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Friday, May 17, 2013


Something going on with my 2003 Olds Silhouette. 193,000 miles. No major problems up until now that weren't caused by mechanic error.

What's going on is, when I get going after it has sit for a while - can be overnight, or even an hour, it varies - when I go to accelerate, there's nobody home. I go a little bit, it's not dead-stop. For instance, my driveway is 300 feet long. I go down the driveway (it is sloped down to the road a bit), stop at the end and wait for traffic to clear. When I get out to the 55mph road and hit the gas, I barely go. I back off the gas pedal, and try again, and eventually I do start getting up to speed. Once I get to that point, it doesn't happen again after stopping at red lights, etc. I do believe the engine revs when it's not going very much, and thus the backing-off so I don't overtax something maybe.

My first guess was transmission. I checked what I thought was the trans fluid dipstick this morning, but I think I got the wrong thing. I looked over the whole engine to find it. In the front is what I thought was the oil dipstick. In the rear is what I thought was the transmission dipstick. I pulled it out - it's really long and has this sort of fluted ball a few inches up from the tip. I'm not sure where to find it if that wasn't it.

As I am obviously not an expert, I also guessed it might be the fuel pump or fuel injectors. I have not been able to keep the tank full, been putting in $20 or so at a time and running it down to empty quite a bit due to poor finances. I wondered if this is overtaxing the fuel pump. I put $50 in today and the problem still happened.

Very much appreciate any input I can get. I can't afford repairs on this so family is talking about helping me get a different used car if this is going to be expensive.



  1. I had VERY similar symptoms on my 2003 Malibu. I thought it was the transmission as well, because it kept over-revving and dropping back. It ended up being the catalytic converter...

  2. Hmm. I know my muffler is either shot completely or close. The outer shell was coming off a couple years ago, and a mechanic working on something else pop riveted it together to buy me some time.

    I'm pretty sure either the shell has come loose again, or the muffler itself has come loose from it's brackets.

    I need to get under there and see if I can do the old wire hanger thing.

    But... could that be part of the problem? Aren't the muffler and catalytic converter connected?