Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Random power loss when I’m driving, worried it’s a lemon

asked by on

Sometimes, when driving, my 2011 Ford Mustang will sputter and lose almost all of the power to the wheels. It has to be some sort of ‘limp mode’ for when something is wrong with the engine. I can usually turn the car off and then back on again to get it to work properly. Very worried about what this means for the engine. This car has 71,000 miles on it so I am not ready to replace the motor just yet. What could the issue be?

This one is not going to be easy to figure out without duplicating the condition at the same time that testing can be performed.

When a vehicle goes into “limp mode,” it receives a command from the computer triggered by a failure or specifications that are outside of acceptable range. This is designed to protect the engine from things that could cause severe damage.

There doesn’t seem to be any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) released for the 2011 Mustang but there is evidence that this exact condition was detected on the Ford Fusion, Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and the Mercury Milan models. Upon testing these other vehicles, a defective Electronic Throttle Body (ETB) was found to be the failure, the same throttle body that is on mustangs. For those other vehicles, Ford created a customer satisfaction program 13n03 which clearly states there is a problem with those ETB units but exclude Mustangs specifically. This program extends the warranty on the throttle body to a total of 10 years or 150,000 miles from the original warranty start date, whichever comes first.

From what you wrote, I think this is an electrical issue and not hardware, but to have a chance of being covered by Ford you must have the dealership perform the diagnosis and repair this issue. It is also a fairly complex diagnosis that required special testing computers the dealer possesses.

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

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: Blower motor not working

Hi Trevor: If I understand your posts correctly, you have installed a new blower motor, a new resistor block and you have tested the relay. Although you may have continuity throughout the circuit, if there is excessive voltage drop anywhere...

Q: My engine/transmission has a rough/growling when in gear and at acceleration.

Hello, thank you for writing in. Everything you have done up to this point has been valid. However, there are still an a high number of possible components that can cause these symptoms. You will want to spend some time...

Q: Alternator is dead!

This may be related to a failing alternator or voltage regulator. It is not at all uncommon for an alternator to fail. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.