Why does my car have trouble accelerating when it hasn't been driven in a few hours?

Tiny
SCTRAVER
  • 2003 SATURN L200
  • 265,000 MILES

Lately my Saturn is very slow to accelerate when first starting it up. The
engine light will come on and flash at around 40 mph. I have to let up on
the accelerator and drive slowly for a couple of minutes, then the car feels
like it has warmed up, the light goes off and it drives fine. The car has been sluggish for a few months and gets poor fuel consumption. I had a mechanic do a back pressure test on it and he said the catalytic converter was fine. There is an exhaust smell but I don't know if that is just because the car uses a little oil. The Saturn handbook says that if the engine light flashes it is a misfire and emissions issue. My mechanic thinks I should have the transmission checked out. What are your thoughts?

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 AT 7:49 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 30,643 POSTS

A transmission issue isnt going to cause a missifire in the engine. Do you ever have to let up on the gas for it to shift?Iam guessing its a automatic since you didnt say in the car info if it was. Also did you do the back pressure test when it was acting up and lacking power?Because a clogged cat can cause a missifire and lack of power.I replaced a lot of those cats for being clogged. Also you need to take it to a auto parts store like auto zone and have them scan your car for codes. Let me know the exact code numbers not code descriptions you have. Also I have seen problems with the coil cassettes and modules on those cars. You could even have some spark plug issues. Thats a lot of mileage on that car so I wouldnt rule anything out.

Please consider a donation to help us answer more questions.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
SCTRAVER
  • MEMBER

I didn't think it was a transmission problem either. The back pressure test was done when it was running fine. It usually only acts up during the first five minutes of driving and yes I have to let up on the gas to get it to shift. I will get the codes from
AutoZone and get back to you. Yes, the car has a lot of miles but
it is my baby and I love it. It rarely has anything wrong with it!

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 30,643 POSTS

You have to check the back pressure when its acting up whenever you have to let up to make it shift I have found a clogged exhaust/cat on those cars that is the most common reason for that problem on that car. Keep me posted on what you find.

Please consider a donation to help us answer more questions.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 AT 9:14 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Related Accelerator Questions

Help us by donating