The car in question is an 1998 Opel Vectra 16XEL.

Recently, after doing some things on it:

  • Replacing spark plugs
  • Replacing ignition cables
  • Oil change
  • Replacing the gasket under valve cover

it developed the following symptom: the power on sub-3k rpm 2nd gear is basically non-exsitant. The other gears are fine.

What happens is when I go for example 20 kmph in 2nd gear (around 1,3k revs) and press the accelerator it just barely goes - I measured it once on an empty road and it took me 9 seconds to go from 20 to 40 kph. Quite frankly, 3rd gear 20-40 is faster.

After reaching 3k rpm it returns back to normal and feels like the power is back.

What could be the cause?

EDIT: I should probably add, when this is happening, the engine gives out a very low, bass sound and you can feel the car shaking. It all dissapears after the engine revved above 3k.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Are you sure the plug wires are back in their proper places? Having a couple of wires misplaced can cause the engine to run as you are suggesting. Just something to check. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 23 '17 at 12:31
  • Yes, I numbered everything while replacing them, double checked after, and even reffitted them - does not help. – Yuropoor Oct 23 '17 at 12:33
  • how’s the exhaust backpressure? if you pull the upstream o2 does it help? – Ben Oct 23 '17 at 23:29

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