Q: Lost all power to the wheels driving on the highway

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I have a 2011 Ford F-150 Super Crew Ecoboost V6, automatic transmission, with 70,500 miles. I was on the highway attempting to pass another vehicle when the engine started shuddering, I lost power and the check engine light flashed. Then the engine ran so rough that I could not accelerate at all because I was afraid I'd stall. I barely made it around the car I was passing. After a few minutes the check engine light came and any attempt to speed up beyond 60-65mph caused the engine to shake violently and the check engine light to flash. I limped home like this. What's happening?

What is happening is your engine ignition system is your cylinders are misfiring. The Check Engine light flashing is alerting you that there is a immediate problem that can harm the exhaust catalyst. The misfiring or shuttering you felt is likely the cause of your Check Engine light flashing. The solid check engine light lets you know that the misfiring has happened too many times and has recorded codes in the computer memory. You need to have the vehicle checked as soon as possible to prevent additional problems or damage to catalysts. You will need to have the problem diagnosed by scanning for codes that indicate problem. The scan will advise YourMechanic if it was a misfire. If codes P0300 through PO306 show up then Ford TSB(Technical Service Bulletin) 14-0180 dated Sept. 26, 2014 covers the replacement of all spark plugs and plug boots. During the process YourMechanic will inspect for carbon tracking on the plugs, boots and coils and replace any needed additional components not covered by this TSB. If your misfiring happened in rain, wet, or humid weather, another TSB may apply in your case. The TSB is 13-8-1 dated Aug. 5th 2013 and covers some of codes mentioned and additional ones. This TSB covers the possible replacement of exhaust catalyst and installation of air deflectors on the air charge cooler. Your best solution would be to have a YourMechanic mechanic diagnose and scan your system first to give you a through check of your vehicle. This way you will only replace parts that are needed to solve the issue right the first time.

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