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Car problem

Old 02-27-07, 07:29 PM
  #1  
EJ123
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Car problem

After an hour drive home along with the car running for 3 hours prior to that, we are a half a mile, not even that, from home on a 2 lane road and the car begins to slow where it won't change to the next gear (stuck on 20mph) and it gets going slower, we finally got it to pull into a neighborhood and the steering becames weaker and the batter light indicator whatever comes on.
Oh and we took the car into the shop maybe 2-3 weeks ago...2 days later put gas in it, and ever since then it has been, or seems to be, popping and boucing going on, when we stop, just like in the pipes and whatnot...it never used to do that ever.
The check engine light had been on for a week now, but we've been so busy as to take it in. So what is going on here? Any general guesses at the moment? (we turned off the car, waited, and turned it on again, and we finally managed to get home going slow in the first gear)..So the weird rumbling feeling when we are stopped is the major concern and why the battery begun to fail along with the inability to go to the next gear.
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Old 02-27-07, 07:42 PM
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My preliminary guess is that something is wrong with the charging system, and maybe something is wrong with the timing, as well. You should call Click and Clack.
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Old 02-27-07, 07:47 PM
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Click and Clack would help you. And make fun of you.

If you call them, let me know so I can make sure to catch that podcast!
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Old 02-27-07, 08:37 PM
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Sounds like a timing issue. What year/make/model?
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Old 02-27-07, 08:41 PM
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I've had a few vehicles that did that for a variety of reasons.

One did it because the distributor cap was cracked, and when it got wet it would cause misfires. It's not wet in D/FW right now, so that's not it.

One did it because the fuel pump was bad. When the tank got low on gas, it would lose functionality. If the tank was at least 1/2 full it was fine.

Another did it because one of the 3 ignition coils was bad, so that it would shut down two of the six cylinders. Replacing the bad ignition coil solved it. If this were the cause, surely the shop would have caught it and tried to sell you on the repair.

One did it because the alternator was bad. Put a new battery in it, which fixed the problem for a week, then it started happening again, so we knew it was the alternator. Pep Boys put a new one in for me.

One did it because the timing got out of adjustment. My step-mom's husband fixed it with a couple twists of a screwdriver.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-27-07, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerseysbest
Sounds like a timing issue. What year/make/model?
If he has an older car then yes the timing may be off. If it's a new car, he cannot adjust the timing due to the ECU controlling it. This really sounds like your spark plugs are on there last leg, and the alternator brushes are worn out and not charging the battery causing the battery to stay charged enough to keep the car running but not enough power for the fuel pump. So what happens is the engine doesn't get the needed fuel supply and sputters. This can explain why it won't go into any other gear, because the engine is not spinning the transmission fast enough for it to change the gear.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:03 PM
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If he ran it out of gas, maybe he fried the fuel pump. Strangely enough, fuel serves to both lubricate and cool the pumps but as the flow diminishes and the pump keeps running... no lube, no cooling.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by skiahh
If he ran it out of gas, maybe he fried the fuel pump. Strangely enough, fuel serves to both lubricate and cool the pumps but as the flow diminishes and the pump keeps running... no lube, no cooling.
That rarely happens because the pump shuts off if it doesn't pump anything. The engine creates its own vacuum which helps the pump deliver fuel, with no vacuum the pump does all the work there for shuts off. If the pump was fried he would not have even started the car. It could be his fuel filters that are clogged.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:09 PM
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It's a 2001 C320 with 98k miles.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by EJ123
It's a 2001 C320 with 98k miles.
My guess as of now, is the fuel filter(s). And also possibly the alternator. If i were you, i would either trade the car in now or expect to spend money repairing small bits and pieces. My Honda has 144k miles. I am sure around $2000 has been spent getting it to run nicely, but now next thing that goes that means i get a new car. Which will be sad. So yea expect more issues. My brothers 1990 BMW had this same problem with 120k miles, but his fuel pump rotted into two halves.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:18 PM
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Well I dont get it, it just went to the shop. The next few days it ran smoooooth. Then coincidently as we put new fuel it goes bonkers and rumbles. Well this isnt as bad as when the car made an unbelieveable popping noise under the console armrest area about 4 years ago, whew. I tell ya this car is madness. And warranty is out, and we don;t exactly have the money to fix it.. Ug. At least our little Jetta is handy=D
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Old 02-27-07, 09:28 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by russiankdi
It could be his fuel filters that are clogged.
What's a fuel filter, and if you mean clogged, does that mean it can be unclogged, and things will be ok?
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Old 02-27-07, 10:58 PM
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OK First I need a little more Info...What exactly did you have done at the shop.This will tell me what the Wrench played with. Second when was last time you had the timing belt checked...These need to be changed every 35,000- 50,000 miles on most modern cars. (The timing belt runs the camshaft off the crankshaft,keeping your vavles timed right with the pistions,making the fuel/air mix going into and coming out of the engine) If the timing belt streches it skips a tooth on the camshaft gear throwing your valve timing outta wack...This causes backfiring in the tailpipes, severe loss of power and in some cases can cause MAJOR engine damage!!!!(Ford Escorts are famous for this) if this is the case (Timing Belt) DO NOT DRIVE IT TILL YOU HAVE IT LOOKED AT!!!!

