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Old 12-21-2007, 01:00 AM   #1
snostorm
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Default Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Hey guys, I have a question. The other day I was driving on the interstate when all of a sudden my car starts to start stalling. When I left off the gas it would run normally, but every time I got back on the gas it would start stalling. Eventually it quit running completely. The car will start fine, but after a few seconds of high idle, the idle drops and eventually stops running. Still, the same thing happens when it does run, as soon as i step on the gas it dies instantly. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this? I thought water in the gas as I had just gotten gas soon before the incident. I put heet in the tank and there has been no change. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Year and model?

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

I want to say something fuel system related. however check your spark plugs and make sure they are nice and pretty. you could have a clogged fuel filter. however you did not post your Vitals! so i cant tell you how much it would cost to get a new one.

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

This is exactly what happened when my fuel filter was filled with junk on my 1980 Corolla.

Gassing it would stir up the junk getting it stuck to the fuel filter until the engine would die. Stopping the engine would let the junk fall down unclogging the filter. Restart the engine and try to drive the car again, and the process repeats.

So I'm going to agree with rc1488 here and go with the fuel filter.

Can you get a pressure gauge to connect to the scrader valve and watch the fuel pressure fluctuate while you gas it from the engine compartment? I mean, do you still experience this problem when you're in neutral not driving the car?

I'm guessing that what you'll see is that the fuel pressure is fine until you gas it. Then you'll see the fuel pressure suddenly drop when it should remain at full pressure.

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Classic symptom of a severe exhaust restriction, typically a clogged catalytic converter. Put on a work glove, start the engine and idle it, and try to put your gloved hand over the tailpipe. There should be enough exhaust pressure to blow your hand off the pipe. If you're able to overcome the exhaust pressure, it's probably restricted.

Next test is the "tracheotomy" test - remove the front oxygen sensor from the exhaust manifold. This allows the exhaust to breathe out through the little bung hole. It'll be louder than King Crimson playing at a Ramones memorial, but start it up and drive it a SHORT while, as long as you can stand it, but try at least to re-create the circumstances in which you found the power suffering. If this test helps, that points the finger at a clogged cat.

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

I heard that the 3rd gens have can have problems with the clogged cat. I hope for your sake its not ($$$) but check butt pipe and let us know.

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Old 12-21-2007, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Sorry I forgot about the details...duh on my part. I have a 99 SL2 with 70K miles on it. I will check on the above mentioned this weekend and I'll see what happens. Thanks guys.

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Old 01-10-2008, 09:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

An update, I removed the O2 sensor over the weekend, it is still doing the same thing, it will initially start, rpm's generally jump to around 2000, then it will die. Should my next step be to replace the filter since that should be the easiest and cheapest?

Is it possible it is electrical, being the computer or some other relay or some other component causing the issue. This problem is rather annoying since it is hard to pinpoint. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-10-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

On my Saturn it has never happen, but on my Datsun 280 it was a regular happening. BAD AIR MASS METER! The car starts and idles fine. As soon as you try to give it any gas, it just dies. There is a variable resister attached to the air flap door on the mass meter. When you open the throttle body, the air being sucked in is metered by the flapper door. On a bad air mass meter, the door is telling the PCM that there is no gain in air intake while your dumping fuel into the cylinders. It will idle fine because there is a by-pass port on the door for idling and doesn't use the variable resister in the circuit for idling. A easy way to check it is: start the car, let it idle. Take the intake hose off the meter and play with the flapper door. If you can open and close the flapper door while the car is idling and nothing is happing to your fuel mix the meter is bad. If it's good and you force the door open, the car will stall.

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Old 01-10-2008, 11:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

do the fuel filter first and then report back. one thing out of the equation(check off)

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Old 01-10-2008, 11:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

I need to correct myself: With a bad air mass meter, when you open the TB you getting tons of air but the PCM thinks you idling. The end result is lots of air with no fuel. The bottom line is, play with the flapper door to see if it has any effect on the fuel mix while idling.

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Old 01-10-2008, 11:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevestar99 View Post
On my Saturn it has never happen, but on my Datsun 280 it was a regular happening. BAD AIR MASS METER!
The S-Series doesn't have one.

