Engine looses power (1994 Grand Am, 2.3)

Hi everybody,
I have 1994 Pontiac Grand Am with 2.3 liter OHC engine.
My car has the following problem. When I drive it suddenly looses power.
I'm pushing accelerator pedal and engine does not react at it. Sometimes it reacts but the car stars jerking. Sometimes the car reacts normally. It can happen when the car is hot, warm, at high speed, at low speed etc. I also noticed that sometimes engine temperature is higher than usually. At these times the car has the most significant loss of power.
Sometimes (when there is a lack of power) I can fell sudden power increase like something pushed my car from behind.
And one more wierd thing I noticed is when I try to accelerate and there is no power I can hear a sound that resembles the sound of compressed air coming out (psss, psss, psss).
The engine is idling well.
Does anybody have any idea what it could be ?
Thanks
Borys
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Interesting. My daughter's '92 Grand Am with the same engine as yours acted similarly last night.
Went to check it out and found that it would crank just fine, but no start. My suspicions were with the fuel system based on what she told me and my interpretation of her "daughter car speak."
While she cranked the engine I jumped battery voltage to the fuel oil prime connector in the engine compartment and the machine instantly sprang to life. Ran perfectly for me on the 100 mile return trip home.
Caught it in the act again while checking things out with the machine parked in my back yard. Not getting voltage to the fuel pump relay. No voltage to the ECM. No voltage to the ECM IGN fuse at the fuse block either.
Strongly suspect the ignition switch is at fault and will be replacing it. Keep in mind that sometimes this thing works and sometimes it doesn't just like the situation you are experiencing. For what it's worth.

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How many miles on the fuel filter? How many miles on the spark plugs/wires?
GW
Borys wrote:

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Spark plugs, fuel filter and fuel pump are new. The engine doesn't have wires. Coil is mounted together with caps in one unit which is installed directly on spark plugs.
Borys
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Borys wrote:

Ahh! That's right you have that integrated coil housing assembly thing. (I remembered that after I posted, but didn't get back to this till now). Those DO go bad and are quite hard to diagnose. You can carefully dissasemble them to visually inspect for cracks, and/or carbon tracking. It's (unfortunately) important to note that they can look fine and still be bad. GW
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I have a 95 pontiac grand am 2.3 that is doing same thing,i can also smell unburned gas.replaced spark plugs and O2 sensor mechanic said he fixed it. yea right! helped for like a week,now he says fuel pump and when he changes that part he also likes to change fuel regulator.i just got the car and dont think its maintenance was kept up,how long or miles should the wire assembly last?
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Clogged exhaust system? Maybe the catalytic converter has fallen apart internally.

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