Weird loss of power (with steering as well), but then started/drove fine after? Whats wrong?

Meaghan Beaton

Asked by Mar 28, 2015 at 04:20 AM about the 2003 Ford Taurus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Earlier today, my poor old girl had a major loss of power going about 40 MPH. RPMs
started going wacky first, then the cars power just dropped, dropping speed quickly,
then the horrific part, the steering locked up as well. All "warning signals" flashed (from
battery to seatbelt). The radio died. However, hazards appeared to work (at least
internally they did). I got her onto a side road somehow, turned it off and waited.

After 10 minutes, the car started up fine and drove the rest of the way home (about a 25
minute drive) just fine. No hiccups at all. I chanced taking it to Auto Zone for the
battery/alternator check, and they said all of that was just fine.

Recent car work includes a rebuilt transmission (January), brakes, power steering fluid
change, and oil change, all at the beginning of the month. State inspection was also at
the beginning of the month and she checked out fine.

Can anyone give me any clue what happened? I would rather not have to navigate a
car that doesn't want to even steer across 2 lanes of workday traffic again.

2 Answers

Tom Demyan

Since all the lights came on and you lost power steering, I would say your issue might be related to the serpentine belt. All the accessories are driven off of that including the steering. I suspect the belt was slipping or was frozen making your car die. I would look into all your pulleys and bearings that ride off the belt. Power steering pump, water pump, alternator, belt tensioner etc. A mechanic can remove the belt and test each pulley individually.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Check the "loss of power while driving" board on this site. I was able to find out that my 2012 Ford Explorer needed a new throttle body assembly. It has worked fine since it was replaced. The car was less than 3 years old when this happened....would kill on me randomly with no warning...someone is going to get killed when this happens. It scared me to death several times.

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