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Old 03-21-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
myolbug
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Default Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

98 SC2 Auto 150k (+-)

My wife was driving to work this morning when her car died while driving 70mph. She said that there was a clunk and it died. She waited 2-3 minutes and it started. She drove slowly and there weren't any sounds. When she put on the brakes, it died again and then after a few minutes it starts. It will idle for about a minute or so and then dies. No clunking, knocking grinding etc. Fuel pump whirs when the key is put to the on position.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

You'll need two people to test for spark the moment the engine dies. One to crank the engine and the other to remove the coil wires and watch for spark across the coil towers when the engine is cranking. A lack of spark on the coils usually means a crank position sensor (CPS) failure, intermittently according to your descriptions. Heat, cold, and normal engine vibrations takes a toll on cps'. The other possibility for spark failure is the ignition control module where the two ignition coils sit on. More cps' fail then ignition modules, two here on Saturnfans so far. Many many more cps's fail if you read past threads about them. The worst failures are the intermittent ones because they work just as you describe - the engine starts and runs perfectly, only to die at random anywhere and then start-up again. Most occurrences requires a cool down period before starting and driving only to have the engine die again someplace else. Testing for lack of spark on the ignition coils right at the moment the engine dies is the only way to catch the cps failing intermittently before it works again - spark returns. The cps is located above and behind the starter and mounted with one 10mm bolt. Buy it from any auto store stocking it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

The symptoms are similar to what I experienced with a failing alternator on another car.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

IT was the CPS. I had replaaced it once before, many miles ago. A small 1.4" drive socket and a ten mm is your fried!
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

Not the Coolant Sensor?

yet another shock for KCdave.

Thanks for posting the conclusion. I'm sure it will help me in the future.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:51 AM   #6
chingondearmona
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

Lets keep in mind that all emission sensors are crucial to the engine managment system, my brother was having the same symptom on his 91 chevy corsica, it would have lack of power, it was running hot because his radiator fan aint working, my guess he had a bad coolant sensor, i got a new coolant sensor on my saturn, fans turn on every single time now, also check your air intake sensor, if possible, best to invest in a new one
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

i have had the same problem and it was my ignition control module that is what i replaced and never had the problem again
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by myolbug View Post
A small 1.4" drive socket...
Sounds like an awfully big socket drive to me (and one that I don't think exists....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chingondearmona View Post
Lets keep in mind that all emission sensors are crucial to the engine managment system, my brother was having the same symptom on his 91 chevy corsica, it would have lack of power, it was running hot because his radiator fan aint working, my guess he had a bad coolant sensor, i got a new coolant sensor on my saturn, fans turn on every single time now, also check your air intake sensor, if possible, best to invest in a new one
Neither the ECTS, IAT, nor the CPS are emission sensors. They happen to improve emissions when they work properly, but they don't sense emissions (like, say the O2 sensors do), and they're used primarily to manage the engine for optimum performance.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Car dies Anyone help quick!!!

Wife was driving along in our 94 SL2 and just dead went pop and died waited abut 20 mins and off again no problem. I went to investigate, Statred her up and left home went to stop at a red light and dead. waited almost 30 mins thyen she started again. After a cpl of weeks of dealling with this and trying to figure it out gave up and went for some pro help. Was at the garage ten min when this old tech came out took off the vacum trio on top of the TB and picked this littlest pieace of plastic out and put her back together. Took my 20 dollar bill and I havn't had the issue again.
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