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honey_bee

HELP!!!!! does anyone know how to fix cars??

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my car died aaaarrrgggggg.Here is the problem it always stalls out on me, it idles erratically, and when it does start when i go to drive it doesn't catch right away, it sort of stumbles and putters along for a minute before it finally drives. Please any aspiring mechanics i need advice :lol:

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It's SO easy to fix!! What I'd do if that ever happened is pop the hood, make sure I had a 3/4 inch wrench, then quickly realize I know jack shit about cars and take it to the mechanic where I'd swifly get screwed in the ass :wink:

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wow i see a vision of this flashing before my eyes, why me??!!?? :roll: I better takes me a man along or i will dephinately be getting screwed in the bum :lol:

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Guest fatman_uk

Maybe bein screwed in the bum would reduce the price? :lol: LOL

-Gaz

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I'll be sure to ask when i go up there :roll: Oh yes since I am A dumb blonde why didn't i think of just buying a new import?OH YEAH cause i'm poor and can't afford it.Stupid me :lol::D

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I know my share about vehicle repair. The first thing I need to know is what kind of car and what year. From there, I can tell what you have under the hood. Can't do much with the info you gave.

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Yes, working on cars is what I do in my spare time and as my hobby. Been doing it since I was like 12 or something so I'm pretty efficient when it comes to fixing cars. I just don't have as much time to do it as I used to but I work on my cars most weekends when I'm not at the beach surfing. I have a pretty good garage setup at my house so that's what I like to do to relax. Just work on my cars or my girlfriend's car or friend's car.

I have a new computer system setup in my garage for diagnostics and peformance adjustments and schematics and stuff. This thing rocks because it has everything like air systems, fuel systems, electrical. But I still have to just rely on experience and judgement although it helps to some degree. It has about every car on there from about 1981 and up, American and import. I need your make, model, year, engine type (Like 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, etc.), transmission type (manual or automatic), and whether you

have California Emisssions and maybe other stuff depending on the make and model.

From what you were saying and from my experience I would say in the order of most likeliness that it is:

1. Vacuum leakage. Check the vacuum hoses for cracks since heat cracks them often. Pay attention to the hoses between the intake manifold and the throttle body.

2. Bad electrical connections. Look around the distributor or coil pack and the alternator.

3. Leaking EGR valve

4. Clogged up air filter. Check the filter and see if it's dirty and needs to be changed.

5. The fuel pump isn't delivering enough fuel to the injectors

6. Bad or worn out spark plugs or wires. But usually this has to be more than one bad plug or wire. Usually it is just a power loss rather than it idling errratically.

7. The head gasket could be leaking

8. The timing belt or the pulleys could be worn out. When was the last time you had the timing belt replaced?

9. The camshast lobes could be worn.

The first two are the most important. I always check the vacuum hoses and the electrical connections and wires for frays or cracks. A lot of times it is a simple thing like that.

Or it could be a dirty air filter, bad spark plugs or wires, clogged fuel injector(s), fuel pump.

But those are the most common. Hope this help honey bee. Or you could take it to my place but I am way out her in Cali. Just ask questions if you have any and I'll help you the best I can.

Like I said it could be something very easy and simple to fix. I usually check the hoses and wires first. Then the fuel/air system then the electrical and then the exhaust and so forth. Most of the time it is something that is a minor and easy repair.

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the car is a Buick LaSabre 1990 it has 99,000 miles on it and before me only had one owner who REALLY WAS a little old lady who didn't drive it much :lol: They told me that they had the same probs. with it, their mechanic said it was the coil pack and that it was replaced a few times but didn't help.Is that enough info?Also it is automatic I don't know how many cylanders

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well ihateacne i would bring it on by as i will be in cali this summer except there is NO WAY this baby would make the trip!!.My best friend lives close to L.A. and I have family up in Humbolt. I think I will tranfer to a college in Cali in a year or two.The West coast is my favorite area of the country.Thanks for the help man!! 8)

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That's actually a very well built car. Very reliable and dependable. It may be a grandma car like you said but it is built like a tank and is roomy. It's got some power too I guess. A 3.8 liter V6 is what they have I think. They make a supercharged version too I believe. It's boxy and a big car right? It's supposed to be a very good reliable car.

You said it it idles eratically and it stalls right? Well my best guess is that it has a vacuum leak in the fuel injection system, intake manifold or the vacuum hoses. That could be it. But it could be other things too.

When the engine idles erratically it is usually a vacuum leak, leaking EGR valve, clogged air filter, bad fuel pump, leaking head gasket, worn out timing belt, worn camshaft lobes. When the engine starts missing when it's idling it's usually the spark plugs, spark plug wires, the ignition timing isn't set properly, or there is low or uneven compression in the cylinders but it usually doesn't stall. The engine just sort of trembles from time to time and It losses power.

SInce the engine is stalling I think it is the idle speed that isn't correct and that needs to just be adjusted. Or it just needs a new air filter because it is dirty or clogged or the spark plugs need to be replaced. When was the last time you changed the air filter and the spark plugs and the spark plug wires? This may just be the case and a simple and easy repair. There could be impurities in the fuel too. The coil pack could have a high resistance too and needs to be replaced. One of the emissions parts could be damaged but I doubt it. Or the valve clearance could be set incorrectly and needs to be adjusted but again I don't think this is a problem. It may very well be a vacuum leak in the fuel injection system like I stated above or a vacuum leak in the intake manifold. It is too hard to tell.

