99 Saturn Hesitates Between 30 and 40 MPH

Thought I would write a quick blog article about this.

Just until yesterday, we had a 1999 Saturn SL1 vehicle.  We’ve had it for just over 11 years and it has been an exceptional car.

About a month ago, we had all of the brakes replaced in the car.  When we got it back from the mechanic, we noticed that the car would hesitate between 30 and 40 mph.  We also did notice that the car would hesitate in other situations as well – where we were really pushing on the pedal to get it to move.  But for the most part, it was almost always stuttering between 30 and 40 mph.

I searched other message boards and forums from other car owners to try and find the problem.

It seemed that a lot of individuals noted that it was because the EGR valve needed cleaned.  So a few weekends ago, I got the car out and took the EGR valve off.  Yes, it was quite dirty with carbon build-up.

The EGR valve was cleaned and put back in.  Took the car out for a test drive and the car still had some hesitation between there.

Well, I further searched on how to test to see if it really was the EGR valve.  A few recommendations said to remove the electrical connector from the EGR valve – and that would bypass the EGR valve.  The notes indicated that if the EGR valve was causing the problem, then the hesitation symptoms would go away.

Did that – went for a test drive – still had the problem.  So I hooked the EGR valve back up and cleared the check engine light.

Well, next thing was to take the Electronic Control Module (ECM) and coil packs out.  Took them out and went up to AutoZone to have them tested.  Well, I get there and they said they can’t test anything because their ohm meter was stolen.  They called the other two stores in town – same thing.  Kind of strange that all of them had their ohm meter stolen!

Went over to O’Reilly Auto Parts to see if they could test it.  Nope.  They didn’t have the equipment to test.  But I was discussing the issue with the front desk clerk.  He asked if I had checked the spark plugs as that would be a cheap fix.

So I bought four NGK plugs for $8 total and took them home.  Changed out the spark plugs, went out for a test drive and boom!  The car hesitation between 30 and 40 mph was completely solved!

After spending at least four to five hours on it, the issue simply was caused by some spark plugs that needed changed out.

So if your vehicle has a stuttering problem, you might check the spark plugs first and replace them.