Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car lost power & acceleration on the interstate

asked by on

While driving on the highway, suddenly there was a message in the cluster saying that I was driving at low rev high speed - and I was at 70 mph! Then the car immediately lost power, no acceleration, and I had to pull over to the side of the highway. After that, there was a buildup of heat and steam was coming out. It was like the car was dying. It was very frightening. I was late to work, of course, and I left the car to sit a while. Later we got the car to the dealer and they said that the car didn't record anything. Fortunately I had taken a picture of the cluster about the problem. They still told me that even with the picture, that the car was fine. Please tell me what to do, where to go, how to get my car fixed. Thanks.

A: Hello there, an intermittent car dying issu...

Hello there, an intermittent car dying issue like you have described is an unusual case. A variety of faults can cause the car to die in this manner such as the fuel pump, battery, wiring, battery cable, or the ignition switch.

When steam is seen it is usually due to the coolant getting on a hot engine component. From the sounds of things the vehicle runs normally after the fault now. These type of issues can be notoriously difficult to diagnose unless the fault is witnessed by the technician at the exact moment it happens.

Given that the car died though there is obviously a fault that occurred, finding it will take time and probably driving it more than once. I suggest having a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose your loss of power to pinpoint the issue. An accurate repair can then be made once the problem is evident.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Whistling sound when accelerating from a stop

Hello. There could be a vacuum leak in the intake or intake gasket. The breather tube from the air filter box to the intake could have a leak in it as well, which may cause the noise you are hearing....

Q: No ac on passenger side

This is likely a vent blend door issue. Inside the vents in your car are small vent doors that are operated by small actuators with small plastic gears that often times break. When this happens they can easily become stuck...

Q: Electrical problems in the vehicle

Hello. From the symptoms you describe, it appears that you are having some sort of mildly serious electrical issue. You mention that one of the battery cables was replaced, I would check to make sure that both cables, and any...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...