I drive an '04 Dodge Stratus with 100k+ miles. I drove over a speed bump in the parking lot where I work (10 mph or less), and the car suddenly died (coincidence?) Luckily I was able to coast into a parking spot before the wheel seized up. The “check engine light” and the “oil light” came on, which leads me to believe I didn’t lose power. I turned the car off and was able to restart the engine. When I exited the car, I noticed a burning smell. I am going to check the oil level, but is there anything else that could be causing this? I don’t want to be stranded on my way home from work tonight. Thanks!
Is the check engine light still on? It may not be but a code could be stored. You can get it read for free at pepboys, autozone and advance. Don’t let them sell you anything, though.
Just report back.
It could be that your battery cables or ground cables are loose and not making proper contact. Your oil end engine light come on when you turn the key from off to on as it would do if you lost power briefly.
I’d check those connections first. They are easy and fast to check and the fix is free.
Did the body of the car impact the speed bump causing a jolt? I’d check the oil level and look under where you parked the car for any liquids - you might have punctured the oil pan or radiator. If the fluids are OK and the car starts and runs then it is possible you triggered the shut off for the fuel injection that occurs when the car the car gets into an accident. Some cars are equipped with sensors to detect a large deviation from level and shut off fuel to reduce the risk of fire in an accident.
Thanks for all your suggestions!
The oil and coolant levels are fine. I have not seen any leaks. Yes, the check engine light is still on. I did the “key dance” in the ignition and it gave me the code “P0128”, which after researching is the Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature), which I believe indicates a faulty thermostat.
I don’t think I hit the speed bump with the car. I drove it home and to work this morning without a hitch. I will check the cable connections.
Here’s my 2cent guess – is it possible that the bump jolted the key and key housing back a notch such that the setting went to ignition on/off? With lots of keys and a weakened housing (that jolt happens 2 times a day every work day) it could happen.
I’m sure that could be a possibility! It hasn’t happened again, thank goodness!