Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Suddenly a whole lots of problems have occurred!!! Help!

asked by on

HELP: Can anybody help me diagnose this problem I have a 400 in my 1976 cougar with a new carburetor new distributor cap wire plugs rotor coil starter selenoid brake master cylinder. As of two nights ago I parked it running fine and went to drive it The next morning and it had these issues.. It was only idling at 2-300rpm, it stalled on me so I turned the idle screw all the way in and it's still only running at 500rpm's?it's very rough and has quite a bit of backfire, it's overheating, hesitates a little on the gas, and for some reason the brakes become very stiff and weak when I'm moving slow like trying to park or something? I don't know or understand how all these issues can come up at once please if anybody knows what is causing this let me know!

My car has 9000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

My first thought is you have moisture inside your distributor cap. This is a very common issue with older vehicles. I suspect all these issues are caused by a single issue. Since it is overheating, I would certainly be checking your cooling system. I wouldn’t expect it to blow a head gasket, but your symptoms definitely fit. It could also be clogged carburetor jets.

With an overheating car, I would begin by determining which cylinder are misfiring. If cylinders are misfiring on only one head, I would suspect you have a head gasket failure. Whatever is overheating needs to be addressed. It is very difficult to diagnose a car when it is overheating.

Another possibility is the roll pin holding the gear on the distributor has sheared. This can cause overheating and all of your symptoms. I think I would begin by checking your timing. If it is way off, I would suspect this. While your there, inspect the distributor cap for moisture.

To summarize:

  • Check timing
  • Check for moisture
  • Check distributor gear
  • Check for head gasket failure
  • Clean carburetor jets
  • If none of this applies, diagnose your overheating issue.

If you should need further assistance, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose your misfire firsthand for an accurate repair.

Good luck!

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. Suddenly a whole lots of problems have occurred!!! Help!

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: How long will a new spark plug last in a car with a leaking valve cover gasket?

Hi There, The leaking valve cover gasket should not affect the spark plugs if repaired relatively soon. Spark plugs are very durable and able to withstand quite a bit of heat and abuse. I would recommend having a professional from...

Q: Could l have water in my gas tank if it hesitate to move

It is possible you got some water in your fuel if you noticed the fuel truck was just there refilling the gas station tanks. This mixes up the water in the bottom and you may have got some of it....

Q: Where is the location of the CSM?

Hi there. The safety module (also known as the fuel pump driver module) is located behind the left rear trim panel behind the drivers seat next to the rear seat bottom cushion. If you need further assistance with the safety...

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...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.