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Idle or Stalling Problems - All Vehicles

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  • this is an automatic? Maybe your torque converter clutch is locked up?
  • yes an automatic
  • Your transmission's lock up torque converter clutch may not be releasing. This is essentially the same problem as if you tried to stop a manual transmission car without pushing in the clutch pedal.
  • Rundown.

    Car starts OK but stalls sometimes when put into drive, usually after sitting overnight. May or may not stall again during the day at stop signs. Happens in summer and winter. Recently, it idles rough erratically.

    Just had crankshaft position sensor and camshaft sensor changed to the tune of $458. Didn't work. Read lots and lots of forums about PCM tricks and O2 sensors. I just don't know where to go from here.

    I am a car repair novice. What can I do to check out some other things? I am willing to tinker to death and get dirty but don't have a lot of tools.

    Jeep has been in the shop three times for the same problem. They can't isolate it and there are no error codes. It's getting expensive to guess.

    If anyone has a suggestion for a novice, please let me know. Jeep has 194 K miles but it's how I get to work every day. Thank you.
  • I have a 96 pontiac sunfire, 2.2 L engine with 110,000 miles. It will start up perfectly fine from a cold state, but doesn't like to start when the engine is warm.

    When I try to start the engine while warm, it will turn over normally but it won't fire. When the car does eventually fire, the engine will catch, shudder and chug as if it is not getting enough gas. Then the car will jerk and stall out.

    If I press the gas pedal when the engine fires, I can push through the chugging, stuttering stage and the engine will stay running but the idle will be very rough.

    If I let the car sit for couple hours after it was warmed up, (so the engine is cool again) it will start up normally.

    I have had new plugs and wires installed.
    Fuel pump tested o.k.
    Fuel Filter replaced.
    Crank shaft sensor replaced.
    I had the entire fuel system and spark plugs thouroughly cleaned.
    No sensor lights are on.

    I have invested over $1000 in the car and it still has this problem. Does anyone know what is going on? I would really appreciate any input as I am really not in a situation where I can afford to buy a new car.

    Thanks so much!

    -Kelly
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Have you replaced/cleaned your idle air controller? If not you may want to try that next as it's inexpensive to do.
  • ramman8ramman8 Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me what I can do to diagnose a stalling problem with my 94 Olds. When you first start it up it will idle fine, but once you touch the accelerator it will act as if it isn't getting any fuel and then finally die. I replaced the fuel filter, checked the output volume of the fuel pump which was fine(putting out 2 1/2 pints in 15 seconds). The last time a ran the car it was acting like it was trying to backfire thru the throttle body. This car has just turned over 100,000 miles, any help would be appreciated.
  • kingavykingavy Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Pontiac Sunfire Gt 2.3L....this car has been a huge problem ever since I bought it except now it got a lot worse. All of the sudden the other day my check engine light comes on with codes for a MAP sensor, O2 sensor, and fuel burning too lean. Right after the light came on, the car started running really rough. The O2 sensor code had already come up before but I had it replaced so it's only a month old. I just replaced the MAP sensor the other day. The car accelerates a little better but still way too sluggish. I'm not sure if it's misfiring but the engine seems to surge and vibrate rough when idling at a stop light. I also had a friend replace the spark plugs and while we were doing it we noticed one of the boots was taped to the cover, one of them was stuck inside the cover, and the other 2 were suctioned to the spark plugs. I'm guessing the guy who owned it last just rigged it so he didn't have to spend a small amount of money on boots or plug wires. Now I get about 5 miles to the gallon and sometimes the engine "surges" so rough that it feels like it wants to take off while i'm sitting at a stop light. A sudden powerful thrust. If anyone can help me i'd appreciate it greatly. Oh yeah, I can also smell gas burning strong.....i don't know if that means its rich or something.
  • ernesttternesttt Posts: 2
    this is an update to my post about my car here the 90 maxima. i put the car in the shop and it was diagenostic checked witch showed the temp sensor was bad and the timeing belt jumped time .replaced both and the pig tail to connect to the temp sensor and the car runs fine .
  • Try Cleaning the EGR VALVE
  • Make sure that the intake hose has no leaks, the hose that had the mass air flow sensor on it. I ounce had a escort Gt with a crack in that hose, i duck taped it up, stopped the problem., it was doing the same thing.. chugging.. lagging, it will run very bad.
  • Try checking out the Mass Air Flow sensor, or even the air filter. To test it start the vehicle and unplug it if it does not make a differnece it is probably not working.
  • The Coil Pack could be malfunctioning... these may work in the cold but when they heat up will not work... just an idea.
  • I have a sensor an obo 2 diagnostic unit, My 99 bonny se said it was the mass air flow , and they have a cleaner that you can use to help if it is just dirty, and you won't maybe be able to see any dirt it's micro, it helped me some but now I am moving on to the EGR sensor and if it's not that I mwas told it might be the air vacume canister , I don't know where it is but if u you look up bonny scymantics you should locate it I hope it works for me. By the way to find your mass air flow unit just folow from your air filter to where there is no more rubber , take it off and spray it will be about 4 to 5 inches around , where you take it off it should be easy and the car should be cool when you do it or you will burn...auto101
  • 1xonly1xonly Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    Have 94 Buick Lesbra Limited 3.8 engine 149,053 miles car runs great but stalls while driving, always start right up again. Change PVC valve, oxygen sensor, throttle position sensor, spark plugs and wires, air filter, cleaned throttle body put under diagnostic could not find bad code. Believed to be electrical but don't know what.
  • It sounds like a possible combustion problem, but I would start looking into the fuel pump , or system in general , does your car have a fuel regulator for pressure? If it does your normal box parts store might be able to help locate it and check it, I have had to by a pressure check , it was 23 dollars, that if you can't find one...
  • Did you ever figure out what it was? I am having the same problem, same car.
  • beckygrbeckygr Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 probe when it is first driven when cold it runs fine. The longer i drive it the more it misses and cuts in and out. Did a tune-up on it 3 weeks ago and it ran great for about a week and now it is right back to the way it was running before the tune-up...Any suggestions on what this could be. Also the check engine light comes on and goes off at various times..HELP!!!!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    EGR problems? Has those kinds of symptoms.
  • 91 S10 Blazer Sport, auto, 4X4, 4.3L TBI. 189000 miles. No trouble codes. Code 12 only. Recent post #171 in Chev. Blazer forum. No response. Guess no one is interested in dinosaurs. Since that post have learned more how to use scanner. The O2 sensor generates abt. .550v max. at idle. and does not reach necessary .620 [for closed loop in this engine] until operating at 2000 or more RPM for close to one minute. In city driving it rarely meets this condition so remains in open loop most of the time. I think this explains excess fuel and stalling at sudden deceleration. Much to rich in open loop. Runs great on the interstate and gets 22mpg there. Could be the exhaust gas not hot enough at low speed, for the O2, but cannot find why. The O2 is new [ third one ] , MAP new and test normal. Coolant sensor new and changed twice. Thermostat as well [ 195F]. EGR is new. Vacuum abt. 16 at idle abt. 22 at 2000RPM. Does have a little jitter. Should not be necessary but I am tempted to change to a heated O2. Might solve the immediate problem but may be a crutch. Hope one of you Super techs can solve where four shops and I have failed. I love this old lady.
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