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Old 06-18-2007, 02:08 PM   #1
Amp67
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Dizzy sudden stall on the highway

A very strange thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago when driving home from work on a hot day. While on the freeway, I completely lost power, without warning during normal cruising. I looked down and found the instrument cluster completely dead, no lights either, also, the radio went dead. I coasted to the shoulder in neutral, turned the key to the OFF position momentarily, and then to the RUN position. All normal lights came on, and engine started fine. The lower engine speed that eventually learned it way to the correct speed tells me the ECU had a reset, like a battery loss of power. Further all the radio station preset stations were gone, just like a battery loss of power. As far as work done on the car, I just replaced the starter and battery. I am trying to rationalize what could have caused this to happen. I can only think that a momentary short circuit occurred, that killed power to the radio and ECU. However, I donít see any blown fuses. Another possibility is that a ground connection common to the battery and alternator momentarily became open. Any ideas?

Not even a hint of this issue has recurred. Maybe I should forget it, ignorance is bliss, right?

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

Double check your connections on the starter and battery you replaced recently to rule out a loose connection.

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

I experienced the exact same problem.

After the shutdown, the car seemed to have a cold for a week. It was idling high, lacked some power and was running very strange. But it gradually got better, and by the end of the week it was fine again.

Turned out it was the alternator. It probably shorted out momentarily or something causing the computer to reset loosing all it's data.

Haven't had any such problems since the alternator was replaced with a new one that had a lifetime warranty.

We took out the old one and had them test it at Kragen and their machine said it was faulty. It was still under warranty, so we got a refund and used the money to pay for the new one and had to pay only $20 extra.

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

This happened to me once. The only difference is that in my case, it went from happening once to happening every few minutes. It turned out to be an internal short in the battery. The battery was only a couple months old and cranked fine. You might get your battery checked and make sure your grounds are clean.

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

By the way, my bad alternator was new. That's why I opted for the one with the lifetime warranty rather than continuing to save $20.

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Old 06-18-2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

Cps ....

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

How on EARTH could a bad CPS cause the instrument cluster, the radio, et al, to fail?

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Old 06-19-2007, 01:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

Practically the same thing happened to me one day too.

Everything went dead in my car, out of nowhere, turned out it was the alternator.

Here's the link to my old forum topic, when I had the issue. Maybe you can match up the problems you've had to see if they match each other.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98262

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Old 06-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #9
Amp67
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

CPS doesn't seem like a reasonable source, since the radio went dead momentarily.

I have checked my battery and starter wiring, no problems, everything is tight. I made sure to clean the connections.

As far as a wire coming loose, it would have to be the V+ wire from the battery to the fuse panel close by. A momentary open circuit there would kill power to the radio and ECU, I think.

Momentary short in either the NEW battery or the ORIGINAL alternator seems another possibility.

Based on the previous post, perhaps that 12 year alterntor is on its last leg. I might consider preemptively replacing it. Is an OEM one still the way to go from Saturnparts.net?

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Old 06-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amp67 View Post
Is an OEM one still the way to go from Saturnparts.net?
I say get the cheapest one with a lifetime warranty from a large reputable company that'll back up that warranty. Then keep the receipt in your glove box with your registration.

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Old 06-21-2007, 01:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway

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Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
Then keep the receipt in your glove box with your registration.
Keep the receipt in your glove box with your owner's manual and other receipts. NEVER put the registration in the glove box.
* If the car is stolen, the thief won't be able to convince the cop that he's "uh, borrowing the car from my friend <read name on registration>"
* If you do get pulled over, from a safety standpoint, the cop would much prefer you not have to reach into the glove box to produce the registration

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Old 06-24-2007, 10:01 PM   #12
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Happy Re: sudden stall on the highway --FIXED

PROBLEM SOLVED, and it cost $0.58. It turns out that the positive terminal bolt on the battery was intermittently opening. I noticed it was stripped a little but since it felt snug, I didn't bother fixing it. When I removed it, I saw a hot spot where the connection probably welded itself closed. I can only imagine that the open circuit closing suddenly was enough to load down the alternator momentarily, long enough to drop voltage to the ECU and radio, etc. Anyhow, now it works like a charm, thanks to all that chimed in!

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Old 06-25-2007, 07:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: sudden stall on the highway --FIXED

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amp67 View Post
PROBLEM SOLVED, and it cost $0.58. It turns out that the positive terminal bolt on the battery was intermittently opening. I noticed it was stripped a little but since it felt snug, I didn't bother fixing it. When I removed it, I saw a hot spot where the connection probably welded itself closed. I can only imagine that the open circuit closing suddenly was enough to load down the alternator momentarily, long enough to drop voltage to the ECU and radio, etc. Anyhow, now it works like a charm, thanks to all that chimed in!
take a good look at that bolt and terminal again and make sure it isn't getting slowly corroded(leaking).

I had this same sort of problem once, found that one of the plug wires was just resting on it's coil, right around the same time I found that the Neg. cable had a nice hidden spot on it that had rubbed through to the wire just enough to be a pain......fixed both problems and haven't had it happen again.

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