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2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
11-29-2011, 01:25 AM
Post: #1
2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
2001 grand prix intermittent stalling problem with No error codes.
140,000 miles, 3.8L engine, Rebuilt Transmission 300 miles ago. Austin, Tx
The Car will intermittenly stall or just Not Start and somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes later it will start and run fine for 50-100 miles then it happens again.
so far we have: replaced ECM, ignition module, coils, all O2 sensors(twice), fuel pump, relay and filters(twice), fuel pressure regulator, EGR Valve, catalytic converter, complete tune-up, with diagnostic tool attached the Camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensor shows fine, cleaner MAF sensor. What else can I check?
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11-29-2011, 07:32 AM
Post: #2
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
Well, to me it sounds like you have a lot of things to "Check." From what I'm reading it looks as though you only "Checked" the Camshaft & Crankshaft sensors. The rest of the stuff you say that you "Changed."

I hate throwing parts at a vehicle and hoping that I may; accidentally, get the right thing. You can spend a lot of time and money and never fix the problem. For instance, you can screw the O2 sensors out, let them lay on the floor, and the car will still run. (So I'm guessing 6 O2 sensors that wouldn't be the problem?) You can have a new fuel pump, regulator, and filter and if there is a leak in the fuel line; sometimes even inside of the tank, the car may not run. Or the "New" fuel pump doesn't necessarily mean "Good" fuel pump.

If you brought your vehicle to me I would start by "Checking" for what is missing when the car won't run. I would look up the proper fuel pressure, attach a Fuel Pressure Gauge, and see what the pressure was when the car wouldn't run. I would also check to see if there was spark at the plugs. If neither was present I would be thinking ignition switch. If only one was present then I could throw out a whole lot of possibilities and only concentrate on the real problem.

Once you narrow things down you have to consider all things that affect that area of the car. A remote starter, theft system, corroded connectors, & ground wires are a few that come to mind. You also might want to make sure that the scan tool being used will access ALL systems. A high end "Scanner" will access the ABS, Transmission, Air Bag, and most importantly, the Body Control Module. Some of these systems could contain information to help you figure out the problem.

Find out if you are missing Spark, Fuel Pressure, or Both and let us know. We may be able to provide better advice once things are narrowed down.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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11-29-2011, 09:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
(11-29-2011 07:32 AM)Garner Wrote:  Well, to me it sounds like you have a lot of things to "Check." From what I'm reading it looks as though you only "Checked" the Camshaft & Crankshaft sensors. The rest of the stuff you say that you "Changed."

Thank You for the reply,
when I said "Checked" I meant that they put a Scanner on the system and all the readings were "Normal". Unfortunately I have not been able to time it so that the problem occurs when at the mechanic. they even kept it for a couple of days and tried to duplicate my driving habits but it just won't fail when it is there
and when it is not stalled the scanner readings don't show anything that is not normal. some/most of the things that were changed were because of an error code at the time. a couple of them I just did myself because I read somewhere online that another person had a similar problem and "XXX" solved it (fuel pressure regulator, ignition module and EGR valve). the mechanic did not say they needed it.
early on the fuel pressure showed only a little low (42 lbs) and they said it shouldn't cause the problem I was seeing, but I told them just to change it. and later after that there were some codes that pointed to the fuel pump so they changed it again under warranty.
They have not charged me for a lot of the work and I am confident they are not just blatantly "ripping me off". they have been what I believe to be honest with me throughout the process and some of those things I just told them to change it even though they weren't confident that was the issue. we did the ECM last week just because there was nothing left to try and I said "just do it" so we can eliminate that from the equation.
I talked to a GM dealership today and they basically told me that unless I could have it there WHILE the problem was going on they didn't think they could do anything more than what we have been trying.
My current thoughts are to change the MAP sensor and all 3 ignition coils because they are cheap and I can do it myself and I have read stories where these caused a problem without throwing an error code.

you had mentioned a "High End scanner", can your recommend one?
I checked at a couple of local auto parts stores and they had Actron brand ranging from $30 to $299 but they said none of them would show anything unless there was a Check Engine light on.

also, not sure if I mentioned it earlier but I had the aftermarket Alarm/remote start system completely pulled out just to eliminate that from the equation.

Thanks,
Daryl
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11-29-2011, 11:49 PM
Post: #4
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
Hi Daryl,

This is where I disagree with what you are doing. I don’t feel that the garage doing the work is ripping you off. I feel that you are ripping yourself off. Like where you said that you changed the ECM because there was nothing else to try. There obviously was since that didn’t fix it. I mentioned a few and they were all less expensive than an ECM. Clean the ground connections. Check the wiring harness and connectors for damage & corrosion, or possibly a loose or faulty ignition switch. But that is still only "guessing."

If you are going to a dealership they are likely using a high end scanner called a Tech II. If not several of the top scanners are the OTC Genisys, Snap On Modis, or Mac Mentor. However, I agree with the fact that you have to look for the problem WHILE the problem is going on. Other than that you are just guessing.

A map sensor won’t stop the car from running so that wouldn’t be the problem. Coils “could” be the problem but you’re still just throwing parts at it with no idea of what is wrong. You need to wait until the car won’t run and find out what is missing; spark, fuel, or both. From there you can determine where to even start. Again, any other way is just "guessing."

Please keep us posted.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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11-30-2011, 12:06 AM
Post: #5
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
(11-29-2011 11:49 PM)Garner Wrote:  Hi Daryl,

This is where I disagree with what you are doing. I don’t feel that the garage doing the work is ripping you off. I feel that you are ripping yourself off. Like where you said that you changed the ECM because there was nothing else to try. There obviously was since that didn’t fix it. I mentioned a few and they were all less expensive than an ECM. Clean the ground connections. Check the wiring harness and connectors for damage & corrosion, or possibly a loose or faulty ignition switch. But that is still only "guessing."

