1992 Crown Victoria stumbles under load, dies, starts 15 minutes later, runs fine then stumbles and dies again
My 1992 Crown Victoria has 103,000 miles on it. We live at sea level elevation (but not by the ocean) and the car is stored inside our garage. Over the last 6 months or more it has developed an occasional stumble when stepping on the accelerator under load, typically in overdrive when going up a hill or attempting to pass. When the car downshifted to 3rd it would briskly accelerate away without stumbling. Recently the stumbling became very pronounced while going up a mountain at 6,000 feet elevation in dry weather. It stumbled a half dozen times in rapid succession, the check engine light came on, the car went to idle and sounded like it was running on 2 or 3 cylinders for about 10 seconds then died. It restarted but still missed terribly and died. Then it would not restart. After leaving sit for 10 or 15 minutes the car started, idled smoothly and revved high when accelerator was stepped on. Put the car in gear, pulled out and continued up and within 1/4 to 1/3 mile in 3rd gear it did it all again. After 10 or 15 minutes it started again and idled and revved fine. Pulled up about 75 feet to a safe spot, turned off car and waited for tow truck. Car started fine again when tow arrived. Got towed home. Mechanic can't find anything wrong so far. All gauges appeared to read okay except check engine light came on while car was stumbling terribly. Light went out when car started okay. Car has new spark plugs and clean air filter, oil and oil filter. Otherwise I think everything is OEM. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.
please...........................change the fuel filter....report back
Thank you Kelley. Mechanic considered the fuel filter among a few other things but thinks the filter is one of the less likely culprits since the car accelerates hard under full throttle once it starts. A filter is a cheap possible solution though and one we will perform immediately. Unfortunately we are 3 hours away from high mountains where the incident occurred so testing potential fixes under duplicate conditions will be difficult.....but we will try. BTW, the car ran fine all the way to the mechanic's garage yesterday, stop lights and all, and I was unable to get it to stumble. Mr. Rhodes, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Sadly a new car is not in our budget.
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