CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1994 Dodge Intrepid

Problem:

1. when driving it will out of the blue, lunge, check engine light comes on, but will continue to run.

2. After having driven 20-30 miles I turn off. Upon restarting it tries to turn over but won’t fire. If I leave it for say an hour or so it will start up.

3. Burning smell like ‘burned rubber but worse’ ALL the time.

3. When driving it will simply shut off on its own, but lights, etc will stay on. Sometimes it will restart right away, depending on how long I’ve driven.



Have had all hoses replaced - have had bushings and ball bearings replaced.



Have been told it could be O2 sensor??

You should have the codes read to see what is causing the light to turn on.

The no start problem may be due to a problem with the ignition system. You need to verify that spark is getting to the plugs when the trouble happens.

I highly doubt the O2 sensor is causing the shut down problem but it may be causing the CEL light. The stored codes will tell the story.

It has been put on a diagnostic machine, and since the problem is not occurring while it is in the shop hook up to the machine, there are no codes to read.

The most serious problem I have was not addressed. Why is it turning off for apparently no reason? There are no signs or symptoms leading up to when it does this. And what could cause the lunging issue?

You could well have more than one problem.

The unpredictable engine shut-down could be the result of a bad ignition switch. And, if you are in the habit of carrying excess fobs/decorations and/or more than 5 or 6 keys on your keychain, it is very likely that the ignition switch is worn out–particularly since the car is at least 15 years old.

Thank you - it is being towed as we speak - will definitely pass this information on to the mechanic.

Can you post the trouble codes once you get them?