After 10 years of regular scheduled maintenance, my fairly uneventful relationship with my car has taken a nasty turn. Here’s the main problem I’m experiencing:
Sometimes, on hot and sunny days (or any time I’m in Washington, DC) if I park my car for 15 minutes or longer after having driven it for five minutes or more, when I return to the vehicle, it will fail to start. Sometimes I’m able to give it some gas when it’s in neutral and I can get it going, but the engine will ping and threaten to stall out until I’ve driven it a few blocks. Once I get her going, she runs like new.
In addition to this problem, my AC has been a bit on the fritz. Driving in stop-and-go traffic when it’s very hot outside, the vents will only blow hot air. Once I get the car up to a good clip (30mph or so), it kicks back in.
To top it all off, as of about a week ago my tape deck periodically loses power. Sometimes it will display a “TAPE ERR” message; usually it just fails to respond to any input and won’t eject.
I’m guessing that at least two of these problems are connected to each other. A little internet research revealed that this might be a problem with the main fuel relay. Does this sound about right? Could the other two glitches be related to the engine problem?
Any help is much appreciated!