Q: Car lost all power after downshifting to go uphill

asked by on

This morning the transmission downshifted to get up a hill, while I was driving on the highway at about 73 mph. My car lost all its power. As soon as it got back down to 2500 RPMs, it was fine; however, above 2500 RPMs it acts like it just doesn’t want to run. It slows down, the RPMs jump around between 2500-3000 and the car feels like its getting power for just a second, then it loses power again and starts slowing down… then it regains power back to 2500 RPM. The previous pattern happens in all gears and it only has the problem when it is completely warmed up. There’s nothing audibly out of the ordinary and as much as I can tell, everything is fine. One note: the Check Engine light has been on for years (this is my beater car so I didn’t get it checked out). Last summer, all the plugs and wires were replaced, I changed the trans fluid and the filter. There haven’t been any major problems in the past two years, since I purchased it used.

Hello! Although the Check Engine Light has been on before a new issue may have occurred, I would suggest hooking a scan tool up to the vehicle and retrieving the OBD2 codes. The problem you’re having should almost certainly set a new check engine OBD2 code.

The code definition will help pinpoint the failure that is causing the trouble for your vehicle. I suspect that the issue maybe with the mass air flow sensor or the throttle position sensor.

If you decide to get this fixed, enlist a qualified technician who has the tools and experience to diagnose the loss of power you experienced. Once the problem has been pinpointed an accurate repair can be made.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car lost all power after downshifting to go uphill

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine misfired during smog check

If your engine has a misfire then that can occur for a number of reasons. If it suddenly occurred during a smog test then something may have been knocked loose during the inspection. It is not uncommon to have a...

Q: 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse running rich and stalling at idle

First of all, you've got to realize that, although those technically don't have a MAF mass air flow sensor, those use what is called a Karman vortex sensor. Those sensors are notorious for going bad on Mitsubishis. They do...

Q: Q: Transmission is slipping

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that your vehicle may be experiencing some sort of issues with the transmission or clutch. If it is a manual transmission and appears to be having trouble staying in gear, or transferring...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...