Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

My Nova is dying

Okay well i have a 79 Nova and well to cut to the chase the stupid thing turns off whenever it starts, reverses, and stops… even the slightest foot on the brake will send it into a rampage and it turns off completely… I took it to a mechanic and he “rebuilt” the carburetor like 3 times but the stupid thing STILL turns itself off… if someone can please tell me what the hell is wrong with it… that would be cool … thanks .

Don’t blame the car because someone can’t diagnose or fix it.
If this problem only occurs when the brake pedal is depressed then you should consider the possibility of a faulty brake booster creating a huge vacuum leak.

Pinch the vacuum hose to the brake booster off with a pair of Vise Grips, depress the brake pedal, and see if the problem goes away.
A vacuum gauge can also be connected to the intake manifold and a reading taken both with the brake pedal depressed and at rest.

It’s also possible the problem could be related to the vacuum system on the cruise control if the car has that feature since the cruise units used a vacuum switch on the brake pedal. (less likely, but simple to check anyway)

First off, what motor is in this thing?

Can you clarify the symptoms? The engine starts fine, but when you put it in gear it stalls? And if you step on the brakes it stalls too? Can you get it to move if you don’t have your foot on the brake?

My current best theory is a broken brake booster causing a huge vacuum leak when you’ve got your foot on the brake.

And, this mechanic of yours-- is he an actual alleged professional mechanic? This car’s about as simple as they come and I really can’t see it stumping anyone with basically any mechanical background. Maybe you just need to find an older mechanic who has more experience with these older machines.