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Old 10-12-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
jardner2
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Default Is this even possible?

So yesterday my 99 sc2, 117,000, starting shaking and bucking real bad on the way home from work. I was able to pull off the road and the engine puttered and died. If I gave it gas I could restart it and as long as I kept giving it gas it would continue to run. But the idle was rough (if it would idle at all) and it bucked and rumble like a cheap vibrating bed in a old hotel. Rather than risk it in traffic I had it towed to a shop. Closest one was a place I'd never been. They looked it over and called me with a laundry list of things.

TPS
EGR
both O2 sensors
spark plugs (they were replaced at 99,000)

and recommended

fuel filter
fuel service
air filter
belt
coolant flush

Now, I can do every one of the things they listed, so there is NO way I'd pay them $1000.00 to $1500.00 for this work!
My questions are;
1. Could all these things cause smoking out the tailpipe? It has been smoking lately (more than the usual oil burning) and I've had a shop check the head gasket and they said it was fine. The shop it's at right now says yes.

2. Can't I just disconnect the TPS to drive it home where I can do the repairs myself? As I understand it (please correct if I'm wrong) these things can be bypassed and the engine still run, as they are mainly for emissions. While it might not be pretty, should it run enough to drive 5 miles?

3. Are these things even items that are related to the symptoms I've described?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Idle Air Control or IAC sensor? It sounds just like what happened when mine went out.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

When mine did that it was an injector that would intermittently stick.

They are shotgunning your car to rob you blind. Find an honest repair shop.

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

When my EGR, TPS, and the other sensor in that area went out (Yes I'm serious. All at the same time) I unplugged the sensors, warmed it up real good (easy with a 3k idle o.0), and drove it home from my mechanic around 7 miles and did fine and it didn't even clunk the magic slush box. (His OBD1 thing didn't like two bad sensors)

I got tired of the car and kept replacing sensors until the problem was fixed. 2 sensors, an EGR, and 14,000miles later...

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Old 10-12-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

The TPS are common failures on these cars, but they rarely cause bucking. Mostly they cause high idle problems.

The EGR valve could cause bucking and engine vibration. If it sticks open, it will kill the flame, and only wide throttle openings will reduce its effect much. You can start by unplugging it, and then if that doesn't help, block it off with a slice of soda can across the port with the EGR valve bolted down over this.

You could also have a burned exhaust valve, which would cause rhythmic engine vibration.

A sticking injector could cause a similar symptom.

...As could a failed spark plug or failed spark plug wires that are either open-circuit or shorting to the engine metal.


...Other possibilities, too.

All of the above could happen all-of-a-sudden, and are most likely causes.

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Old 10-13-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jardner2 View Post
So yesterday my 99 sc2, 117,000, starting shaking and bucking real bad on the way home from work...... I was able to pull off the road and the engine puttered and died. If I gave it gas I could restart it and as long as I kept giving it gas it would continue to run. But the idle was rough (if it would idle at all) and it bucked and rumble like a cheap vibrating bed in a old hotel. Rather than risk it in traffic I had it towed to a shop. Closest one was a place I'd never been. They looked it over and called me with a laundry list of things.

TPS, EGR, both O2 sensors, spark plugs (they were replaced at 99,000), fuel , filter, fuel service, air filter, belt, coolant flush.........
This laundry list is to wash your wallet of money while they approach this dilemma with a shotgun attitude - hoping that one item will fix the problem while they make money any way they can do it. "Its business, nothing personal".

There can be any number if reasons for your engine to suddenly act up. For all you know, simply restarting may suddenly make these problems disappear! Ever thought about it? It does occur everyday to anyone and at random and its the best outcome before going for help and just getting the car home. At worst, the engine still runs rough but if you take the chance to drive it home you may be able to use the help here from members to find a solution. And we may make you spend less money trying to find the problem...................

I like the egr valve idea if you have tools with you. All you may need is a soda can and scissors if its the egr valve sticking open. Fast and easy to do.

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Thanks everyone! I knew when they started with the fuel service (their's was a magic additive that would clean and restore the fuel system) & air filter business they were full of it. To make matters worse the guy was a jerk when I told him I didn't want them to do any work on it and then one of the mechanics offered to buy it from me for $400 cash.

