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Bear with me I'm far from a mechanic so you may have to "dumb it down for me on the automobile lingo" I am however a do it yourself girl so I will attempt to describe my problem a best as I can. I drive an old 2001 Saturn it had the motor replaced a few years back so this one has approx 100k miles. Just recently on the freeway the car felt like it was losing power not getting enough gas to make it go the speed I needed. At the same time the check engine started flashing. This happened for about 3 minutes then all of a sudden it seemed to get a burst of gas and went just fine until I exited the freeway and came to a stop. It started shaking, sputtering and felt like it was going to die but never did. The next morning I drove it to work 30 miles away no problem. Later that day on the way home same thing as the car and temp got hotter the car started losing power. Seems to happen when it's hot out not so much when it's cool. In my self diagnosis I thought fuel filter, changed that and the next morning ran great. Again in the afternoon same thing but worse so I pulled over and had it towed home. I had it in park revved the engine and realized that at 4k RPMs exactly is the beginning of the lag, it also backfired and smoke came out the exhaust. Additionally there was a significant gasoline odor inside the vehicle. More research and I decided it was spark plugs, changed those no difference. Now I'm thinking fuel pump or vacuum intake hose. Again all guesses derived from the vast knowledge I received on you tube. Any ideas I really need to stop spending money guessing. I have concluded the outside temp effects it considerably. Thank you in advance.


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Location: Oregon
You should have your car scanned. There should be codes stored in the computer that can help find out what is happening with your engine. When your check engine light flashes, (it means that the way the engine is running), it could damage the catalytic converter.

coil, ignition module, crank sensor, coolant temp sensor and many other things could be affected by engine temperature.

the best thing would be to have a scanner hooked up to your car while it is running badly and see what the computer is responding to. Because of the type of ignition system this car has, it is difficult to check the ignition components without special tools and adapters. We have special wires we use on the coil that allow us to take the coil off the engine and use the wires to the spark plugs. Then we hook up the ignition scope to the wires so we can see the ignition pattern. The pattern should show us what the spark is doing in the cylinder or if the cylinder is getting spark or not.

It gets very expensive to just replace parts like the ignition module or coil if those things aren't the problem. Ask a local shop with a good reputation what they would charge you to diagnose it for you. Once they say what they recommend, you can decide if you want to do the work yourself.


   
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Oh by temp I additionally meant the weather not the car temp. Okay I bought the fuel pump but am going to return it now


   
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