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Idles Great...Stutters During Acceleration

02-02-2009, 07:46 AM
We have a '95 Cutlass Ciera SL, 3.1L V6 that starts with no problem, idles in time, but when accelerating it gets to a point where the engine starts to stutter. The stutter doesn't get any worse the more I press down on the gas, and it won't stall. When I let off on the gas it goes back to idleing in time.

I changed the plugs and wires less than 8,000 miles ago, and the engine still idles with perfect timing. I had to replace the fuel tank last fall and ended up replacing the sending unit, pump, strainer, and fuel filter. So I'd like to think the pump and filter are not the problem. The fuel pressure is showing a steady ~40psi. I put dry gas in the fuel and I ran the engine to get it through the system to do it's work.

THERE IS NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON!!! And this is what gets me. If it was a sensor I'd like to think it would throw a code.

I'm stumped! I'm thinking a sensor is going bad, but is not tripping a code yet. And I don't want to go and replace sensors until I get the right one. Can anybody shed some light on what may be going wrong with our car???

Edit - As my wife drives the vehicle, she said it will only go up to ~20mph before starting to stutter.

02-02-2009, 02:29 PM
Welcome to AF. I would suggest a full scan and look at all the sensor inputs and fuel trims., there is no one step quick answer for this.

02-02-2009, 02:53 PM
could be the tps i had same problem on my p.a. but the check engine lite was on. have you ran any kind of fuel stable lizer in your gas? could be injector i run sea foam in every thing i drive even in my bike and when it's stored for winter and when it gets warm out to ride bike i hit the start button and fires right up with no miss at all i would try that..good luck...

02-03-2009, 06:00 AM
Thanks guys! I'll be calling some places today to see who can get her in for a scan. Hopefully the car can make it into town.

I'll be sure to post the results and the solution wen we get it running better </fingers crossed>.

Edit: I called a local shop and the tech said that without the check engine light on, a system scan won't show anything. But he could at least take it for a test drive to see if he could determine the issue.

02-03-2009, 02:05 PM
Not true on the scan, a skewed tps may show as well as fuel trims reaching their programmed limits a skilled tech can use these inputs and the road test symptoms to try and pinpoint the issue.

02-05-2009, 08:28 PM
Well, I'm embarassed to say (IMO) that there wasn't much of a problem afterall.

Let me start off by saying that my driveway slopes away from my garage to the street and if I took my wife's car out of the garage I may not have been able to get it back in if something had been wrong. So that's why I never took it for a test drive until we tried getting to the mechanic who said he'd take a look at it.

To get there, I drove the her car while she was behind in mine tailing me. Well, I never had any problem with the car the whole way into town. I even floored it a few times and got the car flying with no problem.

We get there and the mechanic gets in the car and touches the gas pedal, and no hesitation at all. I tell him "You have to push the pedal down harder." So he does, and darned if the car started hesitating like it had in my garage. He looks at me and said it's an idle regulator that is making the car hesitate, it's a precautionary measure and it's working fine. Frankly, I can't for the life of me remember exactly what he said it was, but he said it limits the idle so noone can blow up the engine if they hit the gas while idling.

He smiled and said it was the easiest fix he'd ever done and didn't charge me a thing. I drove the car back home without issue.

Here's the kicker... she texts me today and said her car is now making a whoooooshing sound. I get home, start her car only to hear her power steering pump whining, and sure enough when I turned the steering wheel it got worse. I checked the fluid and it was low, but not that low. Her car is pushing close to 90K miles though. Regardless, she's not driving the car until I replace the darn thing.

I'm usually pretty good at checking fluid levels in both cars and doing whatever maintenance I can. I'd hate to think I neglected checking the fluids in her car long enough for this to happen. But a power steering pump is more the kind of work I can do easily without asking for help...if I can take it apart, you bet I can put it back together.

Anyways, I wanted to get back with you guys to let you know the diagnosis, regardless of how embarrased I was at the mechanics. Thanks for being here for me! By the way, guess what I'll be doing this weekend?

02-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Yeah, her power steering pump went bad, the pressure line was leaking under the car because it was so corroded, and so the pump got ruined with a whole day of driving with little fluid. So I replaced the pump and line today without a hitch. Which leads me to another thread....

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