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Honda Fit lost all power on highway

I went on a nice drive through the mountains of Colorado yesterday in my Fit. After going on a bunch of backcountry roads I started to head home on I-70, which is pretty high up (more than 11,000 feet at times) and can get pretty steep (6.5% grades at times).

After about an hour of driving around 78 miles an hour (speed limit is 75), the engine started to lose power.No indicator lights came on and all electronics kept working just fine. The engine would rev up a bit and would lurch forward and then slow down until finally I had to pull over to the side of the road. I turned the car off and sat there for a few minutes and started it up again. It took longer to start than normal but it finally got going. I got up to 70 again and after a few minutes the same problem started again. I pulled over, waited, and then tried driving off but the car wouldn’t rev at all, the maximum I could go was 5 mph. Eventually after sitting for five minutes the problem stopped and I was able to make it another 100 miles back to Denver.

Did I just push the car too hard and it needed a break? In total I drove for about 7 hours, but not all at once. Maintaining 78 miles per hour with cruise control on meant that the engine was revving pretty high when going up hills - was it just too much? Was it stupid of me to use cruise control and expect to maintain such a speed on steep grades?

Thanks for any help. I’m worried that I’ve done damage to the car but it seems to be driving fine now.

Also, the car has 8,000 miles on it and has been well maintained.

Forgot to says its a 2009.

“The engine would rev up a bit and would lurch forward and then slow down until finally I had to pull over to the side of the road”

The engine was revving but the car was slowing down could be a transmission problem. Does this car have CVT transmission? I would definitely check to see if the car is still under warranty and have the dealer check it out

Well, I should explain it a little better. The revving was commensurate with the lurching forward. What I mean is that the car moved as much as I would expect it to with the amount of revving the engine was doing. The revving itself was intermittent. It would let me rev the engine and keep going for a second, not respond at all, and then let me do it for another second until finally I could slam down on the gas and get absolutely no response.

And its not a CVT transmission, 5 speed automatic.

You didn’t push the car too hard, and it didn’t need a “break.” I don’t know why it lost power, but it wasn’t because it was tired. You can drive the car 78 mph for days on end, uphill or down, heat or cold, rain or shine, without damage.

How much gas was in the tank when this happened? Have you checked the fluid level in the transmission?

The tank was about half full, I have not checked the transmission fluid level, but I’ll do so right now.

Transmission fluid was full. I am not very mechanically inclined (hence my need to come to the experts), but I don’t think it has to do with the transmission. On the side of the road once the problem started I couldn’t get the engine to rev at all until it rested for a few minutes.

I think it may be worth having a Honda dealer check it out for any stored diagnostic codes that may have been stored during this event.

Cars these days have complicated engine control systems that make cars run so much better then cars of past. However intermittent things like this do happen, and can be very difficult to diagnose if the computer does not set a code, and the problem cant be duplicated by the technician at the time of service.

Take it to the Honda dealer and let them scan the computer. There may be some codes. At only 8,000 miles the car should be performing flawlessly, and what you describe is a problem the dealer should be made aware of.

It probably has an electronic throttle, and the computer wasn’t allowing the engine to rev. It would be nice if the dealer could figure out why.

This is what warranties are for.

This is a warranty issue.

Don’t bother wasting your time trying to figure out the reasons for the problem, as that is the job of the dealership. In fact, even if you do give them a diagnosis, they will ignore it in order to go through the diagnostic protocol specified by Honda.

Think about it. If you give them a diagnosis and state that you want a certain component replaced, if that turns out to not be the “cure”, who do you think will pay for that part and the labor to install it? (Hint: It will not be either Honda corporate or the dealership!)

Just describe the symptoms in detail. Allow the dealership to do their diagnostic work. Keep good records of your visit(s) to the dealership, and begin to educate yourself regarding the Lemon Law in your state–just in case they are not able to fix this problem.

Good advice, I’ll call them right now. Thanks!