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


Asked by 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.

12 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.

4 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

9 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.

3 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.


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

4 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.


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.

1 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!

15 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

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