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Car hesitates after first starting it

So my 05 Neon with about 78.000 miles is freaking me out lately. Whenever I ahve to stop for a while ( e.g. red light ) shortly after starting my car it “hesitates” and kind fo buckles. It feels as if it was going to die. I sometimes even have to turn it off and back on to get it to move at all. My check engine light was on there for a while and I has our automotive department at work ( I work in retail ) look at it and they said it was just a sensor, nothing else. A friend told me to let it warm up in the morning and I realized that if I lety iut running for about 10 minutes it drives fine. Today I only let it run for about 3 minutes in the morning and at night aftre work and the car barely moved at first and I thought I wouldn’t make it home at all. As soon as I was driving for a while it was fine again, though. So is it normal that it does that? My check engine light wnet on again tonight also. I am confused =( BTW sorry for all the questions, but it’s my first car and my hubby is deployed so I have no clue…

“…they said it was just a sensor.”! Well, that, “…just a sensor”, could be key to “…just finding what’s wrong with your car”. Get the code (P0xxx), and bring it here for advice.

Sounds like your automotive department was trying to make it sound harmless because “it was just a sensor.” Yes, it was a sensor, but the purpose for the sensor is to monitor the operation of some criticial mechanical, electrical, vacuum or coolant system of your vehicle. And when the sensor detects readings that are out of specification (in other words, something it didn’t expect to see), it notifies the electronic control unit (ECU) of the engine (its main computer) that there’s something out of whack and the ECU turns on the Check Engine light so that you will have a mechanic figure out exactly what’s wrong. To help your mechanic in his/her diagnosis, the ECU stores numerous codes concerning your car’s problem, each of which has a particular meaning which a competent tech will understand and can use in making his/her diagnosis. So it’s never a good idea to ignore the Check Engine light or simply dismiss what it’s telling you, without figuring out why the ECU turned on the light in the first place. That’s what hellokit is telling you. Get the precise codes that the ECU stored by having a competent tech read them, then post the exact codes here to get knowledgeable help with your problem. There are a great many capable people willing to help you, but you need to give them the info that those sensors logged.

The well-meaning folks in your automotive department have confused the issue by putting the word “just” in front of the word “sensor”. The car has many sensors (which are connected to virtually everything that is engine-related) and they are each extremely important, so “just” is not an appropriate way to describe their role.

Modern cars are incredibly complex, and every system has to be able to properly communicate with the car’s onboard computer in order for everything to work in harmony. If the electronic communication from just one sensor is interrupted, or inconsistent, or just plain wrong, you can have fuel flow interrupted, or your ignition timing can be incorrect, or there could be a whole host of other functional problems resulting from “just” a sensor.

You need to have the car’s OBD system scanned for trouble codes, and if the automotive department did not do it, or cannot do it, then I suggest that you go to an auto parts store. Many auto parts retailers (Auto Zone, Advance, and Reilly are three that come to mind) will scan your system free-of-charge, in the hope that you will buy the necessary repair parts from them.

Write down the code(s) that they give you (the codes will be in a format similar to “P0123”), and come back to this thread to report the codes. Once you post the exact codes, some of the more skilled mechanics here will give you the likely solution to your problem.