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Old 01-11-2008, 12:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevestar99 View Post
I need to correct myself: With a bad air mass meter, when you open the TB you getting tons of air but the PCM thinks you idling. The end result is lots of air with no fuel. The bottom line is, play with the flapper door to see if it has any effect on the fuel mix while idling.
I had a 280-Z and the correct name is 'air flow meter', containing a flapper door that rotates a pot and closes a micro switch for the fuel pump. First generation EFI system but no similarity to the throttle body or the mass air flow (MAF) sensor. Maf sensors are completely different as they don't have a spring loaded flapper valve and a potetiometer. The maf sensor uses a wheatstone bridge circuit with the main part made up of a heating element that glows a dull red in the middle of the tube-like housing. As air flows through to cool off the element, the electronics tries to maintain the current/voltage keeping the element at a pre-determined level. This change in voltage is compared to the static voltage when no air flows and is termed a differential voltage that the ECM uses to find the fuel map for the right air/fuel ratio. I believe the problem you had with the engine dying is caused by the fuel pump switch that needed just a little 'tweak' to keep the switch closed as soon as the throttle was opened. Guess how I know?

My apologies to the OP as the post from stevestar99 needed correction so there will be less confusion.

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Last edited by fdryer; 01-11-2008 at 12:05 AM..

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Old 01-11-2008, 12:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

The S-Series doesn't have a MAF sensor either.

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Old 01-11-2008, 02:28 AM   #15
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Have you checked to see if the IAC, Idle Air Control, is working? I had a very similar problem on my 305 throttle body. The IAC was so gummed up it would hardly move. Its worth a shot.

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Old 01-11-2008, 02:36 AM   #16
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Checkered Flag Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Any SES codes?

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Old 01-11-2008, 08:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

Quote:
Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
...Should my next step be to replace the filter since that should be the easiest and cheapest?
No. The easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to spend about $15 on a fuel pressure gauge. This will allow you to find out if the problem is in the fuel system, which it probably is. If it does show up as a fuel delivery problem then you are faced with a filter, regulator, or a pump. If fuel pressure shows fine, then you are likely looking at an ignition module or sensor (map) problem. There are diagnostic techniques for these as well as all of your components.

You might get lucky by replacing the fuel filter, but what if that doesn't fix it? Where do you go from there? Just continue to throw parts at it until you get to the right part? That's can be a very expensive diagnostic method if you are not lucky.

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Old 01-11-2008, 08:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

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Just continue to throw parts at it until you get to the right part? That's can be a very expensive diagnostic method if you are not lucky.
Sounds just like what a lot of garage/dealership mechanics do nowdays. Now there are some good ones out there, just getting less and less. The consumer ends up being the unlucky one.

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Old 01-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #19
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Sounds just like what a lot of garage/dealership mechanics do nowdays. ..
I'll admit that such a practice does occur even with professional technicians. But the consumer should not pay for service not delivered. If you take your car in for a specific problem, you are paying for expertise to fix the problem. If the problem is not fixed, you don't pay. It's not your fault that the technician isn't qualified or is too lazy to proficiently practice his craft. You pay for a diagnosis and repair. If the diagnosis is bad, then something that didn't need fixing got fixed and you still have a problem. I don't know why people accept this.

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Old 01-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Car stalled and dies when pressing on gas pedal

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I'll admit that such a practice does occur even with professional technicians. But the consumer should not pay for service not delivered. If you take your car in for a specific problem, you are paying for expertise to fix the problem. If the problem is not fixed, you don't pay. It's not your fault that the technician isn't qualified or is too lazy to proficiently practice his craft. You pay for a diagnosis and repair. If the diagnosis is bad, then something that didn't need fixing got fixed and you still have a problem. I don't know why people accept this.
Personally, I think it's a fine line the pros have to walk and I can argue it either way. When the vast majority of the time a particular problem is one thing, if you spend the time it takes to verify that's what it is this time, then you have to charge more to fix it because of the extra time to everybody. If you go ahead and do the repair and you're wrong, you only charge the one guy that actually has a different problem. You also have the situation where the cost of doing the dianostic is equivalent to replacing the part.

When it's DIY, the cost of time is a lot less of a factor. So, there it always makes sense to do as much diagnosis as possible.

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