Weird ignition problem in 96 Cutlass Supreme.


Old 11-26-05, 02:21 PM
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Weird ignition problem in 96 Cutlass Supreme.

This is long and boring so listen up: I have a 1996 cutlass supreme with a 3.1 type M 6 cylinder engine. The car is a heap of crap, and is constantly finding new and improved ways of making my life miserable. This time, it's reached a vast and complex height of torture.

Last week, I was driving along, happy as could be, when the car started stuttering at about 45 MPH. As I took my foot off the gas, I noticed the engine starting to stall, and as I pulled over, the engine did in fact stall. Thankfully, I was right next to an exit ramp and was able to pull over. After about 15 minutes the car started again, the engine was shaky but stabilized, and I was on my way.

A few days later, I like a jerk took the car on a long drive and got stuck about75 miles away from my house and had to be towed. I've already made up my mind to buy another car, but I'd at least like to get this thing functional again - so here goes:

-As previously stated, the car can stall at high speeds.
- When the car stalls, trying to start it again produces a very rough and violent idle, which stalls after about 15 seconds.
- Trying to start it again gets brief ignition and then a stall.
- Trying after that gets nothing.
- After waiting two or more hours, the car starts, runs perfectly for a little while, and then stalls inexplicably while in motion, leaving you at step 2 above.

- I hooked up an OBD scanner to the computer and got three trouble codes - engine misfire, EGR flow insuffiicient, and HO2 sensor no activity. I tested the three ignition coil packs with an Ohmmeter, and they come out ok (although I'm not sure if that's the only way to check if they work or not). As far as I've researched, the EGR valve and O2 sensor wouldn't create the described effect. I changed the plugs and wires, the car runs better when it runs, but still stalls.
- I've had people tell me it's the fuel pump, but that wouldn't explain why the problem is intermittent.
- I've tried doing a couple of test drives and stalls to recall any more trouble or diagnostic codes, but I've had no luck.

What should I be looking for? I'm going crazy!
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Old 11-26-05, 02:38 PM
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You don't have enemies or mischievious kids or neighbor kids who put something in the tank? An object in the tank can take a while to migrate to the pickupin the tank and then finally start starving the engine. Once the car stops the object moves away from the pick up area some. Etc.

Also, water in the gas could come and go, away from the pickup area as water sinks to the bottom.

Do you have individual port fuel injection or throttle body injection on this car?

A collapsing cat could maybe cause such a thing - maybe.

The egr valve?: Are you SURE that if it is stuck someway and the damper? control in them, or whatever, isn't freely operational and killing the exhaust? I am not sure on this one but just tossing it out there. A quick call to a friendly parts store could answer you this, perhaps. I have done this many times as we have some pretty smart guys who work at them and some are ex certified garage mechanics.

How would the engine behave on up hill acceleration?

Have you allowed the car to freewheel to isolate possibly locking up caliper and have you ever gone out after the the car quits and make sure that the bearings of the wheels are not getting hot, causing increased load on the engine, thus altering possilby the fuel mix ratios weird and other associated problems from the car not able to power it's way forward easily if it has a drag on it?

And does this car/engine have a service record for doing this with these fleet vehicles? Like from some weird quirk where the fuel lines get hot and cause expansion and vapor lock or something? Have you modified anything with the engine in any way, ever?

Maybe you have a computer malfunction in the way of the oxygen fuel ratio balancing of the injection system, that perhaps cnages something internally due to heat, expansion of a part or sire contacts?

I would run some of these possible theories, along with your car/engine to the parts guys, like I said.

Just thoughts.
Old 11-28-05, 09:05 PM
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Just a wild guess, but pos a cam or crank sensor?

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