What is causing the slight engine skip at 2200-2400rpm

My '98 ZX2 is a great car! I am having a heck of a time trying to find out what is causing a slight skip/bucking in the car when it is warmed up and going slow through town at 20-30mph. If it is under low load, and at the above rpm I feel this happening. If I keep the rpm’s higher, it doesn’t happen? Any ideas on items to investigate? New timing belt recently, plugs, running 9mm wires. 130K miles and still going strong…

manual or automatic?

Manual, “cool” package

Took out the “Milk Jug” tonite after reading that it is a useless piece. Air filter still looks new. Will replace fuel filter next as it almost feels like a starving situation…any other tips to improve will be welcome!

New fuel filter installed, and was surprised it was so easy with the fancy clips that Ford uses!
The performance with the removal of the jug was worth every scratch encountered during it’s removal. The pickup getting on the highway was quick.
Next is snipping the governor wire and see what this car really has, and then the upper resonator.
to be continued…

looks like you have a good start for projects for your car. As far as the bucking, I was hoping that someone else would jump in an answer the question. I get this too at low rpm and gear, under deceleration. Short of that, I have seen suggestions to check 02 sensor and clean your maf with electrical contact cleaner.

Ironmark, thanks for the support! The deceleration thing I can work on…but the projects have helped to make the ride more fun. I took out the upper resonator and next will be a cold air for the intake. I also put in S/R springs and struts from ZXTuner, 9mm wires, and also considering a 25% crank pulley next. Have you done the pulley thing yet, and if so, your thoughts? Again thanks…

I’ve got that hesitation as well, but it occurs intermittently, usually when its cold. I still don’t know what is causing it. And the UDP isn’t difficult at all, I can give you a few tips if you like.

This issue has plagued the zx2 and many owners over the years. Overall the issue tends to vary on the resolution from person to person but if you mean the slight hesitation that you feel on the highway once in a while I was able to fix mine by the following:

  • Air filter clean (for a K&N or similar) or replace if OEM
  • Mass airflow sensor cleaning (use only approved spray, never wipe or touch the MAF)
  • Fuel injector cleaner run through the system
  • New plugs
  • New wires
  • Fuel filter replacement

The most common thing seems to be that people will suddenly feel a “lack of power” or a “weird skip” or “hesitaton” and then it will out of no where come back to normal. It is generally around those rpms.

Try those things and see how she treats you after that.

Your Welcome BEAR!

The UDP is not that bad, however, if you do not put a ODP on your alternator you will eat them up like crazy especially if you have a sub / amp. I went through 3 of them over the last year and 1/2.

any update? Did you figure it out?

It sounds like the occasional sputter just happens, and it is only at low deceleration through town, so I’ll keep the pedal pegged and not worry about it. Next will clean the MAF, being careful as recommended, and see what happens.
I had heard that you needed to do the alternator pulley if you change the crank pulley (sorry, not up on the new ackronyms, UDP, ODP) so glad for that tip.
The damn “service engine soon” light stays on and has come on and off over the years, but usually a couple of cans of fuel system cleaner and it goes out. Not this time, so when I find someone with a code checker, I’ll see what shakes out from that.
All of you have been a great help, and I have passed what I’ve done to a guy at work who showed up with an 2003-ZX2. His is a slush box, as I call automatics, but I won’t hold it against him (he does get to have cruise). Anyway, more damn snow expected in WI so enjoy your Z’s…Cheers!!!

Ya i hear you about WI. It wont hit us it seems like. Ya with the pedal with just part way is your most advance timing. With this can cause issues if fuel management isn’t working right or your ignition. What do the codes say?

I would recommend bringing it into a place to get a free OBDII scan, like a shucks or napa store so you can figure out what code it is. That would help you a great deal.

advanced auto, autozone are also some places to take the car to get the code read for free.

We even got snow flurries here in North Texas this morning. None stuck to the ground.

I guess I am lucky, I have not experienced the hesitation that you are talking about, so I can’t help with that.

It sounds like you are doing a good job with your car. Have fun and be safe.

holy cow that’s a name i haven’t seen in a while, welcome back!

It’s off to the parts store to see what the codes uncover…to be continued!!

haha hopefully nothing to bad. I hate codes since its always means something has gone to shit.

im lucky so far and pushing 100k, only code I have really thrown so far is something about my IAT / MAF sensor. turns out I didn’t plug the MAF back in after messing with my intake on that particular day.