Stalling while driving - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-16-2007, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Stalling while driving

Hi All,
My car is a 94 Bonneville SE 3800 NA 136,700 miles
I've been experiencing more and more frequent stalling, After cleaning battery connections(all parts of them) ground connection for battery at the frame, the ground connection for the PCM, Buss connections in rocker panels, replaced crank sensor, It will die on me while on the freeway or around town driving at different times of the day, just as if you turned the key off. No sputtering, just suddenly dies. The warning chime will go off, check gauges lamp will come on, some times time the brake warning light will come on, gauges still up and working until I pull over and try to restart it.
It will crank well but not fire up for all most five minutes. It will on rare occasions, start right up but then die in a few seconds, taking several minutes to restart. Then it will start and run for a couple of days at times but has almost become a daily occurrence sometimes twice a day.
Glitchy things with my automatic locks and power windows not working when staring the car.
Normally the door locks engage when the key begins to start the car and then unlock automatically when the key is turned off. There are some times the the locks don't engage automatically at all and the power windows don't operate, on other days it all woks normally. Is this something in the PCM?
A local mechanic shop had the car on a scanner, no codes to speak of. They had it quit while they were driving on the freeway, their test equipment was connected while test driving and it showed zero fuel pressure at the moment of stalling. Diagnosis was bad fuel relay or bad fuel pump. Because of the expense of the shop time and testing to that point ($228.00) all I could afford was the fuel relay replacement. Shop rates for doing the pump replacement at the same time would run to $700 plus, too close to Christmas to bite that bullet. New fuel relay alone didn't cure the problem, still dieing, which leaves the fuel pump as the main culprit.
The shop said they would not know which type of pump my car had until it the old was removed and then could check the tag. Quoted price for the pump alone was (roughly) $225 to $250. I think I could do better from some place like RockAuto.
PCMs seem to be a regular failing point for the 94-95 Bonnies. Could the PCM cause the symptoms of dieing since some other related (very minor) ignition operations are acting up.
If not that leaves the fuel pump.
I have a friend who could help me change it out on a Saturday but I need the new one on hand so as not to tie up several days of removal and ordering. Is there any way to identify what type of pump my Bonnie has with out removing it first? RPO'*? Or??
What additional components should I replace while the fuel tank is removed? Sealing ring, Strainer sock?? Other?
Where could I get replacement holding straps if the old ones are not reusable?
Thank you for taking the time to read such a long post. I would appreciate any and all help and advice your might have to offer. Anything I might have left out please feel free to ask.
Aubie08
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
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You are in a bad spot here... and I can't tell you if its the Fuel pump or the PCM...

Do you know what the Fuel pressure is when the car is running and driving?

Bar that... It could be the PCM...

But untill we know the true fuel pressure its hard to say...

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:40 PM   #3
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Default Hi jr'3800s

Thanks for responding.
I don't have access to a fuel pressure gauge to do a real time read for pressure. I can check with the garage that had done their testing, but that was a week ago so it'* iffy for that information to still be at hand but I'll call them tomorrow.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:45 PM   #4
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If the car was running good and holding Fuel Pressure than we'd have no reason to suspect the Fuel pump... It almost sounds as if the fuel pump is good.. But it would be nice to know what kind of pressure the pump has..

And if it stalls out the the pump will shut off..

And yes the PCM does control the fuel pump relay...

I suspect the PCM is going belly up, But I don't want you to spend any more $$$ then you need to...

Also when the car stalls and you are still in motion does the speedo fall off with the rest of the gages? Or does it still report speed?

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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Fuel pumps on the 94'* still had the secondary power supply from the fuel pressure sender. So I guess the question is whether the fuel pressure drops before or after the oil pressure drops off - could be very hard to tell.

Aubie - did you clean the ground bus yourself? Fuel pump, power windows & door locks on some models all share the same ground. Make sure the driver'* side ground bus was properly cleaned before changing the fuel pump. There'* an article in Techinfo if you haven't already seen it.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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Default Hi Jr's3800

It was helpful to know the PCM controls the fuel relay, one more piece to the puzzle.
The speedometer does indicates road speed as I coast to a stop. What might that seem to indicate to you?
If there is no available information from the shop that looked at it then I'll do some hunting around to see if I can borrow a pressure gauge from someone/place? but that could take several days of checking.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Stalling while driving

Technical Ted
I did clean the buss bars myself I didn't know they existed until I stumbled across the article some time back.
The buss'* had almost no visible corrosion but I scuffed them any way and dialect greased them
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:53 AM   #8
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That gives me the small idea that the PCM may not be having brain farts..

Yeah get that pressure checked if you can... also make me wonder about the possibility of the ICM having issues..

Does the Check engine light come on or have any codes been set in the PCM?

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Old 12-17-2007, 02:25 AM   #9
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Hi jr's3800
How does one test an ICM?
I left out that I had dismantled and cleaned the ICM and mounting bracket while doing the grounds etc..
Print out of test results from shop: "Code in the PCM was PO300 misfire detected. Scanned data and found No1 cyl shows weak. Scanned for crankshaft and camshaft sensor errors, none found. Checked ignition system for spark. Checked fuel system for proper fuel pressure, all were good."
In concentrating on finding a safe place to pull over in the midst of traffic I may not have noticed all warning lights. Check gauges light, airbag light, and maybe service(check?) engine light along with the double dinging bell come on.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:19 AM   #10
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i went through the stalling problem on my 93 a couple months back.i changed my crank sensor and it made no difference.i have a f/pressure guage so i didnt suspect pump because pressure was always good before stalling.two things i found ,which solved my problems;i had awhole lot of corosion under the icm,which i thought i had checked in the beginning,and,the icm pigtail appeared to have a couple of broken wires inside their insulation,which lead to the injectors.i got this pigtail from the junkyard.the car i got it off had silicone around the base of the icm,which led me to check mines and find the corosion.so i believe it was both things that caused the stalling because it runs like brand new ever since and it just turned over 160,000 miles.
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