Please help me with a car problem
May 31, 2010 3:03 PM Subscribe
Doing 60mph on an incline, I pressed down on the accelerator and nothing happened. What's going on?
posted by zarq to travel & transportation (16 answers total)
I replaced the alternator on my 2000 Chevy Astro minivan yesterday. Today, I had an acceleration problem. Are these two incidents related?
Yesterday morning, I started the car and my battery light was lit. Battery guage began dropping as I drove it to a repair shop. Pulled into a garage to have it checked and it died within moments while idling. They replaced the alternator with its belt, and recharged my battery. After the alternator was replaced, I drove it on a highway at 50mph for about 10 minutes last night and for about 15 minutes on local streets in Queens, NY.
This morning, my family and I got in the van to drive to CT. I was on a steep on-ramp for a bridge about 5-7 minutes later, when I put my foot on the gas to make sure I didn't lose too much speed. The engine raced but the van didn't accelerate. I pumped the gas. Each time, the engine would race as if I were in neutral. My "service engine soon" light began flashing. I put on my hazards and the car's speed dropped to about 40mph, at which point the gas pedal began working again.
The "service engine soon" light stopped flashing and stayed solidly on. Hours later, it's still on.
I stopped at a gas station on the far side of the bridge. Filled my tank. Checked my transmission fluid. Clear, and a good level. Oil is fine.
I drove cautiously to CT and didn't go over 55 at any point in the trip. Just drove home. The problem didn't re-occur.
What the hell happened?
What should I do now?
How do I make sure this doesn't happen again?
Should I try and see if I can recreate the problem?
Is the minivan still safe to drive?
Is it possible that this is in any way related to the alternator being replaced yesterday? If so, did I not run it for long enough on the highway last night to make sure the battery was properly charged?
My manual says that the "service engine soon" light goes on when emissions rise above acceptable levels. How is this related to what happened?
Any advice as to what my next steps should be? I'm planning to take the car to a mechanic next weekend, but I'd like to know what to expect now.