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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.
 

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First I would do is swing by an auto part store like AutoZone and have them pull for codes and see what they get. I'm not sure how a bad water pump messed up your air filter either. It is weird to have no lights on with such a problem but it doesn't mean there are no codes. Unless the the water pump you have now is ceasing up or something was not put on correctly it shouldn't cause such an issue. I can think of a few things that could cause the problem but all would be guesses. The trans could of overheated when the pump failed causing damage or sending it into limp mode. Not sure if the trans will come out of limp mode on its own or that needs to be done with the scanner that could be one likely cause. Limp mode is a vary harsh shifting program for the trans it won't feel normal at all and yes RPM's would be high before a shift is done. Sounds like you diffidently need a scanner hooked up. I guess you can try to reset the computer your self it couldn't hurt but get your computer scanned first so you don't erase any codes.
 

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Thanks for the comment SAL. I guess no one else has ever experienced or heard of this problem. I might run over to Auto Zone this weekend to see if they'd run a scan for me. Is this something they routinely do for free? What a great service if so.
 

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Honestly, since it's not something you're going to fix yourself, i'd go straight to the mechanic. Save yourself the trip.

The reason you haven't gotten many replies on this issue is because there aren't any smoking guns.... and certain stuff just doesn't add up (like a blown water pump ruining an air filter... doesn't happen).

Your driveability issues could be as simple as the tech didn't plug a sensor back in, or it could be damage caused from overheating... but the lack of a check engine light or any dashboard warnings throws another question mark into the equation that truly makes it impossible to help diagnose over the internet. I would really need to poke around the engine bay, take it for a test dive and hook up my scanner to get an idea on what's going on....

edit: and another reason i say to skip autozone is that the tech will want to check codes for himself, not look at something written on a piece of paper. You really are better off leaving any and all codes in the computer for the tech to see first hand.
 

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Possibly: lack of power, sounds like a semi = plugged catalytic converter. If it got too hot, this could fry the insides and plug your exhaust, building up back pressure. :eek:rangehat:
 

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Unfortunately, a water pump that comes apart so bad that it takes out the air filter, sound like its possible your problem is engine damage.

Loose the water pump and the motor will overheat, and if it overheats bad enough, it can cause engine damage. Warped heads, blown headgaskets, broken rings, bad seals, cooked exhaust, cooked catalytic converter, clogged catalytic converter, etc.

If the air filter housing got destroyed, dirt could have gotten in the motor and done some damage, unless you were driving in extroidinarily dusty conditions I doubt that would be possible in the short time you would have driven without an air filter. I think it would be more likely that fragements from all that stuff coming apart could have been sucked down the motor.

Finally, and lets hope, it might be simply the repair tech forgot to hook back up a sensor, or a coincidence that you suffer another engine problem just as you got the water pump/air filter fixed.
 
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