My Chevy has never been in an accident and is a basic '99 standard single cab full size 2x4 pickup. She is "bogging" down lately. She doesn't have any "get up and go" at first. The mechanic checked the fuel pump, etc. and is stumped. Any thoughts? The spark plugs and wires have already been changed. Other than the emergency brake cable being broken, I'm stumped. Any help would be appreciated. My pickup is at the shop now and next will be hooked up to one of those diagnostic machines. I hope I won't get taken to the cleaners.
In cases such as these, usually the check engine light will illuminate. If it is, then once they put it on a diagnostic machine, we will have a better clue as to what is going on. However, if the light is not on, things get a little more difficult. There are many things that could cause this.
Assuming that there is nothing wrong with the engine, it might be winter fuel that your car doesn't like. However, since '98 models, newer computer systems have basically eliminated this problem. If the fuel pump is good (supplying sufficient fuel pressure and volume) and the fuel filter is clean, there are two other places that you can check.
If the car seems to have a hesitation or a miss while just sitting at idle, there might be an obstruction in the exhaust. The catalytic converter could have collapsed (although that would trigger a check engine light) or your muffler could have an internal problem. You might be able to diagnose this by simply listening and feeling the exhaust at the tail pipe.
If all that checks out (the engine is in complete mechanical working order), then it might be possible that you are experiencing transmission slipping (the engine revs up but the car doesn't move any faster). If you have a tachometer equipped on your dashboard, this would be easy to diagnose. Step on the gas, you will see the tach increase. Does the speed increase as well? If not, then there is your problem.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
If you have a question for Bob, send it to AskBob@stretcher.com. He's able to answer many of them personally and we'll include the best questions in future issues of The Dollar Stretcher.
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