Q: When the engine is placed under load it backfires and dies.

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While driving I can make it up to 55 mph as long as I'm easy on the gas peddle but upon placing the engine under a quick heavy load it backfires and kills the engine. It will do this just start I g and while traveling at speed. It does not occur when the car is in park and I rev the engine

This may be a sign of a faulty MAP sensor as the vehicle responds adversely to a load put on the motor (i.e. putting it in gear, making turns (which makes use of the power steering pressure switch) turning on AC or engaging the brakes). The Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor senses engine load and generates a signal that is proportional to the amount of vacuum in the intake manifold. The engine computer then uses this information to adjust ignition timing and fuel enrichment. When the engine is working hard, intake vacuum drops as the throttle opens wide. The engine takes in more air, which requires more fuel to keep the air/fuel ratio in balance. When the computer reads a heavy load signal from the MAP sensor, it adjusts the fuel mixture to slightly more rich than normal so the engine can produce more power. The computer will then retard (back off) ignition timing slightly to prevent detonation that can damage the engine and decrease performance. This may also be caused by other closely related components such as a dirty or failing mass air-flow sensor, a faulty throttle position sensor or potentially a vacuum leak. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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