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.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car lost power & acceleration on the interstate

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: My car requires numerous attempts to start.

It would be helpful to know the year, make, and model of the vehicle but the problem does sound like it could be a starter or a loose connection to the starter. If you want to have this looked at,...

Q: Vehicle runs rough and has a knocking sounds. Could it be the transmission?

Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. Check your drive train in the front, you could have a wheel bearing going out. The reason it stops making noise when you accelerate is because torque is applied on the bearing and...

Q: Engine shakes after 10psi.

Check for problem codes anyway, even if the Check Engine light is not illuminated. There may be a transient code for a misfire. I would suspect that either the plugs or coils are failing under load, and need to be...

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...
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...
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...