My car just died

in General Discussion edited January 2014
At about 6:30, I drove my sister and her boyfriend back to his house. On the way, as I was speeding up from about 40 to 55, the car had trouble changing gears. It's an automatic transmission so I was really concerned. The car made two distinct 'clicking' noises, so I put on my emergencies and pulled off the road. (This really isn't safe as there are no streetlights in most NH towns).

I managed to get the car going again, and there were no signs of a problem. I got it all the way to her friend's house but spoke with his father as he is a mechanic.

He told me it didn't sound promising at all but at least I could drive it and get it checked out tomorrow.

So I got in the car and started it up. My sister had been in the car while I was talking and had the lights on in the car, as well as a mirror open. I'm not sure if this is releveant yet. Any way, I backed the car up down the hill his driveway is on and got out into the main street. I shifted pack into drive and the car died. The computer shut down and I couldn't move. I frantically tried to start the car up again but it was totally dead. It turned over (to an extent) but wasn't working at all when I shifted gears. The car stopped turning over after a few tries.

Thankfully, there weren't very many cars out and I was able to put it in neutral and get it off of the road and into their other driveway.

I'm really pissed now. I just got the car a few months ago and still owe a good amount of money on it. I've got no warranty on it any more either (it expired after 30 days).

I can get AAA to tow it, but I don't even know what to do yet. I guess I'll get an estimate of how much it's going to take to fix it up, but I doubt I have the money I'll need for the repairs.

My sister, who just turned 16, bought a car a few weeks ago, so we went and registered it tonight. My dad is going to let me drive the old van I used to have and he's going to drive her car (she doesn't even have her license yet, so she doesn't care).

In the meantime, I have no idea what I'm going to do with the Jeep. Yes, I owe money on it still, but do I go in deeper and try and get it fixed, or do I try and cut my losses, trade it in and hopefully get a better car for the future?

Tomorrow's going to be an interesting day, even without the election.


  • Reply 1 of 30
    trick falltrick fall Posts: 1,271member
    Uggh, car dependency is one thing I don't miss about suburbia. Good luck, I've been there and it really sucks. Hopefully it won't be too bad.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    You never know. Could be something small. My mech' told me what was wrong with my last car over the phone and to take to the dealer for a warranty repair, He was right. You could get lucky.

    It sucks to have to pay on a car that's dead.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    It's a Chrysler. Figures, though I thought they had some sort of no-excuses 70,000 mile warranty on the powertrain, which appears to be at least part of your trouble.

    I'm guessing the center of your problems deal with the transmission, which may be at failure due to the electrical systems. You did say the computer shut down. . .

    Check the transmission for fluid. It could have leaked out. If this is the problem, than that's a best case scenario. Did you check any of the other fluids? Leaks happen.

    You should inspect the engine bay and then look underneath the engine bay. Look for residue, which indicates a leak. Check your fluids, particularly the oil, coolant, and trans fluid. (You have automatic, right?) If there is a problem with the transmission, your wheels will not get power, and it has the potential to stall the engine, since the transmission is self lubricating. That is, the same fluid that acts to spin the drive impeller from the motion in the motor impeller lubricates all of the parts. No lube = stall, thus possible power cut off or surge. Since automatics aren't generally supposed to stall, the "stall" may well have been the cause of the tranmission problem.

    Other possibilities:

    Throttle body buildup - extremely unlikely on a new car

    Fuel Pump/injectors

    Air intake problem

    But given the circumstances, I bet your trans is the big problem. It sounds like some blot or something was jarred loose inside, which sucks. No easy fix for that. If you can argue to the affect of the chysler powertrain warranty that I hear about way too much in advertising, that would probably help.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    One more reason to get a Japanese Car
  • Reply 5 of 30
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Could be a clogged fuel filter. If you have rust in there it could clog ... then fall out and allow the car to restart ... then clog again.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    This means I can make fun of the Red Sox and the Newton without fear of Fran coming down here and kicking my ass ;-)

    Red Sox suck, always have and always will.

    The Newton is dead, let it rest in peace.

  • Reply 7 of 30
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]My dad is going to let me drive the old van I used to have and he's going to drive her car<hr></blockquote>

    Oh, I have a car to drive and I can still get down there whenever I need to.

    To be more specific, the car is a Jeep Cherokee and is a 95. It has about 150k miles on it.

    The used car dealer I got it from put a 30 day warranty on it and I really took advantage of it and got the problems I knew about dealt with. Unfortunately, that warranty expired a few months ago.

    It will hopefully get to a garage today to see how much it will cost to be fixed. I'm crossing my fingers.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    crap, I should have read the whole thing...

    Um... I think 2003 is really going to be the Sox's year! Reverse the curse! rah rah rah! Yankee's suck!

    I also love my Newton 120. Really, it isn't sitting in the back of my closet collecting dust

    Seriously though, next time you are in Boston, lemme know
  • Reply 9 of 30
    tmptmp Posts: 601member
    Did the lights dim at all? It could be your alternator. If the alternator is broken, or the belt on it snapped, the car will be running off the battery, including the fuel injection and computer system. When the battery gets drained, the car won't run. The fact that it only cranked a couple of times then went dead makes me think this might be the problem. A completely new alternator should be only a couple hundred installed.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    That certainly would be good news (at least better than what I thought).

    I hope to know more this afternoon. Hopefully one of these 'cheaper' solutions turns out to be the one that works.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    If the belt were snapped then you'd see the light on the dash light up. I had alternator problems that were like what Fran describes. Once the connector to my battery was loose and it acted very strange.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    You may also just have a shitload of carbon buildup in your engine. I thought your car was new. I now see that it's not.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Its an XJ 95 huh?! Dude don't take it to a mechanic and waste the money on him telling you what it needs and charging you twice the amount until you have done the easy stuff. Check you transmission fluids, if its okay then chances are its fine. Check you belts, if they are okay cool, if not get new ones. I had a 96 before my current TJ jeep..same engine. It uses a serpantine system real easy to do yourself. If not check your battery charge. If its dead than your batter caused the failure probably because of the altenator. Just pull the altenator off and bring it to Autozone. They will test it for you. If it needs to be replaced they will let you trade it in for a little money off. All of which is EXTREMELY easy to do. Let me know if you need any specifics.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    The verdict is:

    $1500 Transmssion rebuild.

    It's at AAMCO now and they say there might be a problem with the engine and fuel pump as well. Dang it. I don't know what I'm going to do.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    That sucks.

    {Edit: two fscking words and I fsck it up}

    [ 11-08-2002: Message edited by: Scott ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 30
    american car. this is a surprise to anyone...?
  • Reply 17 of 30
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    [quote]Originally posted by _ alliance _:

    <strong>american car. this is a surprise to anyone...?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    My moms used Honda that she just bought had the same thing. It was the second Honda she had where the tranny went bad.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    tmptmp Posts: 601member
    [quote]Originally posted by _ alliance _:

    <strong>american car. this is a surprise to anyone...?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    It's got 150,000 miles on it for gods sake. Geesh!

    Fran, did you find out what it was?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Well, what did you pay for it?
  • Reply 20 of 30
    [quote]Originally posted by tmp:


    It's got 150,000 miles on it for gods sake. Geesh!


    musta been a lemon.
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