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I don't know if this is related to the current problem but a month or so back, I had a problem with the tensioner locking up and had to replace it along with the serpentine belt. I say this because I never noticed the current problem until after this. Now on to the current issue...

Sometimes after starting up the car and putting it in gear, the engine begins to stutter/putter I guess you could say and sometimes even shuts off. Usually, if I wait a few seconds and give her a little gas, she recovers and drives perfectly normal after that. Oftentimes, I'll start to accelerate and she stutters a little causing me to stop. I give her a little gas and she goes. This doesn't always happen though which confuses me. Also, it seems that the times it is most likely to occur is when I start it up for the first time in the morning. It then usually sits while at school for 6-8 hours and I think I have only had the problem once when starting it up at the end of the day. If it was still getting cold at night I would almost think it was that but it's springtime and usually doesn't get below the mid 50s or higher.

Does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this and if so how serious might it be? Thanks in advance
 

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Do you let your car warm up at all (even a few seconds)? If you just fire it up and throw her in gear, the engine hasn't quite settled into rhythm yet. Instead, turn it on; it should rev a little high (~1500rpm) and then settle down to 750 rpm; then you can put it in gear.

Also, like Sekhmet suggested, routine maintainence always helps!
 

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Sekhmet,
Sparkplugs were just replaced last year but the alternator is original if I'm not mistaken so I'll def. check that out.

Silver J,
I'll make sure I try to wait a little longer because like I said, it does kinda seem a little like an older car (which I guess she is) in the winter but being that it's warm out I guess I hadn't really thought about letting it warm up too much. Thanks for the advice.

Also, any ideas why this might have just started? Do you think my issue with the tensioner could be related in some way or just coincidence?
 

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I would also check your fuel filter. It will run rich when it is cold, and lean out when the car finally warms up. If you are starving it for gas, it will shudder.....
+1 And since you said it started doing this recently, that would also point to this suggestion.
 
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