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Saturn SL1

The other day, I was stopped at an intersection. When the light turned green, I tried to accelerate, but the car wouldn’t really accelerate. I have an automatic transmission. It had to be pushed through the intersection. I could rev the engine, but there wasn’t any power to the acceleration. When I did rev the engine in park, there a pop sound almost at 2 rpms on the tach. I was able to drive it to a garage the next day, about half a mile down the road, and there was some hesitation to the acceleration. The mechanic (I have never been to this repair shop before) said he drove it, it accelerated fine, and had good pep for a 97. He did say I needed a new water pump, though–which seems unrelated. What could cause the engine to not accelerate when hitting the gas?

Did the engine rev up but you just didn’t move? Then it’s a transmission problem.

Or when you pushed on the gas, the engine didn’t even rev up? Not clear from your description.

Is there a check engine light on?

I revved the engine while it was in park after the car ‘died’ and I had pushed it through the intersection and then carefully drove it into the parking lot–I revved it to see if the engine was working. It did rev just fine other than the popping sound around 2 rpms. I left it in the parking lot over night and was able to drive it the next day to a garage. I took it to the garage because it still seemed to hesitate when I hit the gas while I was driving to the mechanic. The mechanic said he has been driving it and there were no problems with the acceleration. There was no check engine light on.

Have someone see if your shift linkage is out of adjustment. When your lever is in drive the linkage could be on the borderline between drive and neutral.

Also, the center console --where the radio and heat controls are – gets very hot. There is a cubby place to keep change or keys or other stuff, and when I take anything out of the cubby–the items are extremely hot.

You know–a couple of weeks ago I was driving on 95 North behind an 18 wheeler. I wasn’t following closely and was only going about 60 mph, but it was 1 am, and there was a very big dead deer in the center lane. I couldn’t see it because of the tractor trailer. So, he drove right over the deer and then I did too— I had no choice. I went directly over the deer. Dead middle. I kept going, but the car was knocked into neutral from drive from the impact, I guess. Not sure. Could that be related?


The deer may have bent some linkage. Would get it checked out. I would get them to inspect the entire underneath of the car. I would also have the alignment checked.

Good call guys. Thanks so much. I just left a message for the mechanic to look at the shift linkage tomorrow. Is it expensive to fix the shift linkage?