WTF is that hesitation!!! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-25-2003, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default WTF is that hesitation!!!

Ok I'm sick of this! Maybe ONE of you has an idea of that this could be.

Cruising down the road the car with hiccup and hesitate every so often. No change in rpms, no change in oil pressure, all stock gauges look good. The transmittion isn't shifting irratically or falling out of gear. All my ignition wires look good except for a few small indentations on 2 wires from rubbing, which I took care of and wrapped in electrical tape...but that happened long before this hesitation occured. Anyway, I have MSD coils, MSD wires, and NGK V-power plugs. So my ignition appears to be fine. I did change my plugs a month ago and they were black, but for one day the car ran fine with no hiccups, but it came right back the following day. I changed the O2 sensor a few weeks ago with a NAPA sensor and have gotten 2 SES light codes since, but if I turned the engine off, started it back up, the light went away - so I'm going to look into that by having the local shop use a scantool on my car. I checked my PCV valve, cleaned it up, and it looks fine (even thought I don't know what I'm really looking for).

I asked a mechanic and they said its not the injectors because no 3800 she (yes SHE) has ever worked on had an injector problem. She said the 3800 just has a problem with the TB getting dirty of course. I sprayed an entire can of TB cleaner into my TB not long ago which helped some with response, but the hesitation is still there.

Finally if I drive along town at 25mph I can't detect any irratic engine movements, if I floor it the car takes off fine and feels great. However, if I accelerative at a moderate pace (3,000 rpm) the car feels as if its getting short bursts of more fuel and accelerates quick, then slower, then quickers, etc until I reach my speed of usually 65mph...followed by the occasional hesition.

Dirty fuel filter? Bad fuel pump? What is going on here guys???
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Old 06-25-2003, 02:29 PM   #2
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Default Let me tell ya!

Brother, I had an almost identical problem and it took me FOREVER to finally diagnose it. Might be yours, too. It only happened at low power like maintaining speed on the interstate or using the engine to hold on a hill. Ran great on accel or decel.

Check your EGR valve. Scans on my car from different shops indicated a fuel pump issue or nothing at all. I actually went in and replaced the fuel pump and filter (no fun) and it ran the same way. Finally, I had another guy check it out and he found a short in the EGR valve. He was very proud of his work and hit me with a $350 repair...
Anyway, these things run $150 or so on the SSEi. If you have a parts place willing to let you return it, try one, or just have someone check yours.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:55 AM   #3
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Good idea, I'll have the local shop check it out next week. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:49 AM   #4
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I think if the your charcoal canister is messed up it will give almost the same symptom. My car used to do this but I have changed all the hoses leading to the egr and canister and it stopped, but efore that i was having big trouble with hesitation and it was my MAT sensor.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:27 PM   #5
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I'm having the exact same problem...started about two weeks ago. No problem in 1, 2 or 3rd gears...only seems to happen when the TCC is engaged. Car seems to run fine under load...accellerating, but when cruising in OD and TCC engaged under very light throttle, the car shudders. No noticable engine speed changes and all gauges look fine. no increases/decreases in RPMs. It'* been getting worse and now is very noticable. I doubt it'* a misfire becasue I know what that feels like from a long time ago when I had a bad Spark plug wire. Car idles fine and runs fine...just when cruising 52-75 under light load it has this shudder. Wondering if it might be my TCC soleniod going or maybe my valve body on transmission? Any thoughts...easy ways to check?

One other note, about 5,000 miles ago (2 months) I replaced my supercharger...maybe EGR has something to do with it as I did have to disconnect and reconnect it. No SES light. How would I check my EGR is working properly?

1994 SSEi - 201,000 miles
Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:59 PM   #6
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that sounds kinda like the TCC is trying to enguage but cant
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Old 06-26-2003, 02:33 PM   #7
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Nah...TCC does engage and locks up. I only feel this problem when the TCC cluch is engaged. Maybe it is aveing trouble staying engaged?

--Drew
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Old 06-26-2003, 06:55 PM   #8
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Yeah pavlov that sounds like what it is. Mine does the same thing occasionally. Transmission shops charge 150-250 to change out the TCC. You might be able to do it yourself but personally I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:27 AM   #9
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Pavlov I know what you are going through. My 95 SSEi is doing what sounds like the same thing. It'* not the TCC in my car, and I doubt it is in yours. The car doesn't want to climb hills or anything. Like you said, 50 and up when the TCC pulls it down to 1500 rpm. even at 75 mph it still won't pull hills unless you kick it out of TCC. I got outpulled up an incline by a 18-wheeler the other day. It'* sad. I think it may be a bad injector but that'* too expensive to just try.
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:54 AM   #10
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Brian, I know what you mean. I haven't had too many problems climbing hills in OD with the TCC engaged...although sometimes she just can't make it up steeper hills that way. OD on these cars is pretty steep...that'* why we get decent gas mileage but bigger hills pose a challenge. Even with 275 Lb Ft of torque...not enough! It'* never enough! That'* why you gotta get on the gas on the down hill to carry enough momentum up the next I've been beaten by 18 wheelers in the past but mostly becasue I was babying it and didn't want to drop out of 4th. I recently (5K miles) replace my SC and in doing so got to get a good look at my injectors...all looked really good and clean...but then again I couldn't look inside them.

Allmachtige - Have you made any progress? I know you were going to check the EGR. Just wondering if you've been able to nail this problem. I'm going to replace my plugs and wires this weekend, mostly becasue they're due but I don't think that will solve the problem. My tranny has about 50K miles on it since it was rebuilt at 155,000, so the pan will drop and I will replace the filter and fluid. I'll test drive it after each change and let you guys know what I find out.

I've been reading posts on this board like a 3800 and it seems this is a common problem in that I've found a lot of posts that mention this type of problem. Haven't found any difinitive solutions as yet but hope to give some back after I try the fixes I'm going to do this weekend. If they don't work, looks like it might be time to hit the tranny shop...although I really don't want to drop a load on this car at this point....wife would kill me! She wants me to get rid of her but the funny thing is, I had the car before my wife and I remind her of that fact as often as I can.

--Pavlov
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