It's happening more and more these days where I will hit the gas while at a complete stop. My car starts moving, but not as fast as it should based on how far I have the pedal down. Anymore, I can sometime nearly floor it and my car just inches its way up to speed, barely accelerating at all, but then it finally shifts gears and my engine goes VROOOOOOOM and my car takes off like a bat out of hades.

Back in the day, I'd hit the gas and my car would go like it should. It only has 50,000 miles on it and I am the only owner. What could cause my car to behave this way?

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    Posting at a weekend definitely impacts your views. I have edited out the non-constructive comment you left.
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 3 '11 at 21:10
  • @RoryAlsop, good edit and I can relate to the frustration of feeling like you're getting low feedback. To answer the edited out question, there are three buttons below the question rating for Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Those are all ways in which you can get additional exposure for this specific question (and the site in general).
    – Bob Cross
    Feb 3 '12 at 23:40

If you have been regularly servicing the car, this should not be happening. It could be spark plugs, airflow, fuel or tuning - so unless you have other symptoms you can describe, I'd get those checked out first.


Check the spark plug wires to make sure they're installed properly. I saw a case a couple years ago where the car had been in for an oil change and one of the plug wires got bumped loose/out a little. Car idled fine, seemed to drive fine until you asked it to go fast, then it would shudder and bang and just be very unhappy. Found loose wire, pushed it down, all was good again.


Are you getting Check Engine Light ?. Most likely it is Spark Plug or Air Mass Flow Sensor.

If i were you I would do following:

  1. Change Spark Plug. Since it is very cheap and easy to replace it and you should change it anyways, there is no waste of money there
  2. If you have check engine light, check the code at Autozone if you do not have OBD2 code reader and get error code and do google on this code.
  3. Buy a Air mass Flow Sensor Cleaner Can and clean MAF. Checkout some of the MAF cleaner Youtube video. It is fairly easy to remove MAF sensor and clean it. DO NOT Touch or clean with anything else. you should only spray this cleaner and let it dry by itself. If you see improvement after cleaning, it is Air mass flow and it is likey you will have to change it to Brand new since it will die after cleaning after you run for couple of days.

It sounds more like a transmission issue than a engine issue. It sounds like it not going to first gear but when you rev the engine it upshifts into second and drive normally. I could be a slipping clutch. In automatics there are pairs of clutches for each gear. When changing gears one clutch applies and other partially applies until it moves fast enough to engage then the other clutch releases. Can it go in reverse? If memory serves first and reverse share the same shaft. It has quite a few years since I have had deal with automatics. I drive manual..less complicated only one clutch. All I can really is that a major overhaul or transmission replacement is in order and either option is expensive. The mere statement about going like a bat out of Hades....definitely rules out engine issues.


It has to be in gear 2 ,, 2 is for the streets and when u hit 38mph u switch it to d3 d3 is for the highway a lot of people don't know I ready this in the Manuel once I did it to my car it ran great no jerkin while goin into second gear 1 is for driving in mud 2 is for streets and d3 is for highway and d 4

  • Do you have any documentation to back this up? Jan 13 '16 at 2:18
  • Could you add any more detail or clarity to your question to help us answer more specifically? Jan 13 '16 at 13:01

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