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91 Sluggish But Not If That Makes Sense


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Hi There,

Hoping someone can assist.

I've read over all posts related to sluggishness but don't find anyone having my excat symptoms.

on WOT the transmission kick down switch had thrown a code sometime back that I had cleared and not thought much of until now.

My car gets up and goes pretty good and can still hit 150mph when I want it to but it takes longer than it used to and the vehicle seems to have lost (intermittantly) it's torque, you know the torque that kind of pushes you back in your seat but not crazy like higher hp cars. Used to have really strong torque throughout the gears but that seems to be missing on a pretty regular basis now. I get some minor knocking at cold start but when warmed up it runs smooth as always.

Here's the funny thing, when I go to the floor with the gas the kickdown engages but I get an odd loud noise seemingly coming from the passegner side exhaust that I would almost think is an exhaust leak but other times it's quite as a mouse (the way it used to be all the time). When it's quite I get the normal torque and pick up but when that loud noise shows up the car loses the torque it had.

Could this be related to the CEL I had cleared, code I cannot remember but it was "short in kickdown".

Anyone experiencing this or has anyone had to replace the kickdown switch before? Would really like some feedback as I have been trying to figure this out for months now. Everything else works perfect, exhaust is in great shape, EGR tube inspecrted a couple of months ago when I replaced the starter and all was good except for a small amont of rust at the lower EGR tube mount.

Complete tune up completed all normal parts replaced. Cleaned the throttlebody, plenum and intake runners to like new when starter was done as well.

Another thing is I do notice a rich smell from the exhaust at morning start up but seems to improve when warmed up and typical white smoke (have not done the idle valve for the power steering and I'm certain that is what the smoke is, it only shows up on the morning start and nver again the rest of the day no matter how long it sits.

I reside just north of calgary, alberta so cold weather is the norm expecially winter (-28C) currently and smoke usually shows up only when below 4-5C.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!


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It started before tune-up. I purchased used of course and did the tune as a first not knowing when last done. Have not done the fuel filter yet, not sure if it really needs it yet as most time the car goes fine.

Noise that occurs is verry noticable inside and outside the car but as mentioned i can still get her going really well unlike the coil issues.

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No Codes at all, running 131,000 miles. Really strange, when it warms up I think I may try to pull the kickdown button out and check the wiring, perhaps there really is a short going on there and the tranny kickdown is not operating the way it should. Be nice if someone has taken that out to inspect before.

Any other thoughts?

Cheerss! Minus 28C again tonight, i'm really sick of this chilly weather, with the wind it feels more like minus 35C. :)

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have you checked into the O2 sensor at all?

my car also does the 'slip and then jump' out of first gear occasionally when the car is rolling slowly. i've been wondering about the shift solenoid in the trans, but i've heard that it's an issue caused by the 'drive by wire' system trying to figure out where it wants to be. anyone have any thoughts?

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that's what i was told when i drove my tranny guy around the block today. that it was the shift solenoid but its really starting to worry me i dont want my tranny to mess up. hopefully ill know something tomorrow, my check engine lights coming on and off everyday, so i gotta know whats wrong with it.

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