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Accelerator stops working

I had two different problems suddenly during the same drive. First, the car started stalling every few minutes, whether slowing at a stop light or even while driving along at 25 MPH. I restarted the car by shifting into neutral, without stopping, and kept going. Second, while driving along, every few minutes, the accelerator stopped working, even thought the car dide NOT stall. You could hear the car rev when you stepped on the accelerator, but the motor acted as though it was in neutral. By shifting into neutral and then back into drive, the accelerator began working again. The second problem happened 5 or 6 times during the half hour trip. My mechanic is having difficulty finding the problem for these two problems, but says that replacing the timing computer should hopefully fix it. Does this sound right? Any other suggestions??? It’s a 92 cutlass with about 107,000 miles, that has been well cared for. The ignition motor and battery are just fine.

It seems like two separate problems. One, the engine stalls while driving, or slowing, intermittently. Can easily be restarted. Two, While driving, the engine will rev, but, not pull.
How the engine stalls makes a different. Does it stall suddenly, or, does it chug, or jerk, before stalling?
The automatic transmission doesn’t drive, intermittently. Check the fluid level. Change the transmission fluid and filter.

Normal items that cause stalling need to be eliminated,make use of the early diagnostics the car has,and about the “false neutral” you experienced,could it be possible that when you shifted to neutral to re-start you did not fully shift back into “drive”?

Sounds like your transmission is about to quit. I would recommend a car upgrade at this time. It sounds like a new mechanic would help also. You are making sounds like the ones I hear when a ton of money is about to be dumped into car repairs. Now, about my advice: I must tell you that I haven’t heard of a timing computer. I will look it up for my own self. There are some good transmission people who answer questions here.

Timing is not the problem. The engine computer does control timing, but, it’s not (in that sense) the problem…nor, in any other sense, that I can think of.
pleasedogevan has an idea that needs to looked into. Check the transmission shift linkage. It might be worn, or out of adjustment to where the lever to the transmission may, or may not, be in gear.
Your mechanic may be in over s/his head…at least, in the diagnostic department.

I think I am the one that suggested the vehicle may not be fully in gear.

I wonder if the torque converter is causing both problems. If the converter has the lock out feature, this could account for the stalling if the lockout isn’t disengaging. If the torque converter isn’t transfering the power from the engine to the transmission, this cold explain why the car revvs up without moving faster.

Thank you for your thoughts. Re your question, the engine stalls suddenly and quietly. Both with the stalling and with the engine not pulling, I don’t hear or feel anything. I realize that there is a problem because the accelerator does not function, or because the power steering shuts off.
I will try changing the transmission fluid. thanks.

thanks for this thought. I guess I’m going to give the car another try, but with 107K miles, I definitely don’t plan to sink a bunch of month into this. With the car sales economy being what it is today, seems like a good time to trade this one in for a new second hand car.

I’ve never heard of a torque converter, nor a lock out feature. Is this an adjustment? or a new purchase? is it likely to be readily fixable?

it did occur to me that the gear shift lever might need to be tightened or adjusted. Hopefully this will solve the problem. thanks, all!!!

Every car built today with an automatic transmission has a torque converter. The torque converter couples the engine to the transmission. A very simple explanation of its function is to picture two identical electric fans facing each other. If you turn on one electric fan, but not the other, the breeze from the powered electric fan will make the unpowered fan rotate at approximately the same speed. You could put pressure on the blades of the fan that isn’t powered and cause the blades not to spin. The powered fan would keep on turning. In the torque converter, the power is transmitted by oil and not by the air. When you stop the car, the element not powered by the engine may stop, but the slippage lets the engine continue to turn. Now, picture the electic fans so that there is a mechanical coupling between the blades. If you tried to stop the fan that isn’t powered, you would be stopping the motor on the fan that is powered. However, the mechanical coupling would more efficiently transfer the power from the powered fan to the fan that isn’t powered. There would be no slippage. The lock-up feature of the torque converter effectively couples the two elements together to make the unit more efficient. However, without the slippage the engine would stall when you applied the brakes. Hence the lock-up feature comes into play when the car is running about 30 miles an hour. It disengages when you slow down. In your case, if the elements of the converter remain connected, the engine will stall when you apply the brakes.

If this is the problem with your car, the torque converter is between the engine and the transmission. The transmission will have to be removed to get to the torque converter. If the torque converter is working, butthe lock-up feature is not disengaging, the lock-up feature can be unplugged since it is electrically operated. The gasoline mileage will be affected, since there will be slippage in the torque converter. To be fixed properly, the torque converter would need to be replaced.