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99 Toyota camry sputtering when at a stop and also as I drive up hill

This morning I was at a stop light and my car started to sputter and as I accelerated it drove just fine. Then it happened again at another stop and also while going uphill it sputtered and bogged down. Could it be a bad fuel pump? Or maybe I need a tune up?

Start by having the codes read and post them here. Yeah, either or both are possible, but there’s no information here to make a guess. By the way, when WAS your last tuneup?

Tuneup time… Prob plugs n wires will solve the problem…dont overlook the fuel filter either… But yes… @“the same mountainbike” is right on point here…


Will my local auto parts store be able to do that? Don’t think I’m stupid. My ex husband is a mechanic but I can’t ask him, I’m just trying to find out where to start. Thanks so much!

It’s been almost 2 years since the last tune up. Like I said my ex husband did all the maintenance on my car so now it’s all on me. I remember years ago I had a car that would sputter up hill and it needed a fuel pump and this one is acting very similar. Thanks guys for your advice. I will go get the codes and post back shortly.

It was not my intent to imply that you lacked intelligence, only that the post had insufficient information. I apologize if it came out wrong.

Oh no you did not at all!! I just didn’t want to sound completely clueless! So will my local auto zone/ advanced auto parts be able to do this for me?

As in check the codes for me?

You will find that simple tune ups often IGNORE the plug wires… everyone usually lets the wires just wear out…and they do wear out. If your wires look original…I would start there. AND if its a V6…most “mechanics” ignore the bank of cylinders against the firewall …often times when its a v6 the back side of the engine cannot be accessed without taking off the intake runners…so many times the plugs and wires back there never get any attention. In either case, 4 or 6 cylinder…the wires get overlooked and when they go bad…this is what you get. It can drive you semi nuts trying to diagnose wires…cause sometimes they behave…other times they do not. Heat is usually the precipitating factor…cold it runs fine…well warmed up? It acts up…Heat is usually a great clue to electrical causes.

Who did the last tune up, what was replaced?


I’m not sure blackbird what was replaced. My ex husband is the one who did it. So either way I think it’s a good idea to tune her up. Thank you for the tip to make sure the wires are replaced too.

I would not go to a mechanic and ask for a “tuneup” that term really belongs to the era when cars needed plugs, condenser and points replaced every 10,000 miles and the timing reset and the carb adjusted…

These days no one agrees just what a “tuneup” consists of except that it almost always incudes spark plugs which probably don’t need replacing because most cars have 100,000 mile replacement intervals.

You need to find a good local shop and tell them what the car is doing and let them tell you what the problem is.

Please stay away from national chains, lube shops, tire stores, muffler shops, etc for diagnostic work

Yeah thats kind of true… @“oldtimer 11” has a point here…

I absolutely and totally agree with oldtimer.

You really need proper diagnosis for a proper repair, As mentioned previously if a check engine light is on people here can help better if you get a free reading of codes from a participating auto parts store. That wold be step one. If CEL is not on then that is another issue. Auto whatever will read codes, replace windsheild wipers and a battery, and that is about it. Mechanics are needed for anything else.

Sounds like you’ve had a bit of a lifestyle change. No harm with that. But since the situation is different, you’ve got to change your way of doing things to match. I think you’ll get best results for this and future car repair needs by finding a good local independent mechanic. That’s what you need right now.

So ask friends, co-workers, fellow pub-goers, fellow church goers, anybody you have a trusted personal relationship with which shop in town do they use and recommend. From that list, choose one that specializes in Toyotas or at least Asian cars.

The symptoms could be a fuel pump, but don’t really sound like that to me. I had a sort of similar problem w/my own Corolla one time, especially the going uphill part, and that was caused by the spark plug gaps having worn too wide.

Thank you all so much for you opinions and feedback. I took my car to local shop this morning and I’m actually waiting to hear back from him anytime. I also needed front brakes so hopefully I can get it all taken care of and get her back on the road! Thanks again!

I wanted to let you all know that all I needed was a tune up! New plugs, wires and front breaks. So I’m glad it wasn’t the fuel pump! She is now running better than ever! Thanks for all of the opinions and help from everyone! I really appreciate it!

Good for you for getting your Camry back on the road and purring like a kitten. Best of luck.