I've been a Gear-Head all my life and if you ask me its a timing belt...one of the most overlooked matainace items of all time.
Your car is too new to have a Carb,its fuel infected so rule that out
Fuel filter...mabey but your car is new enough that the gas tank hasent had time to build up that much crap to clog it that bad
Ignition...mabey a computer prob but i doubt it...they VERY rarely die that quick and generally give one some kind of warning (Hard starting,crappy gas milage,mild power loss or the car just wont start one morning)

My first thought is a Timing Belt, They tend to ship a tooth when they are shut off, the crankshaft keeps moving but the camshaft stops when you start the car the next time it runs like crap...kinda like slam-shifting a bicycle,the belt skips over a cog tooth or two.

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Old 02-27-07, 11:10 PM
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I guess the alternator. This is a great excuse to call Click and Clack.
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Old 02-27-07, 11:14 PM
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The Alt won't cause backfiring,(Popping in the tail pipes) you would also get a BATT light on your dash in a car that new.He has a CHECK ENGINE light...something more serious than an ALT I fear.

Edit: keep the volks...ditch the C320,It's a Mercedes-Benz C320 Sport,Correct??

Edit of edit: there have been some recalls of this model....Hummmm

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Old 02-27-07, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by The Figment
The Alt won't cause backfiring,(Popping in the tail pipes) you would also get a BATT light on your dash in a car that new.He has a CHECK ENGINE light...something more serious than an ALT I fear.
Good point. I missed the part about the backfiring.
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Old 02-27-07, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nobrainer440
Good point. I missed the part about the backfiring.
I thought that was four years ago...

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Old 02-27-07, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by randya
I thought that was four years ago...

Oh yeah, well, whatever. The battery light should still come on if it was an alternator problem.
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Old 02-28-07, 01:56 AM
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I had the exact same thing happen to me one day at Laguna Seca. I pulled off one exit early and put a tank of 91-octane in and drove to the track on city streets. However, at anything above 2000rpm and 25% throttle, it'd buck and backfire and stumble like crazy! The only variable that changed was the new tank of gas. So I dumped out the entire tank and refilled and problem disappeared!

So simple test in your case is to suck all the gas out of the tank. Or remove fuel-hose from rail and jumper the fuel-pump relay. Aim hose into bucket. Then put in a fresh tank of gas from a known good source.

Maybe bad O2-sensor?
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Old 03-06-07, 09:43 PM
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Im checking the report in a second to see what happened. Ill see if anyone here was right=p
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Old 03-06-07, 09:56 PM
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The report said that there was a misfiring in cyclinder #2, and they switched the spark thing to #1, and then #1 was misfiring so they replaced that and the cables because one was deteriorating.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:59 AM
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Dead battery caused by failure of alternator or some part of the charging system.
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Old 03-07-07, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EJ123
The report said that there was a misfiring in cyclinder #2, and they switched the spark thing to #1, and then #1 was misfiring so they replaced that and the cables because one was deteriorating.
So... Did that fix it?
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Old 03-07-07, 11:08 AM
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I had a similar problem once. I changed the plugs & wires. Didn't help. I then tried a gallon of gas and found out my gas gauge was hosed!
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Old 03-07-07, 11:17 AM
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1: put dry gas in your tank and then fill it up
2: have your battery tested...load tested.
3: have your alternator tested...also load tested.
4: check your distrubutor cap and rotor. try running the car in the dark and see if you see any arc ing or sparks anywhere near any of the spark plug wires.
5: change your fuel filters
6: last resort...take it to a mechanic...best advice ever is...if you look at it and it makes no sense to you....dont touch it.
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