Q: Car lost all power after downshifting to go uphill

asked by on June 24, 2016

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.

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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.

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