Car not accelerating properly?

I drive a 2003 Ford Escape, with automatic transmission and the mileage is at 159722. I just recently had the brakes changed, and a cylinder replaced because the it was not firing and would not go above 55-60 mph. All was well until tonight.

As I was driving home my car was struggling to accelerate. It would try from a dead stop, the rpms would go to about 3000-3500 and I would still only be going 5 mph at best. I would guess that it does this for first gear, then again for second and third because continuing to try to reach higher speeds is a struggle until about 40-45 mph. Usually at higher speeds(50-70mph) it is fine unless I try to accelerate and it will jump a bit.

It was at the higher speeds I noticed a couple other things. My brake light is vaguely lit and so I checked the fluid, filled to the brim. Then my O/D OFF light came on. While this did help driving at the higher speeds it remained on even after when I was going 30-40 mph.

So naturally, I went to the internet to try to find answers on my own. After a few Google searches I have a few theories. It could be a fuel filter, a fuel sensor, transmission fluid, or some other kind of fuel/engine/transmission related problem.

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    During all of this, does the engine start to act up? I mean, is it vibrating, misfiring, acting like it's going to turn off, struggling to stay on or like if it's suffocating? If it's not doing any of those things, then it's not an engine problem.

    If after the engine is warmed up, you can rev the engine at around 2000 - 2500 for 30 seconds or longer without the engine malfunctioning, then it's not the catalytic converter either.

    That only leaves the transmission. The fact that the OD OFF light came on indicates a malfunction with the transmission. If the vehicle is struggling to accelerate it could be symptoms of dirty transmission fluid or the transmission fluid level is low, like not even registering on the dipstick (if it even has a dipstick). You should check the fluid and level. If it's not pink or red and/or the fluid smells burned you need to change the fluid and replace the filter.

    FYI

    I'm not trying to embarrass you, but you can't just replace 1 cylinder. A cylinder is part of the engine block which is the frame of the engine.

  • 3 years ago

    Car Not Accelerating

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Car not accelerating properly?

    I drive a 2003 Ford Escape, with automatic transmission and the mileage is at 159722. I just recently had the brakes changed, and a cylinder replaced because the it was not firing and would not go above 55-60 mph. All was well until tonight.

    As I was driving home my car was struggling to...

    Source(s): car accelerating properly: https://tinyurl.im/3aCSB
  • 7 years ago

    It sounds like you have a fuel problem. You need to start by getting with a scan tool to monitor fuel rail pressure while driving to see if it goes under 30 psi. If so you could either have a stopped-up fuel filter or a bad fuel pump. This is a common issue on these trucks. Replace those parts. If the problem still continues, it is most likely a restricted exhaust system, more accurately the catalytic converters. There are three of them, the two-front ones are part of the exhaust manifold; the other one is under the vehicle. To confirm which one is restricted you will need to perform an exhaust back pressure test, the back pressure should be between 3 and 8 psi, no higher, if one is reading higher than 8psi, it is restricted. Also, your fuel pressure could be too high. You can get Catalytic Converters from here http://www.buyautoparts.com/autoparts/2003/Ford/Es... at good price for your Ford Escape.

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  • Martha
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    its probably the transmission. On my car the rpm will go up to 6k when it was only going 40mph then later on the reverse went out on it. I had a transmission overhaul done which cost 1500.

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