Red lightning bolt symbol on, no check engine light, car has problems on first few starts


Asked by MercMaiden Mar 27, 2019 at 08:19 AM about the 2010 Chrysler Sebring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car has issues specifically in the morning when it is
cold and when it's a "cold start". I start the car and after
about 5 minutes, the red lightning bolt on my dashboard
comes on and the car runs bad. Won't let me accelerate
past a certain point and is lacking power. Absolutely NO
engine light comes on, just the lightning bolt symbol. And
the car runs rough most of the day afterwards. I'm sitting in
it right now, it's running, and running rougher than normal.
This only happens to me when I first start the car for the
day, then I have no issue until the next day, the light won't
come on again until I cold start it the next morning. I have
not gotten a chance to get it expertly scanned, just
wondering if anyone has any clue as to why this would be
happening. Hoping to get it read this week.

17 Answers


This lightning bolt refers to an Electronic Throttle Control problem, or an ETC error. You need to get this car to a mechanic SOON.

5 people found this helpful.

It's already been to a mechanic. I've replaced the throttle body already as well as spark plugs, an ignition coil and a battery. It ONLY comes on in the morning and never comes on again until the next day.


Try the common reset after service. 1. Insert ignition key and turn to "ON" position but do not start the engine 2. Wait for all the warning lights to go out. 3.The check engine light may remain on. 4.Slowly depress the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. 5.Slowly release the accelerator pedal until it is all the way back up at the rest position. 6.Turn the ignition key to "OFF" position. Always do this after any ETC service

16 people found this helpful.

Tried that. Doesn't make any difference and apparently that method does not work for this car, as I've been told by several mechanics. We did do something where we had to turn the battery on, wait till the lights go out and press on the pedal 5 times, then start it - and it actually worked. I'm assuming it reprogramed the car, after we put the new throttle body in, because when we started it after putting the new one on, it had major issues and wouldn't stop accelerating or jumping RPMs.

9 people found this helpful.

I will say that when I turn my car on in the morning and it throws that light at me, I turn it off, play with the pedal a bit, turn it back on and it's just fine.

3 people found this helpful.

The canned answer for this light is to thoroughly clean the throttle body, and this works sometimes. Your mechanic replaced the throttle body and along with this, he should have replaced the throttle position sensor and reprogramed this change. This is how to coordinate the peddle position with the throttle body..... It's usual for the lightning bolt light to come on during start-up and even stay on for a while, but your situation is not normal, and I can't understand why a qualified Chrysler mechanic can't fix this

8 people found this helpful.

The throttle body has been replaced, so that means the throttle body position sensor has also been replaced. Brand new parts, no cleaning needed. A Chrysler mechanic would charge me $100 minimum just to look at it, I'm trying to find a solution to this issue myself without wasting more money.

2 people found this helpful.

Just wondered if anyone else who's owned or driven a Chrysler Sebring Limited has had these specific issues. We believe we programmed it as well after we put the part on, but haven't gotten to expertly scan it yet. Hoping to do that soon and if a solution arises, I will definitely post it for others to see and learn with. I've never owned one of these cars, so it's just all new to me.

5 people found this helpful.

Ended up being the intake gasket (a $5 part!) on my car once we got it scanned. Looked shot. Torn/had holes in some places. Replaced it within an hour and it ran just fine afterwards. No more rough idle, no more lights on a cold start. Just putting this info out there for someone else who has the same issue!

40 people found this helpful.

Same issues do you remember the code? My code was High Air Flow/Vacuum Leak Detected

I have same issue with my jeep compass lightning bolt indicator comes up in the morning only. I replace throttle body still same issue. Did you resolve yours? If so what did you do?

Did you ever fix this problem? If so what did you do? I have same exact problem . Only in morning comes up

Do you mean throttle body gascet.or intake manifold thank you

I am having these issues and I have @ 2015 Chrysler 200 and I just had my Cadillac converter replaced with new coils all that and my car has acted up ever since I got it back it like every time I take it to a mechanic they fix one thing and break another so that I keep spending money I'm saying that's just the way it seems and I just spent over $2000 but every issue you had I'm have the exact same problem to the T...


i replace my whole intake manifold with new gasket and my problem was resolve. lightning bolt doesn't come up no more.

1 people found this helpful.

Had this same issue on my 2007 dodge charger. Mechanics quoted me so many solutions but after watching a youtube video, I took it to the dodge dealership and told them exactly what was wrong with it. It was a ripped gasket ($5-$20 part) the etc valve or tube by the intake manifold. When the gasket ripped it created a vacuum leak. Easy fix but hard to diagnose for mechanics because they either dont know what they are doing or they want to make you spend your hard earned money. A SMALL ROUND GASKET. Before you have them fix anything, have them check the tube coming from the intake manifold FIRST. It will save you tons of money

1 people found this helpful.

That broken gasket caused a vacuum leak that caused an error reading at the Electronic Throttle Control. Good mechanics know diagnostics in their heads; poor mechanics, especially found at cheap dealership service departments rely on code readers and can't go much beyond there. Having to tell a dealership mechanic how to fix your own car is deplorable and I'd recommend you report this behavior to the dealer management (I suspect they already know) and to the manufacturer's customer service people. But then I've known Chrysler's problems for over fifty years and they haven't improved in all that time.

1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Sebring in your area?

CarGurus has 115 nationwide Sebring listings starting at $1,995.

Postal Code:

Chrysler Sebring Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Chris Daigle
  • #3
View All

Find great deals from top-rated dealers


Related Models For Sale

Used Chrysler 200
27 Great Deals out of 808 listings starting at $2,500
Used Ford Mustang
42 Great Deals out of 1,791 listings starting at $5,750
Used Chrysler 300
44 Great Deals out of 800 listings starting at $3,500
Used Chrysler PT Cruiser
33 listings starting at $2,900
Used BMW 3 Series
164 Great Deals out of 2,632 listings starting at $2,850
Used Chevrolet Camaro
37 Great Deals out of 933 listings starting at $9,870
Used Chevrolet Corvette
11 Great Deals out of 565 listings starting at $12,900
Used Chevrolet Equinox
79 Great Deals out of 5,230 listings starting at $3,966
Used Chevrolet Malibu
47 Great Deals out of 1,881 listings starting at $1,700
Used Pontiac Solstice
34 listings starting at $7,995
Used Audi A4
60 Great Deals out of 924 listings starting at $3,800
Used Volkswagen Beetle
27 Great Deals out of 434 listings starting at $2,995
Used Volkswagen Eos
5 Great Deals out of 84 listings starting at $4,900

Used Cars for Sale

2010 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
20 listings starting at $5,499
2009 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
7 listings starting at $4,888
2008 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
38 listings starting at $3,450

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.