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Car bogs down and stalls out while driving.

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New User

Mar 19, 2015, 8:53 AM

Post #1 of 3 (1261 views)
Car bogs down and stalls out while driving. Sign In

Ok, I have been having this problem with my car for the last few months now, and it has only gotten worse with time.
I drive a 2003 Chevy Impala.
I think the problem with my car is electrical. Like, it's not getting enough spark. I'll accelerate, and it'll drive smoothly until it hits 2nd or 3rd gear. Then it'll bog down over and over again. While bogging down, the red "battery" light will pop up next to my "check engine" light, and all of the lights in my car will dim for a second. When my car picks up power again, the lights surge back up to normal. When it bogs down hard enough, the steering wheel will lock up, and if you try to accelerate, it'll sound like its trying to pick up speed, but the sound is more like a deep, dull, quiet roar, and does not pick up speed at all. It also makes somewhat of a popping or crackling sound when you do this. However, when you turn the car off and go to turn it back on, it starts up immediately and makes no strange noises while idling. Also, if you were to hit the gas pedal in park, it does not bog down or make the popping noises. It is not overheating at all, it has plenty of oil in it, and is not smoking from the hood nor the tailpipe. I also do not believe it is a transmission problem, because it doesn't just bog down while shifting gears, it will do this in any gear and at any point during acceleration. The transmission also does not slip while shifting gears. Unfortunately, I've taken my car to 3 different shops and none of them can tell me what's wrong. Ultimately, I've wasted almost 3 weeks and hundreds of dollars trying to get this thing fixed, and nobody knows whats going on. I have been told that when you put a code computer on it, it reads back with 12-15 different codes, from transmission to emission problems. Also, the "change engine oil", the "check engine oil" and the "low engine oil" lights all register on my car, ESPECIALLY when it bogs down, however, like I said, it has plenty of oil in it, and I JUST got an oil change in it about a month ago, and haven't driven it more than 700 miles since. The oil lights were on before I got an oil change and are still on now. I am pulling my hair out because getting a new car is out of the question right now, and I'm sick of these mechanics running my wallet dry while there is still a massive problem with my car. PLEASE. If you have any information as to what it could be, your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

MarineGrunt profile image

Mar 19, 2015, 9:29 AM

Post #2 of 3 (1250 views)
Re: Car bogs down and stalls out while driving. Sign In

When's the last time it had a tune up? I'm guessing the battery light, along with the other gauge lights, come on because the car is basically stalling or "shutting" off. When you give it gas you might be bringing it back just before it completely stalls.
I wonder if it's something simple like plug wires. I had a car once that would drive fine until you hit about 30 and then it would bog. You would think one of the shops would've caught it if it was something like that though. That's kind of why I asked when it last had a tune up. A lot of times one thing wrong can make other parts that aren't faulty act up like they are faulty.
I'm not really sure how shops work but I wouldn't think they would charge you for a problem they didn't fix. I would take it back to the shop you feel most comfortable with and tell them they didn't fix the problem. I'm sure they would work with you. You really want to find a permanent mechanic that you can trust. There are a lot out there. Don't let the bad ones make you think they are all that way. Ask friends and family who they use or read reviews online. Stay away from the quick lube/national chain places. The employees there don't have to stand behind their name. If you find a local independent shop they have their name to protect and want to keep their customers coming back.
Check back a little later. Most of the guys that help everyone on here are professional mechanics and will likely help you figure this out or at least give you some pointers that you can pass along to a mechanic. There are also some shop owners so they can advise you on the best approach in finding a shop or talking to the shops who didn't fix your issue.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 19, 2015, 10:04 AM

Post #3 of 3 (1246 views)
Re: Car bogs down and stalls out while driving. Sign In

As MarineGrunt said it seems all the symptoms and lights are because it's stalling and you've driven this for a few months this way now has no doubt made the first reason a lot more.

Like he suggested and me too I think you need the right shop and tech with a better system then handing you back a car without fixing it, no clues mentioned by you and a bill for that! Some may charge something for knowing nothing but most would give you back a problem they didn't diagnose for a fix or deduct that cost from the fix - we don't know yet do we?

There's a laundry list of possible reasons and unless this doesn't misbehave in front of a tech or requires a test drive to feel what it's doing YOU need to be clear about what you want and I suggest a diagnosis of what this will need now for a full fix. Ask up front what that cost will be and the cost of the fix they come up with.

In short, you need the right shop and communication about charges for what. I don't find charging for something not fixed good biz for this trade or any other for that matter. If they can't do it they should just decline the job,


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