Reader Question: My car has been struggling for about 2 weeks now. I cannot get it to go over 10 MPH.
I was going to have it looked at today but when I started it up black ashes was coming out of the vents and the exhaust was black.
Do you have any idea what this could mean?
Get this problem looked at ASAP. Do not continue to drive this way! You might have a restriction in the exhaust system like the catalytic converter or muffler that is not allowing the engine to exhaust properly. If the engine cannot get rid of the exhaust it produces, it cannot take in new fuel and air, so the engine will not have power or run at all.
If the engine races and sounds like it has power, but the car just does not go anywhere, you might have a transmission or clutch problem. If this is an automatic transmission, check the transmission fluid first and top off as needed. If this is a stick shift, you might be due for a new clutch.
The black ash you see out the vents might be another issue. But I would get the major running problem looked at first and correct that problem and see if they are related or you have more than one problem going on.