Away from home and losing power

Huw Powell human747 at
Tue Dec 24 00:01:09 EST 2002

> I drove my 1988 Audi 90 Quattro about 1000 miles to visit my folks near
> Milwaukee, and now the car isn't running right.  I think the first symptom
> is that the 'check engine' light started coming on after 20 min. or so of
> driving.  It doesn't some on steady, but rather flickers at a high rate.
> The car also seems down on power and won't rev over 4500 RPMs.  One known
> problem with the car is the multifunction temperature switch/sender.  My
> inside temp gauge does not read warm until after the car has been driven
> for a while, and sometimes I think it reads low.  I bought the car
> recently and have not checked or changed the timing belt.  I do know it
> has a new fuel pump however.

Whatever it is, I think you should identify it close to home, and plan
some alternate transportation for that 12/26 drive!

It might "just" be a bad knock sensor, but I bet it isn't.

Mine went bad, there were no symptoms.  Other than some knocking under
hard acceleration on a hot day with a heat soaked engine.

More likely, your engine is knocking, the sensor is telling the ecu, it
is retarding timing - all the way back as far as it can - which makes
the car rather limp in the power dept, and when the ecu retards all the
way - it sets off the engine light.

So for some reason, bad gas, overhot, whatever, your car is knocking and
would like to knock hard, relatively.  The knock sensor/ecu seems to be
protecting it from harm, but there must be a cause, you should find it
before demanding a lot from the car.

Huw Powell

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