Car starts fines but struggles to move

So got a Ford territory 2008 (Australia) It’s used a spare but barely gets driven at all, was going fine, took for a 4 hour return drive and didn’t notice anything until I took it out about 2 weeks later and I noticed the lack of power it’s experiencing

It starts fine as usual but soon as accelerates it just struggles to move, no smoke, no high rpm, no noises or jerking etc

It truly feels like I’m towing something huge behind it

Has good compression
All clean fluid
Clean air filter
Clean fuel filter
I checked spark plugs, looked decent still, but was one ripped coil pack, I wouldn’t think that would cause this much effect but could be wrong.

Anyone have any ideas what I should be checking out? It’s becoming headache at this point lolp

Could the the brakes sticking or hanging up. Is the parking brake on? I’d also wonder about a stuck caliper.


In addition to the good suggestions… check your transmission fluid for a burnt smell. Also pull the rear axle fill plug… Check for trash stuck to the magnet in the plug indicating a failing diff.

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Also check for a plugged exhaust. If the engine can’t breathe properly, it will start and idle fine but struggle under any load. Most common cause is a degraded catalyst…


Awesome thanks lads,.I appreciate the help :slight_smile:

After 3-5 miles drive, stop, get out, feel all the wheels. Any of them super hot? If so, then brakes are locking up for some reason. If you were in Northern hemisphere my guess would be parking brake is freezing stuck.

If problem was spark plugs or coil packs, that would usually be noticeable as a misfire to the driver. Stuttering engine operation, etc, esp on rapid accel. Also that would usually turn on CEL. So tending to doubt that idea. Good idea however to still check for diagnostic codes. Easy enough for shop to do. There could be codes pending for example.

Engine is gasoline, not diesel, right?

Yeah it’s petrol. It doesn’t have parking brakes on it atm, so ain’t that. The brakes themselves seen noisy, so they need to be checked out anyway, while the car does sit alot of the time in drive way, I don’t see how they could be stuck to the point driving isn’t releasing em.

It sat for months before going on a four hour drive, was fine, got back, it sat for 2 weeks and then the issue was there.

I did put my Ford diagnostic/OBD2 scan tool on it but finds not codes at all.

Something my have crawled into the exhaust to set up home as the vehicle sat, and then died when you started the vehicle, and is now blocking the exhaust.