Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car struggles to accelerate, and it stalled out last night before I shut the car off.

asked by on

My Lumina is struggling to accelerate and it leaves a bad smell when I'm done driving, I think it may be the fuel filter. I can barely go above 40 MPH and the car is sputtering when I'm stopped. It also stalled out on me right before I shut it off last night.

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you are describing sounds like a dirty or faulty mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. This sensor relays vital information to the ECM which uses this to make adjustments to fuel supply to the motor. A dirty or faulty sensor can cause an imbalanced air/fuel load to be supplied to the motor which results in an over fueling or under fueling situation depending on the conditions. This type of inconsistent fuel supply to the motor may cause a hesitation, loss of power, a jerking reaction, potentially a bit of black exhaust smoke and typically a strong smell of fuel when this sensor is malfunctioning. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • The car struggles to accelerate, and it stalled out last night before I shut the car off.

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: Car idling up and down

This is a common issue. My first instinct would be to look for a vacuum leak. Air going into the engine is metered so that the ECM knows how much fuel to add for a correct mixture. If you have...

Q: Temperature rises when air or heat turned off

Hello. If the engine starts to overheat with the heater off or without the AC on, then it is usually caused by an issue with air flow through the radiator. You may have a failing fan relay or a circuit...

Q: Replaced steering column and now truck won't click or turn over

Hi there. It is possible that your hard start problem is due to an electrical glitch, ranging from an exposed wire or a faulty ground wire. I would start your diagnosis by retracing your installation process and verifying that there...

Related articles

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...
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...
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...