While driving car lost acceleration and power steering

sebring
chrysler
acceleration
brakes

#1

Hi,

Yesterday I was driving on a 40 mph road. My car suddenly lost all power to accelerate, the steering wheel became very hard to turn and the brake wouldn’t work. I managed to turn on a side road and use the emergency brake to stop. I put on my hazards and shut the car off. After a couple minutes I started the car and drove around a neighborhood for ten minutes to see if it would happen again. Luckily it never did. Does anyone have an idea of what could cause this. The car is a 2002 Chrysler Sebring LX, automatic. Oil was change a week ago. I am not the original owner and do not know what type of maintenance has been done to the car. To be honest I don’t think the original owners maintained the car well.


#2

What happened essentially is that the engine stalled.
When that happens, you lose power assist for the steering, and have only limited reserve power assist for the brakes.

So, the question is…What caused the engine to stall?
The things that I would have your mechanic check are the following:
Ignition switch
Crankshaft position sensor
Camshaft position sensor

When you have the vehicle in the shop for diagnosis of the stalling problem, I would strongly suggest that you bring the car up to date with maintenance. Since you think that the car most likely was not maintained properly, you have to assume that no major maintenance was ever done. Take out the Owner’s Manual, and see what maintenance procedures are listed for the major mileage interval closest to the current odometer mileage. The major intervals are 30k, 60k, 90k, 120k, 150k, and so on.

Even if bringing the car up to date with maintenance doesn’t have anything to do with the stalling problem, you will wind up with a more durable and more reliable car if you spend a few hundred dollars now on maintenance, rather than a few thousand dollars when the car breaks down as a result of lax maintenance.


#3

lorenjames
I managed to turn on a side road and use the emergency brake to stop. I put on my hazards and shut the car off.

Are you saying the engine was still running, or just that you turned the key to Off, with the motor already dead?


#4

My 2011 BMW 550i has thrice had this weird response in the past 6 months. After driving for 30m-1h suddenly got multiple different warning lights before I lost control of steering (stiff like a dead body) and brakes following which the car stalled. It was towed to the dealership who said this was a bad battery which did not make sense but the car was running thereafter so I took it home. The second time the dealership was closed - I was able to start the car a few minutes later and took the risk of driving home. The dealership said since the car was running they could not run any diagnosis. Thereafter the car ran fine for 3 weeks and then it happened again. This time I could restart it but the car would only move a few feet before stalling. After towing it to the dealer they tell me that the battery and alternator both are bad. I can understand that but there should never be a total loss of control on steering and brakes. That to me is a safety issue and BMW needs to fix it but the dealership does not seem to know what to do. They just want to fix the battery and alternator and call it “problem resolved” without digging further. I have not seen any recalls either. I am now afraid to drive the car because it could get me killed. Has anyone else experienced something like this?


#5

Please start your own thread. This thread is for discussing the original problem from two years ago.


#6

Happened to my son’s BMW and it was a couple thousand in injectors and programming. I had cautioned him to trade before the warranty was up. Sometimes they listen and sometimes they don’t.


#7

When the engine stalls out there’s no power source for the power brakes or power steering systems. They become stiff and difficult to operate. That’s normal. I think you need to focus on why the engine is stalling, b/c once that is fixed you’ll likely no longer have a brake or steering problem. This isn’t unique to your car, most cars with power brakes and steering have the same problem when the engine stalls.

For a car to work correctly, the battery and alternator has to be working to spec. If they say those parts are not working on your car to spec, that’s got to be resolved.

For the v8 4.4L turbo, I’m seeing 8 general recalls, and 11 safety recalls. Suggest to ask your dealership in particular if the 110614 N63 engine service recall work has been done. And there’s over 50 customer interest bulletins, some involving the electrical system,i including high discharge messages, and parasitic current drains. So ask if that work has all been done too. Might want to just ask your dealership to print out the recall, customer interest, and tsb lists for you.

Edit: And yes, this should appear in a separate thread, since you have a different make of car than the OP.