A month ago I'm tooling along fine in my 1989 Civic, when everything
just gradually shut down on a slight downhill grade (in heavy traffic,
I pulled over and it would not start, although it felt like it was
trying to. I had plenty of gas in it. Before I found a spot to pull
over (coasting), the brakes felt oddly stiff, suddenly, as if they
were only half-working.
I had it towed to my wife's favorite mechanics. (She drives a Ford.)
They called the next day and said I needed a new distributor. Since
they had already replaced the distributor 10 months ago when my wife
took it in, they gave my another for free, but said my fuel pump was
shot and needed replacing. That rang true enough, so a couple days in
the shop and $400 some-odd later, I drove it home. I live WAY at the
top of a steep hill in the East Bay near Berkeley, CA.
The next day I headed down the hill and it stalled at stops on steep
downhills, but started right back up. It also felt like it was going
to stall on turns, but only lurched a bit. Then I noticed I could
the "new" fuel pump whining. I took it back and said I thought
I got a bum fuel pump. They agreed and replaced it.
This time no sound from the fuel pump, but it still stalled on
downhills. I took it back, told them every symptom I noticed, and left
it at the shop while I went out of town for five days. I thought they
could figure it out. They gave me a line that (suddenly) my gas guage
is broken, that when it reads 1/4 tank it's almost empty, and all I
need to do is keep more than a 1/4 tank in. Well, it wasn't broken
before my troubles began, and, like I said, it runs just fine going up
hills. They also said they plumbed out all my gas lines. What a drag.
They couldn't. And my car now feels pretty much like it did the first
day it conked out on me. As if it's flooding every time I go down
hill. Going up hill is no problem at all.
Anyone got a line on this? I regret I'm one of those guys who excelled
in languages and literature and not practical stuff like
troubleshooting car problems.
Thanks in advance for any and all pointers!