If you are going to a dealership they are likely using a high end scanner called a Tech II. If not several of the top scanners are the OTC Genisys, Snap On Modis, or Mac Mentor. However, I agree with the fact that you have to look for the problem WHILE the problem is going on. Other than that you are just guessing.

A map sensor won’t stop the car from running so that wouldn’t be the problem. Coils “could” be the problem but you’re still just throwing parts at it with no idea of what is wrong. You need to wait until the car won’t run and find out what is missing; spark, fuel, or both. From there you can determine where to even start. Again, any other way is just "guessing."

Please keep us posted.

I appreciate the replys SIR,
I found an Actron scanner that records and I was thinking if I drive with this on in record mode and then when it stalls I should be able to see what changed. the only thing I am not sure of and can't find the information online is that does it record everything or only 1 thing at a time, do you happen to know? if only 1 thing I will have to put it on the most likely thing and wait for the stall and then try something else and so on. It is an Actron CP9850 autoscanner with code connect and ABS that records. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605...0P?prdNo=4

I could probably get my mechanic to check the wiring harness etc..
I am not mechanically inclined and wouldn't know where to begin on those things. I would have to ask, but I would assume they already checked the things you suggest (I will ask them tomorrow).

the only things I have done my self are the Ignition module, EGR and fuel pressure regulator. all things done in under 10 minutes without any special tools(except snap ring pliers) or removing other things to get at them.


I am going out every hour tonight and starting my car in the driveway hoping to duplicate the failure from the other day. this time my wife is home and she can crank the engine while I look for spark and listen for the fuel filter.

I really do appreciate the suggestions and I will double check that my mechanic did those things. I am a computer programmer(30 years), so I understand Diagnostics in general but never did much work on any cars even growing up. My best friend was a great mechanic and he kept my 1960s clunkers running and I installed his stereos and helped him pass many classes.. hee hee..
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11-30-2011, 08:04 AM
Post: #6
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
I don't know a whole lot about that Actron "Scanner." I put the quotes around the word "Scanner" because I have tried several of these low end units. I even have an Actron that is called a "Scanner." So far they are all just glorified "Code Readers." I looked at the link that you provided and that unit also just looks like a "Code Reader." It doesn't say that it will connect to the Air Bag system, Body Control Module, or Transmission. A "Real," High End," actual "Scanner" costs around $5,000.00. Here's a couple of examples.

OTC Genisys

Snap On, Modis

The thing is; at this point, I don't think any of the "Expensive" tests or equipment are what you need. I think you need a simple "Spark Tester" and a "Fuel Pressure Gauge." The fuel pressure gauge should have a long enough hose to reach out from under the hood so it can be taped to the windshield. Look up the proper fuel pressure. If the car stalls or won't start, look at the gauge. Now you will know if fuel pressure is the problem. Check for "Spark" at the plugs. Now you will know what is missing and where to even begin a search. Just like writing a computer program. You have to know what problem you are solving before you start to write any code.

Please keep us posted.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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11-30-2011, 09:01 PM (This post was last modified: 11-30-2011 09:14 PM by sparty1984.)
Post: #7
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
(11-30-2011 08:04 AM)Garner Wrote:  I don't know a whole lot about that Actron "Scanner." I put the quotes around the word "Scanner" because I have tried several of these low end units. I even have an Actron that is called a "Scanner." So far they are all just glorified "Code Readers." I looked at the link that you provided and that unit also just looks like a "Code Reader." It doesn't say that it will connect to the Air Bag system, Body Control Module, or Transmission. A "Real," High End," actual "Scanner" costs around $5,000.00. Here's a couple of examples.

OTC Genisys

Snap On, Modis

The thing is; at this point, I don't think any of the "Expensive" tests or equipment are what you need. I think you need a simple "Spark Tester" and a "Fuel Pressure Gauge." The fuel pressure gauge should have a long enough hose to reach out from under the hood so it can be taped to the windshield. Look up the proper fuel pressure. If the car stalls or won't start, look at the gauge. Now you will know if fuel pressure is the problem. Check for "Spark" at the plugs. Now you will know what is missing and where to even begin a search. Just like writing a computer program. You have to know what problem you are solving before you start to write any code.

I really appreciate you spending your valuable time replying and trying to help me.
what I am doing with the scanner is putting it in "Record Mode" which saves all kinds of information in frames and I am hoping to have it in that mode the next time it stalls where I can review the frames hoping it might show what happened right at the time of stalling.
I picked it up today after work, but of course it didn't stall all the way home today.
I will look into the 2 items you suggested later tonight and see if it is fuel pressure, spark or both at the time the problem happens.

p.s. when installing the software on my computer that goes with the unit, it shows that it does connect to ABS and BCM systems, but I don't see anything about the transmission.

thanks,
Daryl
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12-04-2011, 10:08 PM
Post: #8
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
well, I have been driving it for several days now with the scanner hooked up and no issues. I am going to try driving without it now.
I am making an assumption that is the problem comes back then there is something in the electrical system, probably a ground wire or something that is not a problem when there is something else connected to the circuit. does that sound correct?

Thanks,
Daryl
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12-05-2011, 08:50 PM
Post: #9
RE: 2001 Grand Prix Intermittent Stalling, wont start for 10-15 mins then fine for awhile
I have seen where plugging in a scanner or code reader provides an alternate path for the electric. I have seen it both "Cause" & "Remove" glitches. I still suggest using a fuel pressure gauge and spark tester to determine what system is failing.

Please keep us posted.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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