Why is my car losing power going up a hill?

Tiny
ELUDWIG
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 126,000 MILES
I was driving in the mountains of WV when all a once my car started to sputter and I lost power going up the hills. Engine temperature went up slightly. The check engine light did not come on. I took it to an auto zone and had them hook it up to check for codes and nothing came up. Changed the fuel filter and that didn't help.
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Sunday, September 25th, 2011 AT 1:40 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
DAN_K
  • EXPERT
A loss of power can be a tricky one to diagnose without further information. When you say "sputter" did it feel as it was mis-firing? I would assume that misfire codes would have been recorded if that's the case. Has the car been well-maintained? When was the last time the car has had a tune-up - with new spark plugs and wires? Does it only happen when going uphill? I think more detective work is going to be required to provide further information. See if you can recreate the driveability condition and pay close attention to the sputtering. Does it buck and***** violently or is it more mild. Pay attention to locations of vibrations to see if it engine or transmission related. I'm apologize for not being able to provide a more specific area of diagnosis, but more information will definitely be necessary. Good luck!
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Sunday, September 25th, 2011 AT 2:06 PM
Tiny
ELUDWIG
  • MEMBER
While going uphill the car just sputtered and I lost power. Had to shift into 3rd gear to get it to go up the hill with high acceleration. It would not go over 50mph. Once at the top of the hill, I pulled over to the side of the road. It idles well. It did not mis-fire. The car has been well maintained. Last tune-up was 6 months ago. All belts changed, etc. It does slightly overheat when this occurs. Service center in Maryland says it could be a collapsed catalytic converter, but they could not diagnose it. No codes came up. The car is in maryland and I am in ohio. I need to get the car back home this week. Thanks
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Sunday, September 25th, 2011 AT 2:25 PM
Tiny
DAN_K
  • EXPERT
A plugged catalytic converter is a possibility, and can be confirmed with an exhaust back-pressure test. The car running at above normal temperatures would also point to this. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles - especially with the car being out-of-state; I hope everything works out for you with minimal $$ spent.
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Sunday, September 25th, 2011 AT 3:08 PM

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