I need your automotive brains to help me troubleshoot.
I was driving my 99 honda civic at a steady 65mph on the highway for about 10 minutes. I was not accelerating or anything, when it cut out totally as if I turned off the engine. When I would step on the gas (still moving), it would not even hit/sputter or anything. I pulled off to the side of the road and immediately tried to restart… nothing.
Two minutes later, I try to restart, and it started right up. Get going another 5 minutes, and it does the same thing. This time I only waited about 30 seconds, then it started up again, but it ‘missed’ a couple of times just before it started up. Then it was fine for the rest of the drive to work, and hasn’t stalled since (one week).
However, the check engine light came on the next day after the stalling episode, and has also been on since. The code is P0420 (which says that the O2 sensor before and after the catalytic converter read similar, indicating a bad catalytic converter). I’m not sure if this is, however, a downstream effect/ symptom of a larger problem (that this is not the cause, but the effect of a larger problem?)
Here are some extra facts that may be relevant, or may be totally random:
- I occasionally catch a whiff of egg like smell (smells like it’s running rich, and maybe it is heating the catalytic converter)
- It seems to be functioning fine (no loss of power)… the gas mileage even seems OK
-I filled up with a new tank of gas the night before the drive (I’ve since filled up again)
-There was an ignition recall, that I did NOT have done (I just found out about it
-The car is pretty beat up: 170K miles
-Gas gage quit working about a month ago… always reads full
I’m open to your thoughts as to what is going on.