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Need your help on a problem


AliRaza

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Hello fellows,

Here is an issue that I came accross yesterday in my '97 Caddy. Remember I did the headgasket job on it 20Kmiles before.

Yesterday while coming back from work, somewhere during the rush hour in the traffic, the engine just turned itself off. No apparent reason. It was missing a little bit before but this time it just turned off. I puled the car in the middle lane and put the car in neutral, crancked it and it started.

After that I came back home and as I was pulling into the garrage, it did the same thing but this time it didnt start at a half crank but too a couple of cranks to get started again.

I noticed car missing for few days and then last night I took it for a small ride and floored the gas paddel and it missed again and didnt rspond to the gas pedal.

I am thinking about changing the plugs 'cauz that may be because of the short plugs. I put new plug wires about three months back with new plugs (AC Delco). Three mohts back it was missing too and I found a couple of short plugs. So I replaced all.

Do you htink plug is the problem? If it is, why is it doing it? do I need to get new type of spark plugs? Please help as I have been thinking about taking this car for a long ride pretty soon.

Thanks for all your help in advance.

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I'd stick with the A/C Delco 41-950's. Having said that, I can imagine plugs causing a misfire but not a complete shut down. Have you checked the fuel pressure? Maybe the pump is on it's way out.

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well, I assume you mean that the engine will not start. Remember that the fuel pump will energize when you turn the key on and run for 3 seconds before it shuts off (if the engine is not cranked). Since your engine will not start I would suspect you will find low or no fuel pressure, if that is the problem. If pressure is good, then it is probably electrical.

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Ditto

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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There is a schrader valve on the fuel rail. You can purchase a fuel pressure guage from most good parts or auto tool shops.. If you are going to buy one see if you can get one with a long hose so you can tape it to the windshield if you have driveability problems in the future. Some else will post the proper fuel pressures, but if I recall 42 to 44 PSI is about normal.

Also when you turn the key on you should hear the fuel pump run if you listen carefully, but it could still run and not pump properly. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Ali,

The first thing I thought about was one of the crankshaft position sensors (which determine coil pack firing etc) went out. As I understand it, this can happen and cause stalls etc.

Maybe I missed this - but were there any current or history codes relating to the problems?

Good luck :)

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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First, just wrap the schrader valve with paper towels, push in the center part and see if it shoots or just drizzles. These cars should have 40+ PSI, so if it is in the range, it will shoot. If it shoots, you've probably got enough fuel pressure. Don't do this for long, or near any open flames, but if you want to save the cost of a could-be useless fuel pressure gauge, try it first. If it just drizzles, then buy the fuel pressure gauge and see what the reading is. I hate to see people buy tools that they don't need more than once.

Another suggestion would be to make a friend with a mechanic, I have saved thousands of $ by having a friend that would bring home expensive tools to help me out.

Just a thought, and you got what you paid for it.

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First, just wrap the schrader valve with paper towels, push in the center part and see if it shoots or just drizzles.  These cars should have 40+ PSI, so if it is in the range, it will shoot.  If it shoots, you've probably got enough fuel pressure.  Don't do this for long, or near any open flames, but if you want to save the cost of a could-be useless fuel pressure gauge, try it first.  If it just drizzles, then buy the fuel pressure gauge and see what the reading is.  I hate to see people buy tools that they don't need more than once.

Another suggestion would be to make a friend with a mechanic, I have saved thousands of $ by having a friend that would bring home expensive tools to help me out. 

Just a thought, and you got what you paid for it.

AliRaza, actually pulled his engine last year and did the head gaskets along with time-serting the engine, a hurculean feat. If he does not have a fuel pressure guage already (which would surprise me), the $30 he would spend on this "useless" fuel pressure guage would be a great addition to his tool box. For your average none mechanical car owner that can't figure out how to pop the hood, I would agree with you that it's useless, but AliRaza? My hat is off to him and such a tool would not be useless to him....

Last fall my wife's Monte Carlo lost power and would not accelerate, I did the following:

Checked Fuel Pressure (useless tool)

Checked Coils (by swapping in a good one)

Checked and replaced plugs

Cleaned throttle body

Checked Vacuum (with a useless vacuum guage)

Purchased a useless code reader to read codes (none)

Changed Fuel Filter (used useless quick-disconnect tool)

Checked resistance of ignition wires (with a useless ohm meter)

After all of that, I gave up wrote a list of what I did, my wife took the car to Chevy, and the Service Managers mouth dropped that an "owner" would do such diagnostics! He was more than impressed (no big deal from my perspective). AND because I did so much USELESS testing, he knew immediately that the problem was a clogged CAT and replaced it under warranty... HE and I also KNEW he would NOT get away with PARTS REPLACING as I had CHECKED everything already!! A coil could have given the same symptoms... For your information, the NEXT time I have that symptom, I will buy a USELESS exhaust backpressure tester that screws into the O2 sensor location seeing that the CAT can restrict the exhaust....

