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Low/Intermittent Power at Cold - Need a quick read

Need a quick diagnostic, here is what happens...

1999 neon - automatic

Start car - normal idle, no issues there
Reverse onto street - no issues there
Put it in drive and press pedal - goes forward, but feels like there is low or intermittent power for a few seconds/30-50 feet. Keeping the pedal down it smooths out and starts moving normally. It's not a "rough" feel of jerking, just seems like there is something that is not catching or something that is slipping for a second or two. Sounds like the engine initally revs but then hits a peak and won't go higher/change gears until whatever it is catches up.
Driving - No issues once engine warms up and the car has been driven for a while. The feeling goes away usually after the initial pull away. Seems to have normal power levels, and the issue above is the only thing that appears to be wrong.

I first noticed this a few weeks back pulling out of the driveway and it has gotten more frequent and worse ever since. This morning was by far the worst when I had to push the car a little harder to merge. The check engine light did finally come on this morning.

Timing belt? O2 Sensor? Transmission?

The car is on its way out anyways (had it since college, waiting for a significant repair to call it quits), mainly just curious if it is still driveable for the week and what could happen if left untouched.

Old 08-23-2010, 09:03 AM nomadx is offline  
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is the car parked on an incline? Also what happens if you reverse the car into the drive and try it the next day. How's the tranny fluid and fluid levels? Has it been changed recently? What kind of mileage does it have?

Any major leaks from the car? oil spots that dont smell like oil? How about coolant, is it a bit brown and oily? Is the trans fluid milky? smells bad? bits of metal in it? Black?

also pull the codes and post here.

It really could anything between low fluids to the warning sign that a new tranny is needed
Old 08-23-2010, 01:00 PM d114 is offline  
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Issue happens in a driveway (suppose you could call that a very slight incline) or a parking lot (no incline). Fluids were checked when it first started happening and there were all topped off and I have not seen leaks under the car at all.

I can pull the codes if needed, but like I said, I'm really just interested if something catistrophic is in my near future (like this weekend). Already had plans prior to go car shopping.
Old 08-23-2010, 01:14 PM nomadx is offline  
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check your tranny fluid while the car is running to make sure it isn't low.

if you're intending to replace when it dies i'd say drive on TBH. I bet you'll get a surprising amount of distance out of it before it dies
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:14 PM Dongboy is offline  
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your neon probably needs a trans.
Old 08-24-2010, 12:17 AM opel is offline  
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Check MAP sensor and TPS. Your CEL will tell you more, post the results when you get the free pull from vatozone. Either of the above is a 50 dollar part and two screws that you can remove yourself if you have skinny arms.
Old 08-24-2010, 10:41 AM d114 is offline  
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replace your plugs, sounds like loss of power under load
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:24 AM ScHpAnKy is offline  
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Well accelerated the new car thing about a week and got one last night, I'd been putting it off for months anyways. Sales guy offered $200 for it (without knowing the issue), but I will just hand it down to my brother or donate it. Plan on pulling the codes sometime this weekend, to figure out if it is worth putting anything into.
Old 08-24-2010, 04:35 PM nomadx is offline  
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Pics of new car!
Old 08-24-2010, 05:56 PM d114 is offline  
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