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I just recently bought a 97 Sentra with less than 15k on it. I have never driven a Sentra before, so I'm not even sure if there is a problem. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of power and I have to really give it some gas up hills.

Now this could just be the little 1.6L inline, 115 HP engine. Especially because I was borrowing a Mini cooper while I looked for a car, which is much sportier.

I have no problem getting up to speed (on flat surfaces) at it does 80+ fine. I just don't want to floor it so it takes 45 seconds or so to get to 65.

I've changed the plugs/oil/tires and air filter. I'll do the fuel filter next.

Would flooring it 0-60 in 10 seconds be a good test if the car is accelerating as it should? (That is what it is rated for.)

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    Has it been sitting a long time? 15k miles is next to nothing for a 97 of any make/model. You are right that 115hp is not a bunch. I wouldn't expect too much out of it. Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 21:15
  • No sitting too long. She had driven it regularly (just not far) until she was unable to continue driving about ~1 year ago. I'm guessing it's just the small engine too. I'll see what my 0-60 time is and check back. Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 21:20
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    With as old as it is, I'd do an upper end treatment with something like Seafoam and also consider changing out the O2 sensors. Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 21:21
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    With an engine that size... yeah, expect little power
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 0:23
  • Thanks all, it seems like it's normal - I'm just not used to a small efficient engine. I'm not hating the ~38 MPG avg either. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 7:24

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It did fine on the 0-60, so it's just a small engine. I'll Seafoam it anyways, wouldn't hurt. O2 sensors should be fine, it passed smog with flying colors.

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  • My little truck gets from 0-60 in 6.5. But then, it has a 5.9l v8 in it, and gets 10 mpg.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 11:27
  • There is nothing "little" about your truck, J. :D Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 12:56
  • Musser, I have a 1.6L and get to 0-60 in 10. 38 to the gallon average so far. I'll spend the extra 3.5 seconds accelerating for that trade off :). Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 7:04

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