Most people that frequent this site are more advanced, and can utilize a useless fuel pressure guage in diagnosing driveability problems and are we oriented toward Doing It Ourselves as most USELESS mechanics out there, FRIENDS or not, ARE in fact USELESS! Just my 2 cents on what is considered useless...

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Hi Ali,

Good to hear from you again, sorry it is a car problem.

You did not mention if you have gotten any error messages, please check and post them, if there are any.

There are several things that come to mind that may be causing you the engine problems.

Contaminated Fuel

Often water gets in the gas tanks at the filling stations. It doesn’t take much before your car starts misfiring and/or dying at a stop sign. A small amount will just go through the system and not cause any lasting problem. If you have a lot it needs to be drained from you gas tank.

One way to remove small amounts of water is to change the fuel filter, after the car has been sitting several hours; preferably over night so that the water and gas will have completely separated.

Have a small wide pan to catch the small amount of fuel that will drain when you disconnect the fuel line. A 1 qt. plastic container, and a pair of pliers to release the fuel filter locking clips may be needed.

The filter is held with in a small plastic bracket that may be removed to make the job easier.

The fuel filter is located on the frame rail, below the rear door, on the driver’s side of the car. Look at the replacement fuel filter so that you see how the locking clips work before trying to remove the one on the car. You just pinch them together then pull the gas line off. You may need to use pliers, so be careful. The nylon fuel lines scratch easily, a scratch can lead to a crack later that will spray gas under high pressure; very bad.

With the filter removed and the fuel line from the tank in a container, like a 1 qt. plastic container, turn the key on to purge the fuel tank of water that will have settled to the bottom of the fuel tank. The pump will shut off after a few seconds by itself. Turn the key off, wait 10 seconds, and then turn the key on again to allow the fuel pump run again for a few seconds.

Install the new fuel filter, pay attention to the fuel flow direction arrow on the filter; arrow to front of the car. Make sure that the clips lock in place.

Turn the key on and let the system pressurize for a few seconds. Check the fuel filter connections, there should not be any fuel leakage. Start the car.

Spark Plug Wires

Pull each wire off at the coil, check the terminal. The terminals should be bright clean metal, clean as required and put wires back in place.

Pull each spark plug wire boot. Check for moisture in the spark plug tube. If there is moisture just use a piece of paper towel and carefully poke it around with a long thin screwdriver to absorb it. Use a flashlight to be sure you don’t miss anything. Plug the wire back in place.

Crankshaft Sensors

Check the connectors to the two crankshaft sensors, on the side of the engine, above and near the oil filter adapter.

Battery

Make sure the battery cables are snug. A loose cable can cause a number of intermittent problems

Good luck and keep in touch.

-George

Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................

DTS_Signature.jpg

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Hi Scotty,

You have got to learn to speak out, quit holding in your frustrations :)

I bought one of those useless fuel pressure gauges a couple of months ago. What a piece of junk.

I (actually the car) was having an occasional coughing and roughness problem. After checking out the usual culprits I felt it was a fuel problem, so I bought a fuel pressure gauge.

After attaching it I got the following readings:

Idle - 37 PSI

Rev to 2,500 RPM - up to 41 PSI then back to 38 PSI

After much searching I found the pressure was supposed to be around 45 PSI at idle and increase a bit with engine speed.

As the fuel filter is the least expensive thing to check/replace, I started looking there for problems.

I removed the fuel filter, looked fine, but I replaced it with a new one just to be sure.

When I was plugging the new one back in, I had a little problem with getting the fuel filter to sit right. I was a little puzzled, as it just should have just popped into place. I felt around where the tank line comes down to the filter, it was kinked! Obviously blocking the fuel flow.

It appears that when I replaced the filter a year ago I pulled a little too much line down from the tank, this caused an out-of-plane compression load, which eventually kinked the nylon fuel line. Repositioned the line and all is well.

Fuel pressure is now 45 PSI at idle and increases to about 48 PSI as engine speed increases.

