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1994 Olds 3.8L


hollgler's Avatar
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07-04-03, 06:54 AM   #1  
hollgler
1994 Olds 3.8L stalling

My Olds is doing some strange things. It runs and drives great in the mornings or in cool weather. When it is hot its a different story. After driving a while at road speed it suddenly starts sputtering, will not accelerate, and then stalls. After waiting about 3 minutes it restarts. I run 2 to 3 miles and we start over. Sometimes the problem just goes away. The problem is not occuring all the time, but is occuring more frequently. This car has 208,000 miles on it. It has been maintained perfectly, its like a religion with me.


Last edited by hollgler; 07-04-03 at 07:26 AM.
 
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Joe_F's Avatar
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07-04-03, 07:03 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Next time it happens, test for spark and/or fuel (or lack thereof). Print out my "the Basics" below and take it to the car with you when it happens.

 
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07-04-03, 07:37 AM   #3  
hollgler
Olds 94 3.8L

I have checked about everything I can think of. I have performed my own maintenance sice the car was new. This problem has me stumped. I have had a diagnostic check and they were unable to find the problem. Its like its there, then its gone. It seems that this failure should show up, whatever it is.

 
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07-04-03, 07:47 AM   #4  
Sounds like it might be the trans control module, does the car feel like a manual transmission and you're starting off in 3rd or 4th gear.

 
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07-04-03, 08:17 AM   #5  
hollgler
No. The trans operates as it should. Yesterday afternoon it started again. This time I shut off the cruise control. It sputtered one more time and then ran great the rest of the way home. Is there some kind of sensor involved? Was this just a fluke?

 
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07-04-03, 08:21 AM   #6  
Joe_F
Again, when the car stalls, you say you have to wait 3 minutes for it to restart. why? Should start right up again.

If you crank it, you should have spark and fuel. Betcha you're lacking of those when this happens. Could be a lot of "sensors" causing the problem, will get costly to fix if you guess.

 
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07-04-03, 08:39 AM   #7  
hollgler
Joe,

Since the professional diagnostics could find nothing, What should I do from here? I will check the fuel and spark again. You say there are many sensors that could cause this problem. Wouldn't something show up during the diagnostics? Since this is a 94 model it does not record everything in the computer. Code reader shows nothing out of the ordinary.

 
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07-04-03, 09:07 AM   #8  
Joe_F
No, not true. There are functions the computer DOES NOT control and wouldn't show up unless good old fashioned checks were done.

Again, vehicles need fuel, air, and spark to run. If you lack any of those three at the right time, you're not going anywhere fast .

Do as instructed the next time it happens to you and let's see what we have.

Another possibility. When the car is running tap on the mass air flow sensor with the back of a screwdriver handle. If the car chuggless and stalls, you've found the problem. Common on some GM cars.

 
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07-04-03, 12:49 PM   #9  
I agree with Joe.. When it quite, check the basics.. And when he says tap, he means tap, not wack, hammer, slap the tar outa..Most are made of plastic, and get brittle with age.. Seen many people crack them because they beat on it like they're killing snakes..

 
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07-07-03, 06:19 PM   #10  
hollgler
All,

Well, after looking all day Friday, Found Nothing. Took it to a professional "garage". They did a diagnosis and found nothing. A young shadetree mechanic happened by Saturday and ask if he could look at it... Of course I said yes. HE FOUND THE PROBLEM. Actually 2 of them. 1. A vacuum line from the engine to the firewall was leaking. 2. One of the coil packs had a little crack in it. I fixed the line, replaced the coil pack and then replaced all the ignition wires and plugs. (Just to be safe.)

Happy to announce all is OK.

Thanks for your help. This site is great.

 
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07-08-03, 07:41 AM   #11  
Hollgler, glad you found the problem and got it fixed. I would suggest you change all your vacuum lines now as they seem to wear out or split at the same time. It's a cheap preventive measure.

 
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07-08-03, 11:56 AM   #12  
redneck
Good going! If it were me (I get frustrated easily) I would have figured at 200K I got my $ out if it and unloaded it!

 
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