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Old 07-24-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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Default RPM Flickers and car turns off

For the Last couple of years I havnt taken very good care of my car. Now ive decided to take a huge dive into learning about cars and doing repairs on my own (if Applicable). Come to realise how important it is to keep my baby happy. But my issue is, 18 months ago I took my 95 bonne into the shop because my car would Idle so bad. Would start up and stay around 1200, then would go down to like 700 or so...and eventually if idled long enough, engine would die. The RPM flicking up and down happens also when im crusiing at any speed, you can feel the car not want to accelerate and kind of jerk / drag. Took the car in, they replaced the MAP Sensor, O2 sensor, and took out transmission shavings. Costly labor but that fixed the issue for about 10 months, then i take it back in and say its doing the same thing, you didnt fix it. They said now something is wrong with my tranny and ill need to drop a new one in.
So heres where im at. Im doing a complete replacment of all the normal wear and tear parts i can on my vehicle. I just replaced the brake bads, routers, master cylinder, and power booster. replaced some corroded tubes, changed oil / oil filter. Air Filter, refilled Power steering fluids (it was squeeking). Tomorrow I am replacing the Radiator (has a crack in it), serpentine belt (because its old), Fuel Filter, and the Spark Plugs, PVC valve, and bought some fuel injector cleaner to help. If none of this stuff helps im at a loss of what it could be. Reading some of the forums here and elsewhere, it could be

- Full pump / injector
- o2 / MAF sensors
- Distributor ?
- crankshaft position sensor
- and a couple other sensor / parts with acronyms i cant remember.

alot of people have had related issues, but just doesnt seem to match.

To elaberate...car will die....the power stuff (windows, radio, lights even (i think) still work) stays on. I didnt see a check engine light. Happens 90% of the time when its 95-110 degrees outside. Happens mostly on first start after shes been off for 3-5 hours. engine was replaced at 70,000 miles, and Tranny was replaced around same time. Other than that, no mods, or changes just normal 3.8L v6.

Anything helps, let me know
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Let'* see where you end up after tomorrow and if you are experiencing the same problems. Keep us appraised and we will do what we can to provide assistance. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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So over the last 2 days (Sat and Sunday). I ended up replacing the spark plugs, which were all gap'd incorrectly and all different brands...just a mess, now they are all kickin good. Replaced the Fuel and the transmition filter (both havnt been done for 60k+ miles). Radiator replaced, PCV replaced, Serpentine replaced. Checked all the Fuses. She is kicking much much better, noticable difference.

Unfortunatly she is still having RPM issues. Havnt driven her much, just to the store and back (7 miles). But backing out of my driveway she had major RPM flicker (from 1000 down to 400-600) then eventually died, probably could of gave her gas but i wanted to see if she would make it. Although just replaced the 8quarts of transmission fluid (I was a 2 quarts low **EEEP**) Hoping the car catches on to the fact shes being loved now and will stop acting up.

Also there is a grinding sound comming from the tranny (this was happening prior to the repair) so thats not good.

Any ideas on anything else i can do for the main issue of the idling problems
Any suggestions / recommendations will be appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:03 AM   #4
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For what it'* worth, I've got the same problem on my '97 SE, although it doesn't happen nearly as often as with yours. It'* stalled while smoothly traveling 70 MPH on the highway, coming to a stop, making a turn from a stop, and at other times as well.

In addition, I had been getting intermittent check engine lights about the crankshaft position sensor and "transmission component slipping" (P1870), although ever since I replaced the serpentine belt last week, it'* been behaving very well.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:14 AM   #5
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yeah Crankshaft Position sensor isnt too expensive and i wouldnt imagine too difficult to replace. But im not getting a CEL. And if i do it, it goes off before me noticing it. just got to work, doesnt seem to have any issues after 2 minutes of warmup...still slight RPM flickering on initial startup
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, a shop quoted me $200 for replacing the KPS. I'd attempt it myself if the serpentine didn't have to be removed.

Sometimes, I have to crank the engine a few times to get it to start. A stalling engine is running out of electricity, fuel, or air. I think my car has a finicky fuel pump; have yours checked out, too. It'* inside the gas tank, so it could be a bit of a job.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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my mechanic friend says my fuel pump is good, based on his 35 years of dealing with cars, had him take a look at my work and he said that I should be filling up with Shell (for the Nitrogen in the fuel) to help clean out the carbon as to clean out the injector, he things the injector is slightly caked with crud. So ive been filling up with Shell then will switch to Chevron (for the Techron). Also mentioned I need to go 10-15 miles at 70 or so mph as to clean out the Tranny, because as i said both fuel and tranny filter havnt been changed in over 60,000 miles. Besides the initial start of the car, and after 5 minutes of running, car is extremely happy. Just when i start.
Just need to know if its worth exchanging the Crankshaft Position Sensor or what other Troubleshooting or information I can give someone on the forum to properly diagnose (however hard that might be). What else could this be.

I know my tranny is going out and is PROBABLY related, but she seems better now that her fluid is filled, cleaned, (magnet cleaned as well), and new filter). easier shifting and smoother ride as of now, just the RPMs suck, today she idled at 1500 for awhile, didnt like that.

Any more information is surely welcomed
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:23 AM   #8
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drove home for work and did errands and all the way to work today, not one mess up, shes shifting much easier and seems much happier. I think the transmission fluid and filter did the trick. Let everything work itself out of the car, now shes a happy girl. she now seems like a very healthy car and hopefully is fixed. (knock on wood)
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