Car jerks when accelerating between 40 & 50 mph

Asked by Jan 05, 2016 at 01:21 PM about the 1996 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC2 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1996 Saturn SC2. Engine starts right up and idles smoothly. I think
plugs are OK. Car runs great between 0-40 mph and from about 50 mph on up
but the car jerks while eccelerating between about 40 - 50 mph.

Can you help diagnose?

11 Answers


Check the fuel filter, change if plugged, if problem is still present check for computer system codes, if none are found I suspect a failing fuel pump, or a TPS erratic readings.

1 people found this helpful.

i would say fuel filter , pump as well.

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for the help...I'll try those.


My car used to do the same exact thing, I literally went to 5 mechanics. I changed my fuel pump, throttle sensors, O2 sensors, fuel filters, etc. Only to find out that it was my EGR Valve...goodluck!!!!!!

2 people found this helpful.

Fuel pump / pressure , cat is plugged , egr valve : remove and spray with carb spray and make the the valve actuates . Run sea foam through gas tank and then fill with ethanol free fuel. Tighten gas cap / replace if needed . Check plugs / wires , it may have a sticky valve . Have cylinder compression checked .


I am going they the same issue with my sons 99 Saturn 4 door stick , 1.9 . After. 45 mph it sputters and seems to be lacking proper fuel pressure and can’t maintain a speed over 50 . It’s loke being in the wrong gear for the right speed or vice versa . Starting with cleaning the egr valve. Will try and let you all about my successes and failures

1 people found this helpful.

I ran Gumout through the gas tank, changed plugs, wires as well installed a brand new EGR. I have not tried changing the fuel pump or filter yet. That will be my next step. I'm thinking it could be the crank and/or cam sensor(s). Codes won't tell me and the mechanics I've been to don't seem to think the crank/cam sensors could be the culprit. Still at it. Good luck, I'll keep you posted.


ESBJr, have you ever found out what the problem was? We are possibly buying a saturn outlook with the same problem and this is actually a deciding factor.

Robert, I have not yet found the answer. My next step will probably be to install a new fuel pump. Weather seems to have an effect though. Car likes cooler weather and my problem seemed to go from constant to intermittent. I just purchased a code reader and as soon as weather permits, I'll be checking the engine with it. Mechanics have been little help to this point. I'm still thinking it could be the fuel pump or the crank and/or cam sensor.


Thank you for your fast reply. I have spoken to a colleague today regarding the potential 2007 Saturn Outlook we are looking at. When describing the symptoms (which are extremely similar to what you describe) he didn't even hesitate to tell me that it is very likely the MAF or Mass Air Flow sensor. Now, I do know that the S series doesn't have a MAF but a MAP (Manifold Air Pressure Sensor) any chance you looked at that yet?

1 people found this helpful.

I tried the MAF/MAP route but had no luck. At this point in time, I'm thinking it could be my fuel pump. I'm going to try that next. I' have also changed the EGR but that did not help either. None of the mechanics I spoke with thought that it could be the crank sensor. Car is OK for local driving. I'll see how the car runs as the weather gets warmer here in Chicago. My car is a "beater" but now the problem has become a challenge.

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