Why would a car choke



and stall in slow traffic but drive fine on the freeway.


EGR valve, if equipped, stuck partially open? Does it idle fine? Model year?

Get in touch with your artistic side and give a run down of the “full experience”.

“As I applied the gas pedal, I could feel the engine entering into a convulsive state. Fearing it stalling, I reduced my pressure on the throttle, hoping …praying… that I made it home to John (insert Jane, if applicable) so I could continue my daily drama with him (her) as usual and move this anxiety to another day …maybe another lifetime…”


Please! No! No dramatic stories! Keep it Succinct! I beg you!


When I start my 1996 Mazda Millenia every morning it runs ok until we get to the first red light. (4 blocks away) This red light is very long. My car begins to sputter. It sputters again at the next few lights if they are long and this past week- it began to stall at the longer stops. It continues to sputter now as I drive around 35- 40 mph.
However when I drive on the highway after getting going it seems fine-
until I take my foot off the gas pedal and slow to around 50- 40.
My son says it sputters between 1500 and 3000 rpm

It’s an automatic but I have tried putting it in low gear and second - at first it seemed like that helped but I don’t think it does. It is easy to start after it stalls.
Though a week ago it did not start at all on when it had sat most of the day. Triple A came and got it started with persistence- stepping all the way down on gas and keeping it there. Then the engine light came on and was on for about 24 hours- now it’s off.
In Dec. I had the oil changed- Then 3 weeks ago when this began I checked the oil- it was down 2 quarts- I’ve checked it often - it’s not leaking or burning.
My coolant was also low so I filled it- it’s also good. Won’t be going back to that mechanic.
I had been using middle grade gas and now I’m using the highest grade hoping it will help.
Mechanics don’t know what it is and say they can’t do a diagnostic because the engine light isn’t on.
Any ideas ???


same above


Okay …the starting sequence appears fine from a cold start - most times.

The sputtering when slowing to 50-40 is curious. Can I expand or rather interpret that to mean, “While I’m at highway speeds, it seems fine. However on suburban roads, or those otherwise where 40mph is sensible, the condition returns” ??? The difference being that one is applying power and typically transitioning from coast to power much more with more of a “difference” in power applied at speeds of 40mph versus 55-65mph. You’re not too far into “top gear” and the load on the engine, depending on throttle position, can make load related anomalies more pronounced. At idle, the engine barely produces enough power to stay running (when it’s in perfect tune).

I’ll take brand new to mean that you just got this car and don’t know the history on a few maintenance items …like the tune.


Ok MB your getting a “bookmark” another word s-u-c-c-i-n-c-t!


If I’m stepping on the gas at 65 mph on highway- and am getting close to my exit- I take my foot off the gas to slowly get into the right lane- it sputters around 55- 40 until I accelerate again.
my son says it’s between 1500 and 3000 rpm
The worst is the stalling after a long light.
thank you!


and yes- I bought the car in dec. ran fine- I got the boots or axles replaced.
Oil changed- it needs a transmission flush but I’m told that wouldn’t cause this.

Is the EGR Valve easy to get too?


How about the fuel filter?


The problem on deceleration has me stumped at the moment. Depending on the fuel strategy at that time, there’s probably no combustion going on. If the coolant is up to temp the computer often just shuts the injectors off. That sputter on deceleration would imply otherwise.

This is a new enough car to show OBDII codes if anything of this disruptive nature shows itself, yet you report no CEL (check engine light) or MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp).

You don’t happen to have a CEL or the graphic of an engine illuminated on the dash, do you?


The engine is losing coolant and engine oil. They aren’t simply disappearing—they are going somewhere.You need to find out where.
I think that the engine may be burning that lost oil, and the result will be fouled spark plugs. Check’em, and change’em if fouled.
Pressure check the cooling system to find out if there is an internal engine coolant leak, or if it’s leaking externally. You may not spot a heater core leak, if you don’t look closely for one.


response to hellokit- sorry- the car is not losing or burning oil or coolant.
It was low after I had taken it for an oil change and wondered if that had messed something up. But thank you.




I’ve discovered the car doesn’t stall when I put it in neutral or park at red lights which is a relief.

It does have an EGR Valve but I can not locate it- is this something I could easily check myself? Or am I at the mercy of a 100.00 diagnostic. I also don’t know where the fuel filter is- is that an easy task?
1996 Mazda Millenia.
(love the car!- could be better on gas but it rides great)
Thanks for all the responses!