Having odd loss of power and stearing after car dies
1999 Ford Taurus

Having odd loss of power and stearing after car dies

(1999 Ford Taurus)
Okay! Today, still a bit -sigh- maybe frustrated by it, but this is the 6th time I've had issues with my car suddenly losing power. So, possibly being stupid, I'm turning to the internet to see if anyone would have any plausible idea to what the heck is going on.

My car is a 1999 Ford Torus 4 door, previously used, was bought used for around 5k back in 2007 (so the dealership who upgraded their record keeping doesn't have the records that happened before 2008 or 2009 or at the least not for easy quick viewing access for their mechanics. I know, I asked back in late July when I was seeing who could service my car and had it towed to another dealership they recommended elsewhere, that was a 100 dollar tow due to road construction along the shorter route to said other dealership)

Before now my car had suddenly lost power and basically died, displaying the battery icon while the "Service Engine Soon" light had been on for several weeks to a month or longer during these times. The first 5 times my car has died the temperatures were in the 80's with a feel like being higher where pushing on the gas pedal resulted in nothing happening as it'd slow to a crawl if that with the steering locking up. Then after a few minutes or few hours she runs again like nothing happened. I've had to be towed twice because of her engine dying on me.

This recent time of 9-27-15 around 6:50pm the temperature was around 74 degrees or 76 degrees under the 80+ degrees.

I had driven to another town just fine, got back to my town fine, then was heading home and that was when suddenly:

- The power dropped in a snap (I managed to get off the road and behind a business near my home)
- I smelled something warm/hot on the drivers side (didn't smell like gas but it was something I hadn't smelt before)
- The battery icon light and oil light were both on at the same time
- The dashboard gave me no sound in radio and no air from vents/ac
- The steering wheel was stiffening up bad felt like it was trying to lock up
- The breaks felt a little stiffer
- Put car in park and a grinding noise came from the passengers side
- Turned off car and car gave a hard strong jerk, making my passenger need to put hand out on the dash to catch herself
- When car jerked it made a noise that sounded rough (not sure how else to describe it)
- Waited 5 minutes before tried restarting. Had no success it turned and started for a moment then died promptly after with the battery icon and oil icon lit up
- Managed to turn car on enough to push on breaks and put car in Neutral
- Passenger and I pushed my car forwards and the more we pushed trying to push it the rest way to my apartment it got harder to push. It felt like the wheels in rolling forward were locking up on us. When he paused for a break it tried to roll back (there is no hill it was flat stone parking lot)
- Pushed far as could before it would no longer move forwards and wheels felt locked going forwards (it tried to roll backwards a second time)
- Got it into Park and waited as passenger left

Now that is what happened but this is what brought my frustration higher and still has me a bit stressed for I'm unsure on the reason why:

- Passenger got a friend who came over in their vehicle and asked me to pop the hood so they could give my car a jump
- I popped the hood and passenger got it open saying it was hot (my dial read my engine was running cool not hot though I know you run a motor it will heat up as will the surrounding parts like the hood and sides)
- The friend got out the cables and asked for me to try starting it
- I turn the key and my car started right up with the hood up
- The friend followed me home as my passenger walked home (we live close to the other)
- Driving the short rest way home to my apartment there were, what I can only describe as hiccups from my engine as I drove and still smelled the weird hot smell (maybe rubber? I'm not sure what it was)
- Got window up and got back into my apartment

So, whoever happens to read this and knows anything about cars I'd like to know what your plausible theory is that might had caused her to do this. At the end of July 2015 I had a new Alternator and belt put in/on and within the 1st or 2nd week of August 2015 my car was revving when I turned it on and revving loudly inside to my ears while driving or just idling/after starting up (note I was not pushing on gas pedal when starting it). It was within that 1st or 2nd week of August the "Service Engine Soon" light came on but I was told, again, to ignore it because that light doesn't mean anything. (yet oddly enough every freaking time my car has died in a snap on me that light had been on for almost a month give or take each of these 6 times with the first and think second time/s happening late last year then a 2nd/3rd time was early this year in spring/summer and so on.)

I don't wish to insult the fine business that has done right by my family for years but this is getting ridiculous and very very frustrating. (Also because that new alternator cost over 400 bucks and I'm limited income, I can't afford a 50 dollar tow or 100 dollar tow every month or every other month or if it gets worse more than once a month due to the simple fact of road/bridge work forcing the tow driver to need to drive farther just to get to me to tow my car that died.)

Extra tiny notes that may not even apply to be a factor in with what's possibly going on:

- Since 2012 when I moved to my apartment my car keeps getting new dents and scratches in doors and on the sides and a couple times noticed new things to its front and backside. Not sure why this is but it's irritating but not too stressful (gotta get my car new paint as it peeling and the rusted areas taken care of someday)
- The sudden dying began in mid or late 2014
- The pattern of it dying happened only on the days where the temperature and feel like temperature were 80's or higher
- I don't have a habit of locking my doors (or not all of them) since I can see my car from my apartment window so I have no idea if anyone could put anything in it to cause what its doing
(I should lock my cars doors all of them but when one has a horrible phobia of bugs and bugs dive bombs one from the sky, unless there's another person around to keep said bugs from coming at one then it makes using the key quite difficult to unlock said door to get in)
- Earlier this year my hose for windshield wiper fluid looked like it'd been repeatedly stabbed by a needle it was so full of holes. The mechanic didn't know how that happened and said he had not seen something like that before (he replaced the hose for free)
- Mid 2015 when it died 2 times the mechanic that came to check it out told me he could not figure out what made it backfire the two times when he tried starting it or why it smelled like gas (would say he would need to get it to his shop and up to look at it yet when that happens my car starts right up like nothing is wrong)
- The mechanics hand held computer scanner thing (whatever that is that plugs into the car) continues to say "Gas cap is loose" or "Intake cap is loose" yet I am told by them and Autozone that result would not cause my car to do what it's doing (I'm starting to question that theory even though my gas cap latches on tight)
- Some point this year my RPM dial arm at times won't move while I'm driving and will just lay as though it's dead. Other times it will move normal then fall dead then move again and fall dead, alternating between working and not working
- On 9-26-15 the RPM dial arm somehow went all the way to the right and past the numbers to be pushing against the bottom where the cover is and looked like it might break (I was going about 45 mph or 50 mph I'm not a speed loving person) then after striking a large bump or pothole the dial arm managed to return to the left side where it normally stays and moved normal before falling dead on the left left

Okay going to end with a list of what has been common and consistent every single time it has lost power:

- Steering wheel tightens/stiffens up then feels like it has locked up
- Power drops in a snap of the fingers
- Battery light comes on
- Car slows to a crawl before eventually stops moving all together
- Gas pedal does absolutely nothing
- The "Service Engine Soon" light had been on prior for on average a month before the dying happens
- Before 9-27-15 of 6:50pm the temperatures outside when it would die were 80+ in actual and feel like
- Besides the first 2 incidents the rest have, luckily, happened after I've gotten back into the town I live in (nice thing its a small town)
- Before 9-27-15 there would be a hard shaking that would happen just before it'd kill itself
- Before 9-27-15 the dashboard and ac/vents would work after it died
- Before 9-27-15 I could turn the car over to its battery power when it would die
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