Chugging and Stalling

I have a 2001 Mazda Tribute LX with 70,000 miles on it. A month ago my car remained running after I removed the key from the ignition. It took me five tries to finally stop the car. The car horn also went off automatically (which woke up the neighbors). I took the car in and the mechanics could find nothing wrong with it, but they said they “reset the engine’s computer.” Now the car has trouble idling once I start it. It stalls out or it completely hesitates when I step on the gas before it moves forward.

What could be going on with my car?

Maybe something electrical in your steering column. The horn and running in off position may be related.

They reset the computer by disconnecting the battery for a minute. In addition to the other problems, you could have a damaged computer. It doesn’t seem like it is working right.

Do you think this is a job best taken care of by the dealer?

Not necessarily a dealer, but rather a technician that understands how to diagnose the electrical components in this particular car. Ask around and talk to the service manager at various dealers or shops. You will be on safer ground with someone that has worked on a similar problem successfully.