That piece of junk useless fuel pressure gauge helped me diagnose a problem and fix it quickly. The fuel pressure gauge cost $45 (1 hour of dealer labor costs about $80 here), and paid for itself with its first use.

It is now another tool I have handy, to help friends and myself. B)

A useless tool indeed!

-George

Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................

DTS_Signature.jpg

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I would also check the fuel pressure regulator. Pull the vacuum hose and energize the fuel system by turning the key on and see if there is any fuel present. If there is, replace it. I would also check the fuel filter also. These are 2 easy inexpensive checks. I had the same thing happen to my 92 Deville and it turned out to be the FPR.

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Hi Scotty,

You have got to learn to speak out, quit holding in your frustrations  :)

I bought one of those useless fuel pressure gauges a couple of months ago.  What a piece of junk.

I was having an occasional coughing and roughness problem.  After checking out the usual culprits I felt it was a fuel problem, so I bought a fuel pressure gauge.

After attaching it I got the following readings:

Idle - 37 PSI

Rev to 2,500 RPM - up to 41 PSI then back to 38 PSI

After much searching I found the pressure was supposed to be around 45 PSI at idle and increase a bit with engine speed.

As the fuel filter is the least expensive thing to check/replace, I started looking there for problems.

I removed the fuel filter, looked fine, but I replaced it with a new one just to be sure.

When I was plugging the new one back in, I had a little problem with getting the fuel filter to sit right.  I was a little puzzled, as it just should have just popped into place.  I felt around where the tank line comes down to the filter, it was kinked!  Obviously blocking the fuel flow.

It appears the when I replaced the filter a year ago I pulled a little to much line down from the tank, this caused an out-of-plane compression load, which eventually kinked the nylon fuel line.  Repositioned the line and all is well.

Fuel pressure is now 45 PSI at idle and increases to about 48 PSI as engine speed increases.

That piece of junk useless fuel pressure gauge helped me diagnose a problem and fix it quickly.  The fuel pressure gauge cost $45 (1 hour of dealer labor costs about $80 here), and paid for itself with its first use.

It is now another tool I have handy, to help friends and myself.  B)

A useless tool indeed!

-George

I know! (I am slighly red faced) Before I posted I was reluctant to hit send, BUT, what I take exception to is when someone STOMPS on prior posters. Its one thing to disagree, but as we are a community, disagreeing has to be done tactfully. Everyone is here to help and at times we will be off base or wrong. Bus when two posters state to check with a fuel guage it is poor manners to say the guage is useless IMHO. Especially on your 3rd post without knowing anything about the individuals, in this case Ali, TIMESERTED his engine..... WOWIE..... A fuel pressure guage is USELESS for my WIFE if you know what I mean but not to AliRaza....

I hardly think that $39.99 is a waste these days for a tool that can eliminate the FUEL PUMP, FPR, FUEL FILTER in one shot.... As you pointed out, one visit to a mechanic can pay for our useless tools very quickly.

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?...pid=00902169000

There is another Cadillac site out there where it is more of a free for all, where members continuously STOMP on each other, even Guru has gotten stomped over there, I take exception to it and tend NOT to frequent that site as a result.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Scotty,

I communicated frequently with Ali during his head gasket repair and was impressed by his tenacity to stick with the job to completion. We were able to get through a number of the tricky areas of working on a Northstar engine. The TimeSerting, timing the cams, special bolt tightening methods, etc.

While some people prefer or need to have their cars fixed by dealers or shops, I have always preferred doing it myself. I guess I like the satisfaction of solving a problem and learning to get myself out of a jamb. Even if you do decide to have the work done by others, it is nice to know what should be fixed, so you are less likely to get taken advantage of.

-George

Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................

DTS_Signature.jpg

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Ditto George well said...

If you read the engine break-in post by JimDTS, you will see that I gave 100% wrong information, NOT to drive a rebuilt NS hard... Guru could have stomped on me and made light of my major disinformation and he did not....

That is what this board is about and what I like about this community

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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George and Scotty

Take a deep breath and relax. I would much rather try the quick cheap test without purchasing a fuel pressure gauge. It is not a usless tool, but an unnessary pruchase if the cheap test worked. This is something that could be done quick and easy without making a trip to the auto parts store. I would think that you both would have applauded his suggestion instead of making fun of it.

