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Steve, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 32
Experience:  25+ Years Experience ,ASE Master Certified Technician, ASE Certified Service Consultant
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Mazda Tribute: accelerating..45 mph, it starts to get very rough..hill

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I just returned from a weekend trip, and my Mazda Tribute (auto transmission) is running very roughly. It does fine when accelerating from a stop, but when I get around 45 mph, it starts to get very rough. I can't get it to go much above 50, especially if there's ANY hill. The check engine light is also sporadically flashing when I reach the higher speeds. Any ideas what's wrong?
The check light flashing indicates that catalytic converter damage may result with continued driving, so I would limit any driving until the problem is fixed. As for what might be causing the problem, you'll need to retrieve the fault codes from the computer, and perform the test procedure for those codes. Common issues that are likely would be, cylinder misfire's related to bad spark plugs, and ignition coils. When the engine misfires, the raw gas goes through the catalytic converter, which then overheats, which can cause premature failure. By the way I have seen several of these( Ford Escape) with bad catalytic converters, causing a lack of power issue. Any engine misfires will cause a lack of power issue, and any ignition problem( spark plugs or coils ) will be magnified as the engine load increases, such as going uphill.
I hope this was helpful.
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