They see me rollin' / They hatin' / 'Cuz the limit's forty-five and I'm drivin' twenty
June 16, 2012 11:01 AM Subscribe
My car, it acts... strange. What's wrong with it, and what am I looking at to fix it?
I've had three incidents in the last two months where my car has gone weird on me. Before I take it in, I was hoping to get some idea of what may be wrong with it and what I can expect to spend fixing it.
What it's doing: On acceleration from a stop (not from engine ignition, from some seemingly random point mid-trip), when I hit twenty mph, the engine revs high for about a half-second, then makes a sound of acceleration that I can best describe as "woo-woo-woo-woo." It kind of sounds like a dubstep beat. The speedometer fluctuates between 20 and 25 mph. Giving the car enough gas to maintain 20-25 doesn't change the status; giving it more gas likewise doesn't change the status. Letting up on the gas and then SLOWLY reapplying the gas will sometimes get me past 25, but if I press too hard it will repeat at 25-30, 30-35, etc.
How I've managed so far: The solution to this has been pulling off the main drag (where this always happens, natch) onto a side street, and cutting the engine. Waiting about 30 seconds and then restarting fixes the problem, and I can proceed on my way without incident.
The check engine light comes on when this initially happens and then for subsequent restarts of the car, but after two or three starts, it goes away.
What is the car: 2005 Dodge Stratus with automatic transmission.
What I know about cars: I occasionally put shampoo instead of gas in the tank if I'm not paying attention.
Why I haven't had it looked at yet: Bills, son.