Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Erratic shifting, poor acceleration—Saturn

Saturn has identified a driveability problem with erratic shifting, poor acceleration that’s caused by the air filter.

I’ve talked about this in other articles, but here it is again—drivability problems associated with re-useable air filters. If you are using the oiled type such as K and N versus the non-oiled type, you may have created the problem yourself.

If you notice poor acceleration and erratic transmission operation, check for trouble codes. If the code you get is related to the MAF and you’re using an oiled filter, you can stop your trouble shooting right there. Scan for live data from the MAF and look for an extremely low grams-per-second reading. That’s a sign that oil has gotten onto the hot wire and coked it up. Try using CRC’s MAF sensor cleaner spray to remove the fried oil. If you can’t remove it, you’ll have to replace the MAF sensor (which will cost you more than you even could save by buying an oiled filter in the first place). Then clean the entire air duct and get rid of that oiled filter.

I have a pretty low opinion of these oiled filters. If you want to save money with a reusable filter, try the Fram Washable. It’s made from a synthetic material and does NOT need to oiled. To clean it, simply spray it with dishwashing detergent. Want to know more?


© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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