Does the engine ever start and then just stop immediately?

Does the engine miss throughout all the speed ranges or just when you start speeding up?

How long does it take for the engine to stall?

Do you notice that the car is using more fuel than usual?

Does the car lack power like when you go up a hill?

Does the engine tremble a bit and then just dies? Can you start it after that right away?

Are there any check engine lights that have gone off on the console display?

Is the engine hard to start when it is hot? If yes it's probably just the air filter or the fuel pump not allowing the fuel to reach the injection system or it may be just a clogged injector so it's running lean. And the clogged air filter won't help either.

Whe you pop the hood are there any unusual smells like rotten eggs or a strong burning or fuel smell? Anything that smells funny or strong?

I know these are a lot of questions but they will help narrow down what I think it is. Right now I just have a general idea of what it could be.

For now put in a new air filter if it is really dirty. Plus get some fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank. You can buy both of them at Wal Mart if you like. Or any auto part store will carry them.

Hope this helps some. I'll try to help the best I can. But minor tune up stuff like checking the vacuum hoses, replacing the air filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, PCV valve, fuel filter will help. For what you say is the problem I would definitely check and replace if necessary the air filter and the spark plugs and wires first since those are easy and quick repairs and might be the problem. If taht doesn't work then you can go down the list and check the other things. That's what I usually do.

Hope this helps.

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I took it to autozone today and they hooked it up to the diagnostic machine and said it was the throttle position sensor.The part cost $ 27.00 but When I had it fixed several months ago that is what they replaced and it still has the prob. Someone told me even if it is replaced you still have to take it to the dealer to get it calibrated, is that true.Could that be my prob.?I will answer your :?: in a bit I just got home from a stressfull day but yeah, I aced my biology exam.Dude, you are SO on top of your game.Thanks for being so nice to me,the simple mechanicly challanged girl that I am :lol: XOXO ~L.

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How's it going with the car. I just got back from partying with friends for St. Pattie's.

Yes, I forgot to tell you that Autozone will hook up their scan too your diagnostic terminal and check it for codes. You can do this too yourself with and ohmmeter or from the check engine light flashes if you have an OBD I diagnostic sysyem. That just means that the codes are all just numbers. So you can read the pulses on a voltmeter or check engine light flashes to do a spot check on the road when you don't have a scan tool to check for codes when you have engine trouble. With OBD II you have letters and numbers so you need the Scan tool. But I think your's is OBD I. Anyway yes Autozone will hook up their scan tool and check it for codes free of charge. I forgot that they do that for free. And they sell their scan tool for about 100 bucks I think or 130 or something like that. It's a decent one but there are better ones.

The only thing about engine codes is that they are more or less good for checking things out but sometimes there are false codes because of sensors and sometimes other problems trigger other codes so it is hard to tell sometimes. Codes are good to run down a checklist of problems but they aren't always surefire. Sometimes a clogged injector for instance can trigger another code and can be misleading. That's just one example and one that I've come across. There are many other ways you can have a false code.

I was going to recommend that it would be the throttle position sensor but usually when the throttle position sensor is starting to go bad the engine shakes a little when it idles and then it goes away. Usually when you open the throttle and then back off the engine will shake and then the rpm goes up a bit to compensate for the resistance delay for the air and fuel mixture and then back down. The engine usually doesn't stall because of the throttle position sensor. But it may have in this case. But yes the throttle position sensor and the mass air flow sensor can make an engine idle erratically as many other things. But you said that you had it changed already. Usually a throttle position sensor will last for 7 years easily and even up to 10 years and more. They don't go bad very often. It may be one of the problems but there may be other things that are causing the engine to stall and idle erratically.

You were asking if you have to adjust the throttle position sensor. No you don't have to adjust it. It just unscrews off and when you put a new one on you turn it in and it screws into the throttle body with usually two screws and you plug it in and that's it.

It's just basically an electrical resistor mounted on the throttle body. A shaft goes into it and when the throttle plate turns when you open and close the throttle it produces different voltages depending on the angle of the plate. The resistance changes when the throttle plate moves from a closed to open position. Basically the plate in the throttle body moves allowing different amounts of air to pass into the intake manifold. So the throttle position sensor just detects the movement and sends different voltage signals to the ECU to adjust the air and fuel mixtures when you accelerate, decelarate and so forth. The thing is that the resistance in the throttle position sensor should change smoothly when the plate moves. But they usually go bad slowly as opposed to right away.

You can check the sensor too. They have usually 3 or 4 pins on them. The far left is the power supply and the far right one is the ground. The middle ones are the output and the. Then you hook up an ohmeter and measure resistances across the various pins. Then you see if the resistance changes smoothly when you move the plate. Basically that's how you check it but every one is different. I can check to see how you test yours but my diagnostic computer system is in my garage so I'll check if you want.

Well hope it goes okay and it get's fixed. If you have any questions like how to test the sensor or how to find it or put it on just let me know.

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I'm guessing that its running a cat?? if so check the lamba probe sadly if it has a cat then Co2 emissions cant be changed on cars with cats. Dun know if its a mechanical K jet type or electronic injection Oh and also is it multi or single point ????

I would expect it to be the lamba probe as ISV valves normally just cause the car to sit at a high RPM on start up.

and yes i am a mechanic. :lol:

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