About three weeks ago, my wife and daughter stopped by my work to go to lunch with me. On the way back to drop me off, the gas pedal dropped to the floor and the car lost power and the engine went to back to idling speeds. I was able to get it to go a little bit (like 4 or 5 feet) by pushing the gas pedal down and then when I let off, I would get a little bit of power. I had to turn a corner and go up a hill and the little power I was getting wasn't enough to get it up the hill, so I had to get out and push the car by myself up the hill into a parking lot.
I called and got the car towed. The next day they said the problem was caused by the mass air flow sensor being screwed up ($470). Towing was $96.50. The car was at 89899 miles, so I told them to go ahead and do the 90,000 mile maintenance ($532.86). They also found that two tie rod ends needed replacing ($390.92) because the wheels could move a little bit without the steering wheel turning. While they were replacing the tie rod ends, they found all the struts were leaking and wanted to replace those (~$600). So with everything they were planning on doing it was looking at about $2400 + tax. When I picked it up they ended up charging just under $2300. It drove like it did about 6 or 7 years ago, lots of power, etc. Very nice.
Cut to Tuesday (2 days ago). My wife goes to the store that night to pick some stuff up and when she comes back tells me that something is wrong with the car. I take it out for a test drive and the car is shaking at idle and low speeds and during my 2-3 mile drive, the check engine light goes on. The smell of gas is very prevalent as well. So she drops me off at work with my car yesterday and I call to make an appointment for the car. At this point the car has 90010.4 miles on it. So we drive it over to the dealer to drop it off last night (it was quite cold) and the gas smell is now combined with exhaust smell and I had to drive there with all the windows down so I didn't pass out or throw up. When I stopped at a light I noticed that everything was foggy looking behind me. When I got there to drop the car off, I asked my wife if the vehicle was smoking and she said it was.
So now the car is there, again, awaiting more work. I really hope this time is something they screwed up on and will be free to fix.
This afternoon (about 30 minutes ago) I got the call from the mechanic. Apparently the car's brains shorted out and it was holding the injector open and just washing the cylinder with fuel. So that explains the smoking, the lack of power, and the smell of gas.
A new computer is going to be $506.51 and take 7-9 days to get here. Yay for me.