somewhat when I’m driving, but I could just be confusing it with the bumps in the road. Then, when I’m accelerating, there are occasional pulses in the acceleration. Today, the blinking engine light came on briefly just before I got back home. My questions are as follows:

Any idea what’s wrong?
How much should it cost to get fixed?
Do I need to get it taken care of right away, or can I drive it to work tomorrow and take it in Tuesday? Or is it so bad that I should have it towed to the repair shop?

Thanks for any help you can offer!!

Lets start with basic maintenance performed, air filter, fuel filter, plugs, oil changes etc.

the only thing you mentioned not recently replaced are the spark plugs. could that have something to do with it?

Yes the spark plugs could have something to do with it.

No - you cannot continue to drive around once your check engine light has been blinking. This is a good way to turn a potentially small problem into a really big one. If you just need to get to work tomorrow and the engine light does not blink you’re probably ok. If it starts blinking do not continue to drive.

The engine light means that error codes are stored in the computer. Many auto parts stores read these for free. Find one that does, have the codes read and write them down in their exact form (e.g. “P1234”) and post the codes. Pick up a set of plugs & wires while you’re at the parts store. Among the codes will very likely be misfire codes. (There might only be one). Report back about the misfire codes, but one of the first things you do with them is replace plugs & wires.

thanks! will get a ride into work tomorrow and report back with the code(s)

Start with the fuel filter(s) and the fuel pump. Now I do not know if the truck is fuel injected or carburated. So assuming a carb, start with filter(s), need a manual to see if you have more than one, change them (should be changed, minmum every 10K), then check the fuel pump, may be worn out (regardless if electric or mechanical). Then go with the plugs and the distributor/coil/wires. Since your vehicle is 2007 you should be equipped with OBDC, (1) buy a ODBC reader (they are inexpensive now) and read the codes, (2) be wary of where you buy your gas, some of the “no-name” gas stations (I call then “dirt clod stations”) sell some real junk.