I drive about 50-100 miles a day. I run the gas tank down to empty a lot but I do put seafoam in the gas every now and then.

For the past two weeks the car hasn't started the first time in the morning. I thought that was because of the cold.

Today I am out driving on the interstate and I notice a lack of power. I didn't notice any lack of power when I got on the interstate a few minutes earlier.

Lack of power is the primary symptom. It might be stuttering a bit at intersections but I can't remember if it was doing that before. Right now if I put the accelerator all the way to the floor it will not respond. I have to push it slowly up to a max speed of 40-50mph.

When I noticed the problem I was an hour away from home and I had to finish what I was doing and drive it all the way back. When I got it home I turned it off. I tried restarting it but it didn't catch. Then I tried again and it worked. I drove it around the block to see if a blockage might have been cleared but it still had no power.

I guess the other possible culprits are:

  • blocked catalytic converter

  • bad fuel pump

  • ????

I am going to replace the fuel filter first and see if that fixes it. Have you ever seen a fuel filter go bad all of a sudden like that?

  • If you drag a whole load of crp in from the tank at once then yes - filling up at a 1/4 tank is one solution after replacing the filter. But perhaps cleaning the tank and lines would be an idea - how do you get so much crp in the tank? My car is 16 years old and the tank is clean...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 7:10
  • Is it a compression-ignition engine, or does it have some sort of timed spark generation device? Is it post-1979 or so? The computer might have some advice. Is it post-1996? The computer will have a whole lot of advice. "Code 1234, intermittent misfire cylinder 7" type stuff. Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


" Sudden" is relative . I had a carburetor car lose power and gradually the maximum highway speed went from 70 mph to 60 to 50 in roughly 40 miles . I removed the in line bronze filter at the carb ,threw it away and drove home at 70 mph. Sounds like replacing your filter will fix the problem.

  • Oh yeah, it was the fuel filter alright. Car has way more power now. Maybe the fuel filter didn't fail as rapidly as I thought. $12 job and it runs a lot better. The clips they gave me were bullshit though. I had to reuse the old ones.
    – user875234
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 18:49

I've had those symptoms before and it was a failing ignition module. Should be able to get to that (and check it) easier than getting to the fuel pump or fuel filter (at least on most vehicles).

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