I have a 2003 Ford Taurus with 147,000+ miles. My nervous Taurus has been hesitating when I pick up speed, is slow to pick up speed, and shakes a bit when up to the speed it needs to be. One of my mechanics that drove it suggested it may need a tuneup, which sounds about right. However, there is an additional problem that is a bit odd.
I have a one hour commute (one way) twice a week to one of the schools I teach at. Every once in a while at the tail end of my trip, the car hesitates a lot, the battery light comes on, and it slowly winds down to where it cranks, but won’t start. However, if I let it rest for a half an hour or so, it starts up fine and I go along my merry way. I’ve taken it to the mechanic twice after this problem and they thought it might be an alternator, but when they ran a test on it, it was putting out adequate voltage (not sure if that is the correct terminology) and it didn’t appear to be needing replacement, so they’ve been stumped. I do notice this happens more often if I don’t drive the car for a few days or a week.
With all that, my question is does this sound like it needs a tuneup and would the second problem of shutting down be related to the tuneup? The mechanics don’t seem to think the second problem would be solved by a tuneup and have suggested a new alternator despite the volt meter reading find (with the caveat that it might not fix the problem). Any help would be greatly appreciated.