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2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

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Old 15 Feb 2016, 05:16 pm
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Default 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

2004 non turbo automatic sputters when ignition is engaged on cold start.

No code for reference.

The engine shakes and heaves like it's on death's door. After about 5 minutes of this rattle and hum, it goes back to its usual idle.

Spark plugs were changed approx 5k miles ago. Odometer now at about 70k.

I will (probably tomorrow) make a youtube demonstrating the noise while at the same time trying to capture the RPM's and anything else that might give some of you who have probably experienced this already an idea to tell me where to start looking for fixes.

I love a good mystery but not one that includes potential breakdown on a freeway at 70 MPH!
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Old 15 Feb 2016, 06:27 pm
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Default Re: 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

Sounds like the IAC is malfunctioning from your description. Kind of like a choke on older cars.

I'm sure more knowledgeable folks will chime in as the day goes on.
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Old 16 Feb 2016, 02:36 pm
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Default Re: 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

I'd be interested in this one as my wifes 2001 2L LE Auto does exactly the same.
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Old 17 Feb 2016, 07:37 am
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Default Re: 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

Here is a youtube that was taken this morning while starting the car:

Idle has been sputtering daily on initial morning startup. It won't do it now because I've been trying to capture it using a camera.

But it's still loud if not making weird noises. Hood was up while making the video. Very heavy gas smell coming from the exhaust. Also last week when it was raining, I had white smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

Catalytic converter, perhaps? Would a dying cat make a sputtering noise and cause the engine to shake?

Passed CA smog last April, with flying colors. MPG is no worse or better than ever, roughly 20 MPG street/22 MPG highway

2004 Non Turbo Automatic, roughly 70k miles on odometer. Spark plugs/wires replaced about 5k ago. Oil changed about 1k miles ago. It's new to me (used, driven by the proverbial grandma to and from the store, no wrecks and no major repairs according to the report). I liked that it was a plug and play problem-free car that only needed tires to make it road-worthy for freeway driving.

I am going to put it up for sale this spring, and don't want to give its new owner any trouble. Want it to be as good for the next owner as it has been for me. And of course, don't want to end up stranded anywhere either.
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Old 17 Feb 2016, 08:24 am
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Default Re: 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

I don't hear anything wrong with it. Personally, I'd suggest a good tune up. Plugs, wires, PCV valve, air filter and a THOROUGH throttle body cleaner. I'd also add some fuel injector cleaner to the next tank of gas. Techron is my preferred brand.
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Old 17 Feb 2016, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: 2004 Non-Turbo sputters but no code when it starts

Thanks Chuzz. The air filter was changed when the oil was changed about 1k miles ago, the spark plugs and wires were replaced about 5k miles ago, and the reason it's not making the noise NOW is because it knows I'm trying to capture it for video purposes. I'm leaning toward the fuel injector as you suggested because I don't think there's a code that starts to alert people to that issue. The fact that it starts with a rough idle that evens out after the car has been running for five minutes or so also leads me to suspect it. However I had hoped that someone here might have experienced similar activity and could make an instant diagnosis based on the sound (that it won't make now) so as to avoid calamity going 70 mph. I'm going to try the fuel injector today and see if it helps. Not having any codes isn't helping the situation at all.
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