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It's been very cold lately, so I didn't think much when my car began having a hard time starting. After a few days it would start, but only drove a few feet before stalling, giving a 'reduced engine power' warning.

I plugged in an OBD scanner which gave me an error code p0068. Some internet searching told me this is most likely an issue with my throttle body or MAF sensor.

First I tried cleaning the throttle body (it was incredibly dirty), but the problem remained the same. I tried unplugging the MAF sensor as per this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7eO_dicJ9g&t=322s), hoping to at least get the car to the other side of the rode as we have alternate side parking. But now the car just clicks and doesn't even try to start, even after plugging the MAF back in.

With some fiddling I realized that the MAF and TP sensors no longer latch in place. When I first removed them I had to lift little latches to get them to move, and it was difficult to pull them free. Nothing seems to have broke, but now both plugs easily pull free even with the latches closed. Could this relate to it just clicking?

Any ideas what I could try? I don't want to replace any parts unless I have a confident diagnosis, and a mechanic is likely outside my budget, not to mention the tow to get it there. I'm very confused as to why the problem has gotten worse, and why the sensor plugs don't lock in place.

Let me know if more info is needed, and thanks in advance.

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  • Is the battery discharged? That would account for the clicking... The two sensors wouldn't keep the engine from turning over. – BobT Feb 15 at 22:56
  • I assumed it was not the battery because the lights would come on. Now I see that is not necessarily accurate. A dead battery wouldn't account for the original p0068 error code, would it? And why would it start clicking only after unplugging the MAF? – user62421 Feb 15 at 23:13
  • First if it clicks and doesn't turn over this indicates a battery issue. This is seperate from your original issue. First thing you need to do is charge the battery and test it. Then with good battery installed, check your charging system. Then you can continue to diagnose the original symptoms. – Jupiter Feb 15 at 23:50
  • Okay, today I managed to jump the car. With this I got the same result as the original problem: hard start, stuttery idle, and eventually dying. This is true with the MAF and/ or TP sensors plugged or unplugged. After playing around for a bit I started getting just clicks even when with jumpers. Could this mean my battery is totally done? If the original issue is not due to a faulty TP or MAF, or a dirt throttle body, what else should I test? – user62421 Feb 16 at 18:36
  • I ended up testing for leaks in the air intake hose. It seemed to run better after spraying some water on the hose and I found what look like tiny tears. I hope that this ends up being the fix. – user62421 Feb 16 at 20:14

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