: 2000 Escalade engine "chokes" with throttle opened

Neil L
03-24-09, 05:07 PM
I wanted to make this a short and to the point question, but I don't think I can convey the symptoms well if I don't give plenty of detail. So...this is the wife's Escalade that she drives daily to work. Last week after an automatic car wash, as she drove out of the wash bay, she noticed the engine would "choke" if she depressed the throttle much at all. The 'lade would hardly get out of it's own way, but it would idle just fine. She drove to her fathers (about 1 mile from the car wash) and he told her something probably got wet, so they let it idle in the driveway for half and hour or more and then went out for a test drive. Still wouldn't accelerate or climb hills or anything that required an open throttle. They could pick up whatever speed could be attained without opening the throttle. They also discovered that if the engine would be shut off, and then restarted they would have full power with an open throttle for a couple of minutes. By the time she got home with it, the "service engine soon" light was on.

Well, the next day we took it to our mechanic (not a dealer), and he ran diagnostics and didn't get any codes. I told him the symptoms and suggested that it seemed that some kind of electronic engine management system might have gotten wet and shorted out at the car wash. But as most doctors and mechanics will do, he just blew that off, because I'm no mechanic and what do I know? So he checked the fuel filter and said it looked clogged. So he replace the fuel filter, put a bottle of fuel treatment in the tank and went for a test drive. He said he drove about 10 miles without any problem, and the "service engine soon" light went off, and stayed off. So he thought he had found the problem and fixed it.

The wife drove home from the shop (about 3 miles) without any trouble. We were to leave late that very afternoon on a 250 mile round trip weekend, so we drove over to her parents before leaving town (about 5 miles from our house). Before we got to their house, we were having the same symptoms as before. But we set out on our weekend trip anyway. We made the trip OK, because I would drive along for two or three minutes and whenever I was going to need power to climb a hill, pass a car or even just maintain 70 mph, I would put the trans in neutral, shut the engine off and coast for about five seconds, restart the engine and drive for the next few minutes. I could apply very light throttle and slowly build up speed to about 40-45 mph, but beyond that I would have to shut the engine off and restart to reset whatever is messed up. Drove that way for the entire 250 miles of the weeked trip.

Before I go back to our mechanic (or the dealer) I would like to have some ideas from you good folks about what is going on here. Any ideas? Is there something I can check, or even replace myself that could cause this kind of behavior? Or do I need to just go straight to the dealer and have them figure it out?

03-24-09, 06:13 PM
I ALWAYS avoid the dealer when possible. If the service engine light came on, then there should have been a code that made that happen.
I had a similar problem with another vehicle, and it turned out to be a fuel regulator.
The actual fault codes would prove to be very helpful Is the engine light still on???

Neil L
03-24-09, 09:33 PM
No, the "service engine" light went off after replacing the fuel filter and has not come back on since. We've driven about 270 miles since the filter replacement.