Micra 98 Auto engine issue

Hi all.

My Micra 98 auto randomly couldn’t get up to speed yesterday. It started up absolutely fine. Pulled off fine. Few meters up the road, the engine started making what I can only describe as a growling noise plus it felt like something was holding it back, pulling, it couldn’t get up to speed but all of a sudden, after pulling over, it drove fine. It’s happened four times. All after the engine has been switched off for a while. So, I took it to my local Halfords as they do all the work on my car. It didn’t do it once on the way there! It didn’t do it when they took it on a test drive nor did it do it on the way home. I looked an absolute idiot. They looked bewildered. I took the car out today, exactly the same thing happened as I pulled into the next street from mine. I pulled over as someone in a lovely new car was tail gating me. Pulled off, not a problem.

Any ideas please? My autistic son is so in love with his little snot rocket (the car) so I’d hate to have to get rid of it. I don’t mind paying out on it as he’s so dependent & pretty much in love with it.

Thank you all.
 
How far are you driving when it does happen?

One time something like this happened to me, I'd driven about 7 miles and joined a motorway when it wouldn't accelerate past 50, i dropped down a gear and got it up to 50, i dropped down again to try to go faster and by this time even with my foot on the floor I couldn't get it to go above 50 in 3rd gear, so I pulled over. Opened the bonnet, it smelled very hot, followed my nose and found something in the right hand side, but couldn't tell what it was that was hot. Only after standing back away from it did I realise that it was actually the wheel that was smoking hot because the brake caliper had heated up and binded and once it binded that only generated more heat which made the problem worse by expanding and putting the brakes on harder. Once it had cooled down again (on the back of a tow truck) the brakes released on their own, mechanic couldn't find anything wrong (went to 2 places) and they said it was fine but it kept happening. In the end I just had them replace the front 2 calipers and then that same year it failed the MOT for low braking effort on the rear so those got replaced too. not had any issues since.

I'd try to rule out this problem first. If it's happening from being parked up maybe the brakes aren't releasing fully and the growling is the engine trying to fight against the brakes, if this happens the problem only gets worse as things heat up. Next time it does it after you've been driving for a while just put your hand near the metal part of the wheel and see if it feels hot, don't burn yourself though
 
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