Momentary electric loss at high speed



Thanks for looking at my post!

While driving down the interstate at 60 mph I lost electric power momentarily. The loss only seemed to last for one - max 2 - seconds but it was enough to make my heart race a little because the engine braked pretty significantly. I am pretty sure that I was just turning on the AC as the event occurred, but can’t be certain that it was not just a coincident, as it happened again about ten min later while accelerating from a - kind of - stop. When I lost power while accelerating I seemed to loose electricity twice in a row within twenty to thirty feet.

What happened during the interstate incident:

Noticed the event because the engine braked pretty hard, radio went out, and fuel gauge went from totally full to totally empty (causing the low fuel light to turn on). I didn’t notice much else because the power came back so quickly that before I figured out what was going on it was over. When power came back everything went back to normal, as if nothing had happened.

What happened during the acceleration event:

While accelerating from a California roll, the electric power seemed to drop off again, making the engine stutter. Everything came back online and dropped off again after driving another 20 - 30 feet. Again, after those events, everything ran like nothing happened.

When I dropped the car off at the dealership I didn’t have a problem driving there (about 5 miles), but when I got out of the car and tried to lock it with my remote it wouldn’t and when I tried to start up the radio and lights there was nothing. I didn’t try starting up the engine, but the electric was definitely out.

The dealership has not been able to experience the problem and they are going to try again tomorrow, but I have a feeling that this is not going to end in a satisfactory manner given past experiences with dealerships. My gut tells me I am out of a whopping $80 for a diagnostic? and that?s about it!

Again, thanks for looking at my problem!



There are a lot of things, and areas, that can be checked… and many mechanics are aware of it. Whenever a mechanic, or service manager says, " The probem can’t be troubeshot now because it’s not happening right now", is SOOOOO BOGUS! The public can’t help it that so many mechanics are so inept in electrical troubleshooting. Shop owners are. They should have at least one mechanic who can troubleshoot this eectrical problem. ++++ me_art12


Battery terminals may need cleaning. Find your radio anti-theft code first so you can reactivate the radio.


I would also start with trying removing both ends of the battery cables (both of them) and cleaning both the cable and where it goes very well and reattaching making sure they are secure.

I find one thing very interesting. The fuel gauge went to zero, but you still had power to the low fuel light. It would be very interesting to see what power supplies/grounds would power the light and not the gauge when they failed. I am thinking that the ground to the dashboard/car frame may be OK, but the line to the engine block not OK.


I agree with Mr. Meehan. You have a bad electrical connection somewhere, and it might take a bit of exploration to find it. I also suggest that you try to find an independent mechanic and avoid the dealership. Your car is way beyond the warranty period, so there’s no compelling reason to visit the dealer, and independent mechanics usually charge less.

Check those battery cable connections first (both ends). They could easily be the cause of this whole problem.


There may be a problem with the ignition switch or the line to it causing this. Check out the other primary electrical buss areas also for a bad connection.

One of my favorite tricks to help find trouble like this is to use a screwdriver handle to rap on suspected trouble areas with. While listening to the radio and tapping on things like the ignition switch, fuse panels, and connectors, you may be able to locate the trouble yourself.