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Olds Alero Engine Surges When Acclerating On Expressway

Cannot find the root of the problem. Car suddenly surges,

stays stuck under 30mph on acceleration, hear a "bump" in rear, unable to accelerate quickly when getting on expressway. The surge occurs when I drive & go on a main street or expressway, cold engine mostly. Also sometimes when I start ignition, there is a sudden, loud vibration when the car starts. The car does not get speed acceleration while driving. I hit the gas pedal & it stays between 15 - 25 miles before the surge then goes over 30. It it sudden & surges forward. When the fuel injection system was done, it improved. the service engine light comes on & goes off, so do - other lights also come on & go off (trac off, engine, tire, etc). For the past 2 years, the big problem was that as I went into a parking motion, the car did not re-start & was towed. 3 different shops did a diagnostic check, the fuel injection system was done, it improved.


Answer: There could be a couple of different things. First pull the spark plug wires one at a time off the ignition coils, and look to see it the coil and plug wires are burned or corroded. Also possible that the catalytic convertor is plugged, especially if it has been running this way for some time.That could also be your noise and vibration your car has.


Check make sure the battery cables are clean and tight, and that battery is not leaking acid. Trac Off light is most likely caused by the check engine light.


Traction Control System is disabled with some engine light codes.


Tire light may just be a low tire and not related. Really need to get the system scanned for codes after checking these few things above. If the engine light is flashing at a steady rate, then need to check those coils and wires right away. A flashing engine light means cat. convertor damage may occur if it is not replaced quickly.


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2000 Oldsmobile Alero.
2.4 L4 engine.
Intermittent Check Engine, intermediate "TRAC off"
I noticed a couple days while ago that the engine sputtered slightly. It started to get worse lately. Now it is having a hard time idling and misfires frequently. The check engine light flashes sometimes, other times it stays on. The trac off light comes and goes. What could be the problem?


The TRAC OFF light is on most likely because of the way it is running. Sounds like the engine is misfiring on one or more cylinders. a four cylinder engine can run extremely bad with one misfire. Need to scan for codes in the powertrain computer to see what cylinders are misfiring, then diagnose that cylinder(s). Could be a spark plug problem, ignition coil housing, or ignition module causing no spark. The flashing engine light means that the misfire is bad enough to cause catalytic converter damage.


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# Tommy 2010-04-27 18:54
Had same problem on my Pontiac Grand Am. Had a bad ignition coil housing on top of the engine. Got that replaced, and the TRAC light went out.
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