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I have a 2010 Dodge Dakota, 4.8L V8, 2WD, 129K miles.

The fall temperatures are starting to get a little colder, so I've noticed something that my truck does now that it didn't used to do.

When I start the vehicle, I always let the truck warm up so that it "idles down" and reaches just below 1000 RPM, just to let the oil/seals/engine components warm up. This takes about a minute, and I usually drive away after achieving "idle-down."

However, I live right by a stoplight, so when I pull out into the road and accelerate after stopping at the light, I notice a mild engine "sputter," almost like it is being starved for fuel or something. It isn't bad yet, but I do notice it. It always goes away after the engine warms up a little more.

What could the cause of this be? I'm hoping to fix it, because it didn't used to do this in cold weather. Besides letting the truck warm up a little longer, what else should I look at?

**Note: The only code being thrown is an emissions code, P2096. Does this perhaps have something to do with it?

Thanks in advance!

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The P2096 is very likely related to your issue, it indicates that the fuel system is running too lean, i.e. there's not enough fuel in the fuel/air mix. One of the symptoms of this is can be hesitant acceleration. Usually this is a problem with fuel supply, like a fuel pump not providing enough pressure or a fuel filter restricting flow, although there are many other things that could cause this.

When an engine is cold it needs a richer mixture until the engine heats up, so if you have a fuel flow or pressure issue it could be minor enough not to effect it once it heats up, however it would very likely give other symptoms as well, like less acceleration or a loss of power under higher throttle inputs.

One thing I would check is the pre cat O2 sensor as that's what should be picking up the lean condition first, and giving you a P1071 code. The fact it is not means it could be malfunctioning, if it hasn't been replaced in 129k miles that could also be causing your problem as it wouldn't be sending the correct oxygen levels to the engine computer, making the engine run at the wrong mixture.

There are other possible problems that could cause this too, like vacuum leaks, temperature sensors and air data sensors, but the O2 sensors are where I'd start.

  • Thank you, this is a very good answer and I will look into those. I have already replaced one of the Bank 1 O2 sensors, I can't remember which one specifically. Maybe it's the other one. – ihb Oct 24 '19 at 15:48

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