Help...Sick '95 SE!! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-28-2003, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default Help...Sick '95 SE!!

I hope you folks can point me in the right direction. My wife'* '95 SE is sick. It will start, run for about five seconds, then sputter terribly (like it'* starved of fuel) and die. You can immediately start it again, and it will repeat the pattern again and again. If I press the accelerator immediately after starting, I can rev it up to 3K RPMs or so, but as soon as it starts sputtering, the accelerator has no effect.

I decided to try the easy things first - I replaced the fuel filter. No change. I then pulled off the plastic cover on top of the engine, and I noticed that the fuel return line was leaking where it connects to the injector rail. It was very loose and I thought it might be sucking air, to I fixed it with an o-ring. No more leak, but problem remains. (I guess that was just a secondary problem - which I'm glad I found!)

The next step was to look for a diagnostic code. I know it probably should have been my first, but I wasn't getting a "check engine" light. I did some research and found that my '95 MIGHT be OBD1 OR OBD2 since it was actually built in '94. I borrowed a friend'* OBD2 reader, but all it came up with was a flashing "8888". I don't know anyone with and OBD1 reader. Is the connection the same? If not, then it'* definitely OBD2 and I should try another reader or I just wasn't doing it correctly.

My next step, I guess, is to buy the appropriate reader, and/or buy a fuel pressure tester. If I'm not getting the correct pressure, I'm thinking that it '* the fuel pump. If the pressure is there, perhaps a throttle position sensor, or even the ECM?

I can't get it to the local AutoZone to check the codes - it'* stuck in the garage. Any ideas on how to best procede on this? (I'm trying to save $$ and do this myself. I can't afford to have it towed to a mechanic.)

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

-WR
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:17 PM   #2
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fuel pressure regulator??
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:32 PM   #3
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Possibly a pump or FPR, but the only way to know for sure is to test for pressure at the rail.

If you suspect your TPS or MAF, simply disconnect them and try again. The car should at least idle (it may wander) with them disconnected. Try them one at a time.

Did this problem just start, or has it been coming on gradually?

You'll need an OBD1 reader with a 16 pin connector for a 95.
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Sputtering

This problem started out of the clear blue - no hesitation or failure to start until last Wednesday.

I'll try to find an OBD1 reader and a fuel pressure tester and post the results.

Thanks for the info!

-WR
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:34 PM   #5
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That sounds exactly like the symptoms that my dad'* '93 SE had....like a carbureted car where the choke never opens. Replaced the Mass Air Flow sensor, it runs like new again.
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:58 PM   #6
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Does the MAF throw a code? Since WillRuss is not showing an Engine Light, it may or may not be the MAF.
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89BonnieSE89
Does the MAF throw a code? Since WillRuss is not showing an Engine Light, it may or may not be the MAF.
I would think it should throw a code. As for the fuel-pressure regulator, its most common failure mode seems to be a broken diaphragm, which is obvious if you pull off its vacuum line and it pees gasoline.

Y'know, I'm wondering if it could be something even simpler, such as a blocked air intake or even a corked-up exhaust. (No, not a blocked catalytic convertor; I'm thinking something radical like a potato in the tailpipe... )
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:02 AM   #8
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Default Update

First of all, thanks to all you folks for your suggestions.

I disconnected the wires from the TPS and MAFS (individually) with no change. I removed the vacuum line from the fuel pressure regulator and it didn't "pee" fuel. (Was I supposed to do that with it running?)

I also double checked for blockages in the tail pipe, and found nothing.

I guess I'll have to purchase a fuel pressure tester ($40) when I get paid on Thursday - none of my friends or neighbors have one to borrow. If the pressure'* okay, I'll look for an OBD1 scanner that I can afford, but I'm betting that an OBD2 cable for it will be difficult to find - or expensive.

"Plan C" will be to get a mechanic to come to me with the appropriate testing equipment.

Just in case it turns out to be the ECM, do I have to get that from GM or is there an aftermarket version?

-WR
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Old 07-29-2003, 03:24 PM   #9
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Default Update

Thanks, JR. I saw that the ECM at AutoZone is $99. Just for the heck of it, I went home at lunch time and checked the fuel pump fuse. It was okay, darn it.

I did notice something, though, I hope you can help me with: there'* a vacuum line attached to the engine just to the left of the TPS. I noticed that the elbow connector is split and loose. Thinking that it might be part of my problem, I wrapped it in tape very tightly and put it back on, but there was no change in the original problem. I know that tape is not good enough, though, so I'll get a new connector ASAP.

What does this vacuum line do? I had my wife turn on the engine (for a second or two), but I felt no vacuum coming from the line. I know I've got vacuum in the system, though, because during the two seconds that the engine was running, I pulled the vacuum line off of the fuel pressure regulator, and it "really sucked!"....and the FPR didn't pee fuel, by the way.

I don't understand why GM would make a car with a OBD1 computer and an OBD2 connector. I have a feeling that it'* going to be VERY difficult to find a scanner for it.

-WR
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Old 11-13-2003, 02:34 PM   #10
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Default Mystery Solved

Yes, this is an old thread, but since you guys had been so helpful, I wanted to let you know what the answer turned out to be. (The car has been sitting in my garage since July, we're I tried everything but changing the tires while saving my nickels and dimes to tow it to a mechanic.)

It was the fuel pump. I didn't have a fuel pressure gauge, but I was getting pressure at the rail - enough to fill a small cup in a heartbeat. Anyway, it turns out that it was only creating about 14 lbs of pressure. That was enough to pressurize the rail to start it, but not to keep it running. A lesson learned.

Now I just have to find and fix my oil leak. The entire engine is greasy, which I interpret as the leak being high - not the pan gasket, of course, which would be EASY to get to. I'm thinking that perhaps it'* something like the valve cover gaskets. I'll clean the engine, then watch for leaks to make sure.

It'* been a while since I looked at that engine, so I'm assuming that getting to the VCGs is going to be, well...difficult. (I still have scars on my hands from changing the back spark plugs!) Can anyone give me any guidance on this procedure (if it'* necessary?)

Thanks again for everyone'* input!

-WR
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