Engine Bogs Down and Dies

My Suburban with 66K miles has started to bog down and stall. All power equipment (steering and brakes) die with the engine.

The car will start again after a little while and run okay for days until the next time. It has never occurred on cold mornings, only after warm-up in the PM.

My mechanic recently replaced the fuel filter. It never happens when he checks it out. Help.


Hi Christine,

I can definitely understand your frustration when you say your mechanic can not catch the problem in the act that is actually quiet common unfortunately.

Since you mentioned the fact that the engine bogs down then dies, I would ASSUME you have a lack of fuel problem. My first guess would be a problem with the fuel pump, since your mechanic already replaced the fuel filter and that did not solve the problem.

The bad thing is, since this is such an intermittent problem checking the fuel pump pressure when the engine is running fine will probably not have any conclusive findings unless the mechanic can catch the problem in the act WHILE he has some test equipment on the engine.

I can suggest you try one thing next time the engine dies. When the engine dies, have some one bang on the bottom of the fuel tank with their fist or a rubber hammer or block of wood AS you crank the engine over. This can sometimes jump start a weak fuel pump, which is located inside the fuel tank.

Fuel pumps tend to overheat and stop working when the get hot, so your remark about this problem only happening in the PM or after the engine is warm also suggests that a fuel pump issue could be possible.

Replacing the fuel pump on this vehicle is not cheap, so I really hope your mechanic can catch this issue in the act and give you a firm diagnosis before you play the guessing game and replace the pump out of desperation.

Austin Davis

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."