Please Help! Lack of Power and High RPMs
Hi everyone. I've got an '06 Commander V8 (not the Hemi) with 63,000 miles. Some time ago I was traveling for business and the car died. Diagnosis was a blown water pump that also destroyed the air filter. Many hours and hundreds of dollars later (what a waste of a business trip) the car was repaired by what AAA said was a reputable garage (Goodyear or Firestone, I don't recall which but it was one of the two).
As I drove the 2 1/2 hours home I obviously had the chance to get a good feel for how the car was behaving, and what I discovered was that the car had a lack of acceleration and high rpms. It basically sounded like a tractor trailer. Silly me, I actually assumed that either I had a faulty memory as to how my car ran before, or it was because of the repairs and would ultimately "settle in" and get back to normal. However, over time it's clear that the vehicle just isn't running right. Gas mileage has gone down considerably, it seems to shift gears at odd times, and the thing sounds like it's really struggling to keep up. It really does sound like a tractor trailer, with that unmistakable high whine. Now when I punch it the rpms sail towards the red line and it struggles to accelerate. In fact, it rides (and sounds) eerily similar to when I have to put the car in low 4wd to trudge through heavy snow. Very jerky, with high revs, almost as if it's stuck in the wrong gear.
I'm sorry if my explanation is less than ideal. Aside from changing my own oil and filter, I really don't have a mechanical bone in my body. I do know, however, that the vehicle is simply not running right, and before I take it in for service I was hoping that someone may have experience with a problem like this so I know what to possibly look for. Could this be a bad timing belt/chain? Could it be as simple as a bad air filter? I've got no dashboard lights lit so the computer doesn't seem to sense a problem, but clearly there's a problem.
Thanks for reading this long-winded thread and I truly appreciate any guidance any of you may have.