Saturn pauses

I have a 2000 Saturn sl2 (automatic 85,000 miles) and recently, I can feel the momentum of the car stop for a split second. The hesitation isn’t occurring when the transmission is shifting between gears but, when I’m just at a normal speed or accelerating. The fluid is new and at the right level and there’s no change in the RPMs (it doesn’t rev up or drop like I would expect) and no weird noises.

This is my fourth Saturn SL and I love em but, I have a feeling that this car has had a more interesting life that the carfax printout indicated. Is carfax reliable?

Every car I have owned since fuel injection became standard, including a Saturn, has done this to me. I don’t know what causes it, but unless it has become very frequent, I would not worry about it. I guess the question is what is the frequency of this and how long does the stumble last. Most of what I have observed happens once every couple of days and lasts for less than a second, about as long as a hiccup.

Wow, never thought about fuel injection… Have you ever used fuel a injection cleaner? As much as I didn’t want to spend $2000 and a new gearbox, I would also hate to spend $3 on a useless product.


I have, but it never solved a problem for me. It also costs more than $3, more like $7, at least for the so called good ones. Being a Saturn, I do have another question that so far has plagued SL1 owners a lot. Is the idle higher than 950 and plagued with little stumbles? This is a symptom of a bad intake manifold gasket. It will usually result in a P0507 code eventually.


The SL1 has very little support around the #1 cylinder intake port and eventually sucks the gasket out of position. I don’t know if the SL2 has the same problem. If you spray something like wd40 or carb/fuel injection cleaner or any one of a number of sprays around the intake port of the #1 cylinder and it has any affect on the idle, then you need a new gasket. Do not go OEM, use Felpro instead.

What’s the state of maintenance? Original spark plugs & wires? Filters? Make it all up to date. I really doubt that this has anything to do with the transmission.

Carfax tells you very little, and its reliability is suspect. All it can really do is raise red flags if they happen to have made it into the database. The lack of red flags doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any. If you’re thinking you can learn something about maintenance history from Carfax, that’s way off. There is no service that can do that.

Keith-It dose stumble mostly at startup. I feel I need to gun it to keep it going but, not sure if I really need to. It’s second nature.

cigroller- I bought the car with ‘65,000’ miles on it but the carfax said showed no problems in it’s history so, I bought it. I had my guy look at and I got the OK. But, I started to see little details like rusted nuts and screws in the engine area and I’ve never seen that in any of my other SL’s. My guy said don’t worry about it, Now after a year of ownership (and a busted AC condenser, a one touch drivers power window that is only one touch if that touch is the time is long enough as it takes for the window to go from closed to open, a broken wire on the temp sending unit…and all that rust), I think it’s water damaged or at least older then it’s mileage indicates. Not only is my house ‘under water’, I think my car was too.

I didn’t see a lot of negative comments on line about carfax so, I took it at face value. Never again.


If you don’t have a check engine light, take it to any one of a number of auto parts stores and have the codes checked. Have the system checked for pending codes (ones that have not occurred enough to set the CEL and check that all ready lights are on.