I have a 2001 buick lesabre with about 200k miles. It is automatic. Other day it was very windy when i got on interstate had cruise set to 65. Seemed car was confused about shifting a few times because of wind best i can explain but it kept up. Anyways i stopped at a gas station and got back on road it wont go over 30mph when floored, but doesnt seem like a trans because rpms arent out of line with speed, or not winding out to get to 30mph. It just has no power. Full disclosure, day before i found a small crack at rubbermount on top of radiator. Had planned on fixing it this weekend but just didnt drive too far, kept it topped off and watch temp so it didnt overheat. Aside from the obviously suspicious timing of these two issues could they be related or why do i not have the power to drive the car home? Help please!
If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting a car that won’t accelerate, I recommend taking the vehicle to a reliable mechanic and let him give it a full checkup. This will allow him to properly diagnose the issue and recommend a suggested fix.
#1 – Mass Air Flow Sensor Clogged or Malfunctioned
The mass air flow sensor (or meter) is located and attached to the inlet air cleaner. Since the function of the air flow sensor is to measure air mass that is flowing into air intake, a clogged or bad mass air flow sensor could send the wrong data to the engine ECU for calculating the air fuel mixture. A symptom of an air flow meter malfunction is car that won’t accelerate correctly.
#2 – Oxygen Sensor Malfunction
An oxygen sensor is device whose function is to monitor the exhaust emissions of the vehicle so that it can analyze the air-fuel ratio going through the engine of that vehicle. To make a long story short, a car needs a proper amount of fuel in order for the fuel to burn properly in the combustion cylinders so that it may run smoothly and may accelerate as required.
This sensor sends the information about the amount of fuel being used to the computer unit of the engine and if this sensor get damaged, then the engine of that vehicle will have no idea what ratio of air-fuel mixture to use which may result in a fuel rich mixture. This can cause the slow acceleration of the vehicle even with the accelerator pedal completely pressed making it unreliable when it’s needed.
#3 – Malfunction of TPS
The basic principle of the throttle position sensor (TPS) is to detect the throttle valve opening angle which is controlled by accelerator pedal. Then the TPS will send this data to the ECU. If the TPS malfunctions, the engine speed cannot be controlled by the accelerator pedal and engine speed will increase or decrease without any press or depress the pedal.
en the TPS will send this data to the ECU. If the TPS malfunctions, the engine speed cannot be controlled by the accelerator pedal and engine speed will increase or decrease without any press or depress the pedal.
#4 – Dirty or Clogged Fuel Filters
A dirty or clogged fuel filter is another reason for a car not accelerating like it’s supposed to when required to do so. With a dirty fuel filter, the engine won’t be getting enough fuel which means that the vehicle won’t be giving the acceleration performance that it should. Replace the fuel filter as soon as possible.
#5 – Clogged or Dirty Air Filters
dirty air filter
Just like a fuel filter provides the engine with the clean fuel, an air filter provides the engine of a vehicle with clean air to be used in the air-fuel mixture which will be sent to the combustion chambers to burn. If an air filter is clogged, then the engine won’t get the right air-fuel mixture resulting in slow acceleration. Replace the air filter as soon as possible.
#6 – Timing Belt
bad timing belt
This component is as it sounds. The timing belt is something like a VIP in the list key of components of an engine. If this belt is off even by 1 tooth, it may cause some pretty notable acceleration problems.
However the list of causes of poor acceleration does not end here. Other culprits behind slow acceleration may include a slipping clutch, the transmission system itself, or an unexpected or unrelated problem which may surprise even veteran mechanics.
Thank you for the small list of places to look lol. So no obvious relation to the pressure loss from small radiator leak comes to mind?
Your engine is not overheating, right? No engine codes?
This car doesn’t have a timing belt.
I would suspect the Mass Air Sensor first in this scenario… A quick test would be to unplug it and see if the symptom remains…if so… you just found the problem.
While you are at it you could remove and clean the sensor with carb cleaner or MAF spray or brake cleaner and see if it comes back to life. As I recall that particular model was very particular about the health of its MAF sensor. Your issue has nothing at all to do with your radiator…
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While you are at it
Thank you for some avenues to at minimum rule in or out some problems. Only point i have is that I’m sure you probably only call it an accelleration problem for lack of a better term possibly? Because it’s not really just an acceleration problem ants the top speed is basically 20 to 30 miles an hour with it floored all the way and I don’t believe if I kept my foot there for half an hour that it would get any faster so I suppose in a way it is an acceleration problem cuz it stops accelerating right away LOL. But either way thank you very much for helping me probably save a lot of time and hopefully getting to whatever the real problem that needs fixed much faster than I would have ever on my own. Once I have it figured out I will post what it turned out to be. And if I can ever pay it forward I promise you guys I will do that have a wonderful day.