1994 Crown Victoria (former police car)
This is my mother's vehicle. Of course, 87 year old ladies who stay home and hardly ever venture out don't bother with learning about their cars (much to my chagrin), but I am using it for my job interviews till my Toyota can be fixed.
I want to get a sense of what may be going wrong. I have its service history since her ownership in , '01 and it has a rebuilt transmission that works just fine. since '01 it has had everything replaced fairly regularly except for the PCV valve and the spark plugs.
The "check engine light" was coming on/off the other day before my long drive in the city, and at one point after 45 minutes of driving, it stalled out at a traffic light and ignition not work until after a full minute. In other traffic that night, I could hear a "tik-tik-tik" like something small flapping or hitting the road but there were no slow leaks in any tire I could find. A stop at a convenience store after 2 hours of driving revealed a melted-rubber kind of smell that I could not really locate, and the smell went away and did not reoccur at any time.
Next morning: I'm taking the car to a job interview and when the car reaches 20 mph, the "check engine" light comes on. I get out and put in a little more oil, hoping for the best. Nope! I cancel my appointment, drive the car home and read the original manual, which says the light indicates that this is the first stage of an emissions problem. The car had just gotten its emission sticker 2 weeks ago.....
We don't want to run a computer diagnostic just yet if we can look at some other stuff by ourselves and see if they need replacing. The undercarriage and muffler look just fine with no holes, and under the hood looks just fine. Any suggestions?