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2004 Scion xA Base 4dr Sedan Manual (GS)

2004 Scion xA
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Sub-Compact
32 mpg city / 38 mpg hwy
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November 23, 2012, 4:38 pm

Cynthia C

Question: Idling/gas sputtering issue with 2004 Scion XA

Hi, about a month ago I was on a loose dirt road and had to spin and spin to get my car to go back up the hill. A huge dirt cloud came into my car (and probably into my exhaust pipe). When I got to the top of the hill, I got out and my car smelled bad - not like brake fluid or oil. There was a tree branch stuck in the driver's side wheel well and I pulled it out. Since then, off and on, my car will start idling very rough and the check engine light goes on, and the car is sluggish and sputters, and then it's like the gas finally kicks in and gets going. Then, my car will act fine the next time I turn it on.

I took it to my mechanic and he ran a diagnostic and said I needed spark plugs. It worked for a day or two, and then the problem came back. Then he changed a coil, and two days later, the problem is back and today the smell was back again too.

I think I got dirt in the fuel injector or somewhere in the fuel line when that huge dirt cloud kicked up while I was spinning. Is that possible? I have to take it back to him again tomorrow, but I feel like he doesn't listen to me, or understand the problem. It hasn't acted up for him, of course. Thank you for your advice!!!

November 28, 2012, 1:12 pm

Tyler O

If the check engine lamp was on, there was probably a fault code stored indicating the issue. Try and get that code ... it's probably directly related to the issue you are experiencing.

It's not likely that you got any dirt in the fuel system, as it's pretty well sealed.

Check the air intake if you are concerned about dirt contamination.

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March 11, 2013, 9:55 am

Cynthia C

Turned out to be my throttle - got dirt in it!

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