Anyway, I unplugged the tps and drove it around a big parking lot for a few minutes. It ran pretty good! So I made the trek home. Made it with no problems. I wish I had thought about trying that first, but I'm still a novice and having my car rumble and die in traffic still causes me anxiety. I haven't done any testing yet. Does the fact that it ran well with the tps unplugged mean the tsp is bad for sure or should I still test it before I run and buy a new one?

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Old 10-13-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Disconnecting the tps doesn't solve whether its a tps or not. The pcm doesn't know throttle position and relies on the map sensor for changes in manifold pressure. A faulty tps usually exhibits a high idle that can be reset by simply shutting off and restarting the engine to return idle back to normal. A tps, coolant sensor and egr valve are at least three EFI parts that sometimes fails without generating any error codes.

Since you were able to get the car home, reconnect the tps and see how things go. With an intermittent problem, you may not have any choice except to drive and post any new issues.

In the mean time, some basic maintenance can be done if not done already; throttle/ignition system cleaning, inspecting the egr valve for excessive carbon/jammed pintle valve.

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Old 10-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Just as a sidenote, when you go into those automotive places and they see a certain mileage, they will ALWAYS recommend air filters if they are filthy (I've seen ones with bird's nests in them), fuel cleaning additives, etc. for the mileage on the vehicle...that's why they are recommended. So all places are not trying to drain you.

With that said, I'd go with what fdryer said to do as far as maintenance stuff and check your air filter...if that's clogged a new one will help with air moving through properly.

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Update -
I finally got a chance to poke around today, and I'm stumped!
I reconnected the TPS and didn't notice any difference. I blocked the IAC valve and it seemed to behave as it should. I unplugged the EGR valve and didn't notice any difference. I blocked off the EGR with some aluminium can and while it seemed to run a tiny bit smoother, I can't say it was a noticeable difference. I checked for codes and got P0122, P0702, P0122 pd. I also got a P0405, but that was while the EGR valve was unplugged. I cleared the codes and drove several cycles and so far no codes have come back. I checked fuel pressure and got 43psi (key on engine off) and 47psi while running, with a 5psi bleed down over 5 minutes. I checked voltage and got 12.6, engine off, and 14.2 while running.
As far as the idle goes, it seems to be acting fine now. The car has been smoking for a few months. I had a mechanic look at it, they did a coolant pressure test on the reservoir and said it checked out. They didn't think it was a head gasket. I did a cylinder pressure test and I got 210, 215, 210, 216. The plugs looked to be in fine shape too. The automatic transmission is shifting HARD between 2nd & 3rd, and shifts moderately hard between all gears the warmer it got. And then the reservoir boiled over today. Temp gauge never said it was overheating that I noticed. It currently is just filled with water, as I don't want to waste coolant until I find out why it's smoking. The water doesn't look contaminated, no oily sheen or froth. I flushed the coolant system a few weeks ago when it started smoking.
So, I have hard shifting, smoking, boiling over, and intermittent crazy idle. Can this all be related or I'm I just really unlucky that so many things could be going wrong all at once? Does anybody have any ideas where to go from here? Really can't afford to throw parts at it.

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

1-What's idle rpm, cold and hot?

2-Disconnecting the egr valve or idling the engine with a blocking gasket doesn't mean anything. Th egr valve doesn't operate at idle speed - it begins to cycle exhaust gases back into the intake manifold during acceleration and cruise. Drive around to see if the blocking gasket works. Soda can (aluminum) won't last long as it will melt from exhaust heat. For short term testing like around the block or three its ok but not for highway cruising. Use coins or sheet metal for long term testing.

3-Ever consider a new coolant pressure cap? OEM only.

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

I'll check on the RPMs but they seemed normal. I drove around with each (TPS & no TPS, EGR & blocked EGR) with basically no difference in idle or performance.

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Old 10-23-2012, 09:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jardner2 View Post
And then the reservoir boiled over today. Temp gauge never said it was overheating that I noticed.
Did the fan ever kick on?

Have you inspected the ECTS? Wouldn't hurt to check the connector, then pull the ECTS and make sure it is the flat, brass tipped sensor.

Cost = $0 to inspect

Some of your symptoms are consistent with a bad ECTS, though I would think you would see evidence of rich running on the plugs

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