Car Myseriuously dying - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 02-11-2004, 12:21 PM   #1
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My 92 SE was dying when we got it. The oil was very thin and dirty when it got warmed up it would stall. I had the oil changed 3 weeks ago and the car has ran perfectly until recently. Now when I drive over 30 minutes in distance and turn the car off and go back to it within 10 minutes it will not start. Gage says no oil pressure. We had the car towed to my home and let it sit for 6-8 hours(will not start during that time) and it starts right up and run fine after that time of sitting. When it died we were parked nose up on a steep hill. This is a random problem the car runs fine in between these episodes and I never have any warning when and where this will happen. Any info that you guy * can give me would be a HUGE help. The oil sending unit is new also.

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Old 02-11-2004, 12:55 PM   #2
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When the car is running I have over 40 psi oil pressure. When we are cranking the car the gage moves into the red and the check gauges light comes on. We are not loosing any coolant. When I looked into the overflow tank yesterday some of the coolant was frozen. I had some in liquid form but most of it was ice. I am in Nebraska and in the last 2 weeks we have gotten about 21 inches of snow but it ran fine in the below zero weather now it is in the 40'* and this started. Do you know I can test the crank shaft sensor. That was one of the things we thought of as some previously owned chevrolets suffered from that problem
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #3
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I'd use the procedure in Techinfo to pull PCM codes first. Sounds like your oil pressure is fine. How old are your spark plugs? Cold can have an effect on starting if your plugs are old. That'* just one possibility, though.
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrsAngel
When the car is running I have over 40 psi oil pressure. When we are cranking the car the gage moves into the red and the check gauges light comes on. We are not loosing any coolant. When I looked into the overflow tank yesterday some of the coolant was frozen. I had some in liquid form but most of it was ice. I am in Nebraska and in the last 2 weeks we have gotten about 21 inches of snow but it ran fine in the below zero weather now it is in the 40'* and this started. Do you know I can test the crank shaft sensor. That was one of the things we thought of as some previously owned chevrolets suffered from that problem

K for starters if your coolant is freezing, i would take care of that right away! In other words, a compleat coolant flush with a proper mixture added back to the system, if it freezes and expands in the block that can creat a major headache!
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Old 02-11-2004, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEimatt93
OK for starters if your coolant is freezing, i would take care of that right away! In other words, a compleat coolant flush with a proper mixture added back to the system, if it freezes and expands in the block that can creat a major headache!
Second that: if you find coolant freezing in the overflow tank, get a proper 50/50 mixture in ASAP. That is, if you can get it restarted at all, drain out the old coolant and refill with fresh (add the right amount of straight antifreeze for your system'* capacity, then fill the rest of the way with water and run it). If you crack the block by letting the coolant freeze in the block, everything else we're talking about here is going to get academic real fast.

Don't worry about the oil pressure gauge reading when you're cranking the engine, just after you've started it. The stalling/no-restart problem does not sound oil-pressure-related; I'd be more interested in checking the ignition system to see if any components are dying when the engine'* warmed up, such as the coil packs or the crank sensor.
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Old 02-12-2004, 02:21 AM   #6
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Thanks we are going to pull the codes in the morn. We will be checking the crankshaft sensor too. We fixed that coolant freezing today. I will let you know what we find.

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Old 02-12-2004, 04:08 AM   #7
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The random stalling sounds like when my crank sensor went. But yes, first get the codes and we can go from there.
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:16 AM   #8
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I'm really worried about that coolant freezing. When water freezes, it expands (only known liquid to do this, due to the hexagonal arrangement of the molecules upon freezing), thus you could crack hoses, the radiator, or worse, the engine block. Ice has the power to split several tons of rock like it'* nothing, so I'd have your coolant flushed right away.

I might also suspect that because the coolant is freezing, it would impede the water pump, making things difficult to crank when it'* stone cold outside, but since you mentioned that it doesn't start 10 minutes after shutting off the car, I suppose we can rule that out. How is the engine temperature reading when the car is running? I would imagine that if the coolant is freezing, it also has the potential to boil if you're idling long enough.

I might also have hypothesized that if perhaps you had a crack somewhere in the induction system, coolant may be forced in there while the engine is running (and maybe only while the engine is running since the coolant may actually be boiling since it'* so dilute). So while the engine is running, you don't notice a problem, but after you shut off the motor, there is still an abnormally high pressure in the cooling system, which continues to leak coolant into the cylinders. After 10 min of sitting, the engine can't start, either because it is hydrolocked or because the spark plugs are too wet. However, if you let it sit for 6 hours, the water has dripped past the piston rings, and into the crankcase (explaining why the oil would have been thin and dirty when you got the car), at which point the spark plugs have dried out. Only now you can start the car.

So just to make sure, check your running temperatures, make sure that you are not losing coolant, and make sure that your oil is not thin or milky. Report back, good luck!
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Old 02-13-2004, 01:29 AM   #9
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I have not had a change to pull the codes yet but a quick update. After we got in running tuesday after sitting it ran fine all temps and pressures normal same with early yesterday. Did not drive the car much yesterday and not at all today and now will not start again. Cranks like it has plenty of power(battery new) just will not fire. Dumb question but I am asking anyway has anyone had one of the chip keys go bad?? The one set that I have is original and is in ok shap the chip looks worn and mishapen. Seems like a long shot to me but worth asking.We are leaning towards crank shaft sensor as most things on this car originial.
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Old 02-13-2004, 01:45 AM   #10
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Methinks if your key went bad, the SECURITY light would go off, but also any problems with the Vehicle Anti-Theft System (VATS) would prolly throw a code as well. The experts would know about this one. Try giving your key as well as the ignition a shot of contact cleaner.
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