Foul Weather Mystery

Peter Sebestyen PeterS at
Mon Nov 18 16:53:14 EST 2002


I posed a "baffling problem" to the list on 10/16/02 regarding a "loss of
power in foul weather".  The general consensus was to replace my plug wires
and the problem should be resolved.  I replaced the wires as suggested
however the problem is still there.  More than likely, I mis-stated the
symptoms since it had been a while since the car exhibited the problem.
I'll try to give a better description now.

I'm driving a '91 200q20V Wagon, Hoppen Chip, K&N Filter, Bilstein's,
otherwise stock.  The car is solid and strong until I hit heavy rain,
standing water or sloppy, slushy conditions at which time the car develops a
throaty, grumbly sound with accompanying vibration.  Sometimes it will start
to screech and scream - LOUDLY.  When it happened this weekend, I put it in
neutral and revved the motor - the screaming continued regardless of RPM's,
however the throaty noise did follow the RPM's.  It's difficult to say if
there is an associated power loss because the noise is so disturbing that I
slow down and try get off the road.  On Friday, the screaming was VERY LOUD!
But by the time I got off the road, it had stopped.  Within a few miles, the
road turned from wet slop to dry pavement and the symptoms vanished.  In
Colorado, sloppy and/or heavy rain conditions are usually short lived so I
have just dealt with it over the past couple of years.  Now I want it fixed!

One more thing, it does NOT happen when the roads are snow covered - there
has to be water.

Background:  New belts last month, new plug wires last week.

Ideas:  Exhaust?  Breaks (UFO's)?  Some sort of thermal condition inducing
warping somewhere?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!


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