Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

96 Toyota Camry/brakes and steering froze simultaneously

Had just left home at 7 am and had gone about 1/2 mile at 25 mph. when I went to apply the brakes and could only press the pedal down slightly. Pumping the brakes didn’t work. I started to drive into a parking lot and found that I could only turn the wheel slightly there was so much resistance.Then the tacometer went crazy and the car stalled out but I was able to start it immediately and it ran fine the rest of the day. Haven’t driven it since…waiting for the mechanic to take a look at it.

Power brakes and power steering are independent on that car, only thing I can think of that would affect both at the same time is if the engine stalled.

That was my thinking as well. It sounds like the booster lost vacuum and the PS system lost hydraulic pressure. Both at the same time would indicate a stalled engine.

When was the last time this 14 year old had a good going-over?

I had it in for tune-up in April and had new spark plugs put in. I took it in at that time because the car would stall out when it was idling especially when I had driven it for more than 30 mins. It never happened when the car was cold. That seemed to correct the problem until recently when it began to happen again very sporadically but I never had it affect the brakes or the steering before.

As both texases and mountainbike have suggested, the sequence of events is probably a bit different than you recall.

The only scenario that is likely is that the engine stalled, thus causing you to lose power assist for both the brakes and the steering. Given the car’s history of stalling, that seems like a very believeable sequence of events.

Rather than take it in for a tuneup this time, take it in and have the stalling diagnosed. While the tuneup may have seemed to solve the problem temporarily, it apparently did not. But you have an OBDII system that might have some stored fault codes as well as other protocols that can be used to solve the stalling problem. There are things that a shop will look at in diagnosing a problem that they would not normally look at if you bring it in for a tuneup. But you have to tell them what’s going on as clearly and completely as you can for them to fix it.

Thanks a lot for the advice…I think I need to find a new mechanic. The one I have doesn’t seem to be good with the diagnostics. He likes to drive the car and experience the problem but this problem is too sporadic to have that technique be reliable.

Your thinking is exactly correct.

Sincere best.