Battery / Alternator / What the heck?

Quick question – I had a check engine light last week, and the shop scanned it, as well as turning the light off. They suggested I’ve got a transmission problem and said that I’d eventually need to get it to a transmission specialist. I’ve not had a repeat of the light, but the precipitating problem still happens … well, sort of. Whenever I turn the heat in the car on or up and I’m either slowed way down or stopped, as if at a light, the car sometimes stalls, but it definitely hesitates. If I’m on the highway, it will hesitate, and if I’ve got my lights on, I can see them dim momentarily, but it doesn’t stall. Also, the stalling hasn’t happened since the car was scanned at the shop. It seems to me like it might be more of a battery or alternator, but I’m not a professional like the folks at the garage (a great garage, I might add). I would say I’m just a dumb woman, but, nah, I’ll skip that … Anyway, any ideas???

Go to an auto parts store, free battery check. How old is the battery? Sounds like a new battery may do the trick. CCA is a consideration if you live in cold climates.

What year is this car and how many miles are on it?

Take it to a good, local, independent shop and describe those symptoms. They will probably hook you up with a battery and charging system load test. But mostly they will probably clean and maybe replace some ground wires/connections. The most expensive this would get would be if they want to replace any of your main power cables for battery / alternator. Bad grounds can make a mess of today’s electronically controlled transmissions.

However, if that code comes back do two things. One is you can record the very specific code (e.g. “P1234”) and report it here in exactly that format. The other is take it to an actual local, independently owned transmission shop. Has anyone ever done a pan and filter service on the transmission? If not, take it to a transmission shop now.