Car starts and doesn't stall but can't drive - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Car starts and doesn't stall but can't drive

I have a '94 Tbird LX 4.6L V8. Lately my engine had been making some weird sounds (almost like lifter tick, but worse). Then, a little after, I noticed that depending on what gear I'm in and the RPM my engine is at, there's a high-pitched whistling that gets higher in higher gears. Plus, my engine had been running lean for quite some time, and occasionally would misfire. Also, my transmission was starting to slip. I know I should have done work on my car, but it's my only transportation and I'm a poor college student. I got it in pretty terrible condition and I had already spent several hundred on it.

Last week, while I was on the freeway, I noticed I couldn't accelerate. Since I was stuck in traffic, I was down to about 20 mph. After having to brake completely, I couldn't accelerate faster than about 15 mph, so I got off at the next exit and stopped at a light. Once I got there, I crossed the intersection, but couldn't go faster than about 8 mph. I pulled into a parking space, let my engine cool, and attempted to drive again. I drove maybe half a mile before I couldn't go any farther. I got it towed to somewhere I can keep it for now until I can get it towed to where I live for free.

As for what it felt like, I think it's pretty odd. It started with my transmission slipping, but then it started to feel like my engine was losing power. I would push down on the gas, and my RPMs wouldn't rise very high, even if I drove in first gear. The gas pedal still felt like it normally does. Once I let my engine cool and got to the second parking lot, I noticed that it felt like my gas pedal was disconnected. I checked under the hood, and I think it looks normal. I had no error codes thrown. My transmission fluid looks clean, and is at normal levels, along with my oil. I had also just flushed my coolant, and it was at the proper level as well.

I tried looking up the symptoms, but I couldn't find anything. Do you guys have any ideas?

Last edited by onecelledwolf; 03-06-2018 at 03:01 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 06:54 AM
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My first guess is clogged cats. Pop the front O2 sensors out and see if it revs better.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 08:22 AM
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How do you know the car was running lean? My tried and true fix is throw in a new set of spark plugs, and make sure the wires are all on. A misfiring cylinder can really kill a car.

Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
My first guess is clogged cats. Pop the front O2 sensors out and see if it revs better.
Not saying it isn't clogged cats, but be careful with that test. I did exactly that when I thought we had a clogged cat, and it instantly improved a rough idle. So I replaced the cats, but the problem persisted, and ended up being a bad EGR.

So I wasted a lot of money on cats that didn't need replaced. A LOT of money, as aftermarket cats do not last, and I had to replace one again. So take the o2 removal test with a grain of salt, and follow it up with a second test of another type.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 11:11 AM
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Is your throttle linkage loose? Could cause alot of those problems as well as a bad tps.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I'll test the cats and the throttle linkage when I can - I should be getting it towed home in the next day or two. I'll let you know what I find.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 05:09 PM
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could also be an intake leak, mine wouldn't go over 800 rpms when the resonator came loose, and it idled really rough. thought I blew up the engine that day
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