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I had the same problem. I finally got an error code for the map sensor. The car finally revs at 4000rpm when it use to start to fail at 3200 rpm. The part is about $30 and very easy to replace.

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One more thing: If you pull the fuse to help reduce gaseline line pressure before changing the fuel filter: Be sure to put the fuse back in place before trying to start the car once the new filter is installed. I should have mentioned that and it's probably real obvious in hindsight, but if you have the fuse pulled you will NEVER get it to start again no matter how long you crank it! And more safety tips: Don't smoke or let anyone smoke nearby. Gasoline is poisonous so be careful with what you do with any you collect in a bottle or a can while changing the filter.

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I have had trouble like this with a clogged fuel filter. If you are handy and not afraid of gasoline you should be able to change the fuel filter yourself, which would probably be cheaper than taking it to a mechanic for a diagnosis. But read a Haynes or similar manual for the suggested procedure: Fuel injected cars run much higher fuel line pressures than old carburetored cars did. On a car with a carburetor there really isn't much fuel line pressure and changing a filter is pretty easy. On a car with fuel injection there is usually residual fuel pressure in the lines, so if you just start to take the filter off you will end up with a high pressure spray of gasoline all over the place. Not something I'd like to do. In general terms to change the fuel filter on a fuel injected car I'd do the following: 1. read the manual to find out what fuse controls the fuel pump. 2. locate the fuel filter and make sure you're up to trying this. 3. Buy a replacement fuel filter. 4. When at home and with some time for the procedure, start the car up, and then pull the fuse so the fuel pump will stop operating. Let the car run until it dies by itself...you will have just released the pressure (or most of it anyway) from the fuel lines. Go inside and watch some TV or read a book and let the car and engine cool down. Then go out and remove the old fuel filter. You may still get some spray from the line, so have some clean rags ready just in case. Also maybe a small jar or can to catch any gas that dribbles out of the lines while you put the new filter in. Once done figure you may have to do a bunch of starter cranking for the pressure to build up and gas to flow through the injectors again. If the car doesn't start in 30 seconds of cranking stop trying for a minute or two, then try another 30 seconds on the starter. You don't want to overheat and burn out your starter. Once the car starts up take a close look to make sure you don't have leaks around the new filter.

If you still have performance problems, there is ANOTHER thing that might be the cause: A weak electrical system can cause high rev problems...at lower revs the spark plug wires carry the current and work fine. At higher revs you can get cross fire or "leakage" from old spark plug wires. Sometimes if it's really dark out you can open the hood and have someone rev the engine and you'll actually see sparks as current leaks out and jumps from the wires to either other wires or the engine...My son has a 1998 S10 Chevy Pickup that had poor acceleration at speed, and very poor power. He had owned it a few years and it was always like that. Finally he asked me for advice and since it had 100,000 miles and neither of us knew when if at all the plugs and wires had been changed, I suggested he start with that. He spent about $60 for new spark plugs and spark plug wires, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Accelerates up to highway speed and maintains 70 - 75 MPH no problem now. It still isn't a race car, but MUCH peppier than it had been.

I know I'm long winded...but if you aren't afraid to do some work and experimentation on your own you may be able to solve your problems without a mechanic. Worse comes to worse, if your car has high mileage changing the fuel filter, spark plugs, and spark plug wires are routine maintenance items anyway...even if it doesn't fix your specific problem they may help the matter a bit, and those are a few less things for the mechanic who diagnoses the trouble has to worry about (but he'll probably recheck them anyway.) Final advice: If you mopped up gas with rags DO NOT TAKE THEM IN YOUR HOME OR GARAGE! (And don't change the filter in your garage..gas fumes can ignite from the pilot light of your water heater.) Spread any gasoline rags out flat to air dry OUTSIDE away from kids and pets...and on your garbage pickup day put them in the garbage can last thing as you wheel it out to the curb.

Good luck! Paul prhkgh@comcast.net

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Q: I have a 2000 Saturn SL2 that is Losing Power at high end when you accellerate and it takes a long time to get up to speed Does this sound like a fuel filter or fuel pump?
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