August, 30, 2006 AT 11:24 PM

Recent changes to my 1994 Saturn SL2 Twin Cam 4dr:
1. Fuel filter replaced
2. O2 sensor replaced
3. Spark plugs replaced
4. Oil change
5. Throttle body cleaned
6. 2 or 3 cycles of fuel injection cleaner (used Lucas and another time used Marvel Mystery Oil)
7. Tires checked, with proper psi

Check engine light has never come on, and car has almost 102,000 miles on it.


When I accelerate to 30mph or above, the car is very slow to accelerate. It also jerks forward in a weird seizure-like motion, like a stutter, but very obvious. I push the gas to 3500rpm and you can hear the engine rev (which probably mystifies neighboring drivers who think I am challenging them, when in reality, I am going not even 30mph), but you can't feel the car speed much at all. It'll surge forward and then struggle to accelerate again.

Sometimes, when I have the gas down to 3500-4000rpm, the car will do the repeated jerk as it ever so slowly accelerates, and it feels like I'm going over a rippled median strip. Merging into highway lanes is hell! Speeding up after slowing down or leaving from a stop is also hell, as it does what I just described, or it does what I said in the 1st paragraph.

I know this hard acceleration is putting unnecessary wear/tear on my car, but I don't know how else to speed up with the flow of traffic, and even then, acceleration remains terrible.

My current mechanic, who I have been going to for the last decade or so, even test drove the car, revved the engine, coming to the conclusion the O2 sensor needed replacement, which he did. That was the last repair/replacement on my car, and it didn't change the acceleration problems.

Also, when I'm at idle the car vibrates in spurts. I don't know if I'm describing it accurately. Annnnd the car shakes when I do highway driving, but I assume I need to get the tires aligned/rotated/balanced?

ANY HELP would be appreciated and my apologies if any of these are repeat questions. Please send me links if they are old questions.

Thank you!

Also, a couple days ago, the steering wheel was so forgiving that I overturned on a left turn and had to right the wheel like a beginner driver. It did it on several occasions, and it was a rainy day. Any more takers?

Thank you again!


8 Answers



September, 7, 2006 AT 11:41 AM

The catalatic converter because I had a problem like that when I accelerate it stumbles like it wants to turn off or the egr valve have it check because carbon build up



September, 7, 2006 AT 11:42 AM

The catalatic converter because I had a problem like that when I accelerate it stumbles like it wants to turn off or the egr valve have it check because carbon build up



September, 7, 2006 AT 8:23 PM

Thank you very much! I imagine many people were put off by the length of my post--my apologies.

I'll be more brief next time.



September, 24, 2006 AT 1:05 AM

Saturns (My 1998 Sl2 anyway) Has a power steering assist system, The harder you turn the steering wheel the more it assists you to come back to straight; ( Resistive) I believe this is also speed/force sensitive. Problem may be a mechanical/wear situation computer is not able to adjust to until repair is corrected. (Or Not?) If this happend suddenly it could be mechanical or computer, Start with the BASICS Power steering, Belt, Low or tired P.S Fluid, Tred wear. The Problem LURKS But Can't Hide for long. E- Mail me. : )



October, 15, 2006 AT 1:06 PM

Thanks for the info!



November, 1, 2006 AT 6:36 PM

Hi guys,

I have the same exact problem as saturnowner123. This car has been the biggest piece of crap I've ever owned. My car is a 2000 sc2 with 75,000 miles on it. I can definately relate to highway driving as my job requires much of that. I don't know what to do about it. I took it to the mechanic and he changed out the sparkplugs, oil change, ignition coil. I'm stumped! Is the catalitic converter the answer? Any help is really appreciated.



January, 13, 2007 AT 5:14 PM

OXYGEN SENSOR! Happened to me is washington. Started the car in the morning, let warm up, start driving and it was like something was pulling me down then pushing. Peplaced the O2 sensor and drove fine. The tech at the saturn shop said to replace it every 4 years


Service Writer

January, 13, 2007 AT 5:55 PM

The coolant temeperature senders are very common on these for cracking, very cheap to replace. Egr valves are also a fairly common problem.

The vibration steering issue: Tires can cause a vibration. Mis-alignment can cause tire to wear in such away that the tire cause a vibration. The tire can wear so bad froma toe-in condition that they can wear into the cords and cause a blow out. Before it gets this bad it can cause an oversteering problem.

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