Mac

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There is one question on my mind does the engine stall on idle or under load. If it is at idle I would also expect the idle control motor, clean the pintel and reinstall. I also would have done the pressure ck using the schrader valve test and if I thought it was the fuel filter I would replace it as a matter of course. At this point there is no need for exotic parts replacement or expensive tools. IMO Mike

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George and Scotty

Take a deep breath and relax. I would much rather try the quick cheap test without purchasing a fuel pressure gauge. It is not a usless tool, but an unnessary pruchase if the cheap test worked. This is something that could be done quick and easy without making a trip to the auto parts store. I would think that you both would have applauded his suggestion instead of making fun of it.

Mac

Hi Mac,

I am relaxed :D , just a day off so I get chatty at times.

As suggested previously pressing the schrader valve on the fuel line to release fuel will show if pressure is there or not, it will not tell you what the pressure is; only a fuel pressure gauge will do that.

In my case the fuel pressure was definitely there, but lower than it should be due to the kinked fuel line restricting the supply. Telling the difference between 38 PSI and 45 PSI, by fuel release, at a schrader valve is just not realistic. The low pressure was my key to resolving the problem. It was then necessary to find the reason for the low pressure.

Yes, if a friend has a gauge (so you did not need to buy one), and can help you test the pressure that would be great.

Hmm.... I guess I am the "friend" that buys the tools, and then gets asked to help.

Well too nice outside to sit in front of the computer on my day off, chat later.

-George

Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................

DTS_Signature.jpg

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Guys,

You all are amazing.

I was on a trip and just came back home. Logged in and saw all the messages and my reaction was WOW......

This is like a big family. Anways, this weekend, I will go through the suggestions and see what seems to be the problem. Will let y'all know about it.

Scotty

Thanks for your kind comments. definitely an ego booster

George

Again as always, thanks a lot for all the suggestions and help thorughout the project.

And everyone else,

You guys are great. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Ali

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George and Scotty

Take a deep breath and relax.  I would much rather try the quick cheap test without purchasing a fuel pressure gauge.  It is not a usless tool, but an unnessary pruchase if the cheap test worked.  This is something that could be done quick and easy without making a trip to the auto parts store.  I would think that you both would have applauded his suggestion instead of making fun of it.

Mac

Lets not forget that, the "use a fuel pressure guage" statement was in response to AliRaza's question, "Sorry for confusion but wanted to know how to check the fuel pressure?". How idiotic would I have looked by making a Beavis and Butthead comment, "Uhhhh, push the little button in the schrader valve and see if gas comes out...... Uhhhhh..... but be careful NOT to set fire to the car or get gas on the PAINT! Uhhhh, if it comes out fast its GOOD, if it comes out slow its BAD.. Uhhhh... I would have looked like a moron! Especially considering that fuel is under very high pressure at that tap. :blink::blink:

With all due respect, I am relaxed, I was not making fun of it, it was responding to his fuel pressure guages are USELESS statement....after we sincerely tried to help AliRaza, who is knowledgable, and our suggestion gets classified as USELESS? This is not about trying to be CHEAP this is about trying to fix a problem... I have said it before, "If you don't do it right, don't do it at all". OR...... I used to be slow, but now I am HALF-FAST..... Do it right.

Do you think you can tell the difference between 38 PSI and 44 PSI by shooting it out? I don't.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Easy Scotty; your absolutely right. We need more Romulen ale. Ali's buying.

Agreed :lol:

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Hello guys.

Here is the update.

I did have that 'USELESS TOOL' in my wonderful toolbox and I used it to check the fuel pressure. It was within the range of 44 to 48 psi. Also checked the FPR and checked the vaccum tubes. No fuel there when you turn the ignition to on. I replaced the fuel filter and can also hear the fuel pump running in first few seconds when you turn the ignition on. I also changed the fuel filter. It was a bit clogged.

On the electrical side, I checked the plugs and the boots for moisture, I checked the ground wires and also teh battery wires. All seems ok.

I still have a full tank of gas. half of it is regular ad half is premium. I added gas water dryer in the tank and also add a bottle of octane booster (I really dont need to do that but I just gave it a shot- I dont think its going to hurt anything).

I didnt check the crank shaft position sensors yet and want to do it later. I also didnt do the water draining exercise as George suggested because of lack of time. Now here is my plan.

I think it is teh fuel. So i am going to run that tank dry and just roam around in Houston area. Once done, then I will get the tank from a 'good guys' gas station and then run it. Right now it is still doing the same thing but I ran on the highway here for a good half an hour while running an errand and it was smooth. A couple of times the techometer jumped up and down but then caught up without turning the engine completely off. I think a couple of fillups should get it right.

Any ideas, comments.

Thanks again

Ali

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