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View Full Version : chugging and sputtering when accellerating



mapolley07
02-08-2008, 10:58 AM
This is in a 1990 Buick LeSabre Custom, 3.8L V6, 142,xxx on the odo

when I accelerate from a stop, the car will hesitate and act like it is about to stall. It has actually stalled on me a couple times. But if say I am at a stop light, and i go to accellerate from the dead stop, the engine will hesitate and chug a little bit and you can feel the car shaking a little. I feel like I am going to stall out, and the feeling almost reminds me of somebody first learning to drive a stick and they barely keep from stalling the engine.

But the weird thing is that once the car warms up the problem goes away, like after 10 or 15 minutes or so. Anybody know what the problem could be? i already changed the spark plugs and the plug wires look good. what else should i look for?

bad @SS chevy
02-08-2008, 10:59 AM
Bad spark plugs..... old air filter..... oil change....

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:02 AM
i had an oil change less than 700 miles ago, replaced spark plugs about 200 miles ago, and air filter is pretty clean.

i thought it could be my PCV valve and fuel filter, but I can't get to my PCV and i need ramps to be able to get to my fuel filter based on where its located

MTXman
02-08-2008, 11:03 AM
I'd say spark plugs. Rumbling is usually from burnt out spark plugs. Check all your fluids and change out your spark plugs and you should be all set.

Edit: NVM, but - even though you just changed them out, one of them might be burnt - check the ends to see if they are or not.

Pop da Hatch
02-08-2008, 11:04 AM
could be fuel filter or pump.

DBfan187
02-08-2008, 11:05 AM
mine did that too, turned out to be a bad O2 sensor even though the check engine light never came on.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:05 AM
I'd say spark plugs. Rumbling is usually from burnt out spark plugs. Check all your fluids and change out your spark plugs and you should be all set.

i just installed brand new spark plugs about 2 weeks ago, and the problem still hasn't gone away. Most of my fluids look good, i need a coolant flush and probably a trans flush, but levels are okay.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:09 AM
could be fuel filter or pump.

I will replace the fuel filter as soon as I can get some ramps to lift the whole car up, i can't access it when its on a jack because the jacking point is right where i need to be to work.


mine did that too, turned out to be a bad O2 sensor.

I will check the O2 sensor, I know one of them is really easy to get to, i don't know if there are any more. How can i tell if it is bad? is there a way to look at it and tell? can I test it with a DMM? or can autozone test it for me?

DBfan187
02-08-2008, 11:11 AM
autozone will do it with an OBD reader.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:12 AM
well my car is a 1990, before OBD ports were standard. Can they still run an OBD scan on it?

frzninvt
02-08-2008, 11:14 AM
Run some fuel injector cleaner through it and use some higher octane gas when you do.

DBfan187
02-08-2008, 11:14 AM
my OBDII runs from cars 1996+, so yes.

revrider1
02-08-2008, 11:15 AM
Fuel Filter

1320n12
02-08-2008, 11:19 AM
Sounds like a sensor,possibly collant temp sensor, yes this sensor helps to control fuel.
You need to get it scanned by someone with a good scanner (snapon) not by auto zone or the like.
My new scanner cost me almost 10K so not everyone is gonna have one.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:20 AM
okay so list of things to do on this car:

replace fuel filter (will replace this regardless, its only a $5 part)
have OBD scan done to check O2 sensor
possibly replace O2 sensor (may replace anyway, its only like $20)

anything else I should do? anything else I should check?

andrewmoore13
02-08-2008, 11:20 AM
could be your timing belt

had a very similar problem with a ford 302, ran fine at idle, even spun up out of gear, soon as you put it in gear BLAH. turned out we switched some of the plug wires... but same differene

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:21 AM
Sounds like a sensor,possibly collant temp sensor, yes this sensor helps to control fuel.
You need to get it scanned by someone with a good scanner (snapon) not by auto zone or the like.
My new scanner cost me almost 10K so not everyone is gonna have one.

I don't have the money to pay for an in-depth diagnostics report, as i am in college with no money at all and no job. I can do the work myself, I just need an idea of whats wrong

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Run some fuel injector cleaner through it and use some higher octane gas when you do.

forgot to mention, I had my oil change place do a GumOut fuel injector clean when i had an oil change in august, and actually they ran 2 fuel injector cleaners because they were so dirty. Also i ran a bottle of fuel injector cleaner through my tank about 2 weeks ago with a full tank of gas. I doubt thats the problem

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:25 AM
could be your timing belt

how would I check that? and is replacing a timing belt something I could do in my driveway with basic tools? I don't want to mess my car up trying something that gets me in over my head

andrewmoore13
02-08-2008, 11:26 AM
how would I check that? and is replacing a timing belt something I could do in my driveway with basic tools? I don't want to mess my car up trying something that gets me in over my head

i'm not sure what your specific engine looks like/calls for (be it a few degrees before or after TDC), but i think thats something you should have a garage look at if its the problem

the engine i worked on was in a boat as well, which allowed for a pretty easy view of everything going on. we also had an old school distributer cap with rotors and points so we could get away with being slightly off by turning the cap a little in one direction or the other.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:28 AM
i'm not sure what your specific engine looks like/calls for be it a few degrees before or after TDC, but i think thats something you should have a garage look at if its the problem

that was my gut feeling, I will replace the fuel filter and O2 sensor and hopefully that will take care of the problem. If you are familiar with the GM 3800 V6, thats the engine I have. Its the Series 1, but the newer model with direct port FI.

thanks for the help, everybody

1320n12
02-08-2008, 11:29 AM
I don't have the money to pay for an in-depth diagnostics report, as i am in college with no money at all and no job. I can do the work myself, I just need an idea of whats wrong

You are probably going to spend alot more in parts guessing at the problem than if you actually paid for the scan. With newer computer controled cars guessing usually gets you nowhere unless you get lucky. Scan should only cost about $40

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:29 AM
oh yeah, no distributor, my car is about 2 years too new for that, it has coil packs.

Andrew12
02-08-2008, 11:29 AM
I had the same problem, but mine was my starter. Eventually died on me at 2am in the Mcdonalds parking lot.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:31 AM
You are probably going to spend alot more in parts guessing at the problem than if you actually paid for the scan. With newer computer controled cars guessing usually gets you nowhere unless you get lucky. Scan should only cost about $40

okay, most people have told me diagnostics prices run more like $80-100 and up, and I figured most people here, and with my own knowledge, determined it could be one of two parts, and the two together are only $25. I think I will call around and get a price on a diagnostic scan

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 11:33 AM
I had the same problem, but mine was my starter. Eventually died on me at 2am in the Mcdonalds parking lot.

i've dealt with messed up starters before....my dad's Grand Marquis is on its second replacement starter.......a starter should only make it hard to start the car, shouldn't cause any other problems. also, you can get under the car and tap on the starter with a hammer and usually you can get the car started so that you can get home at least

MorningWood
02-08-2008, 12:48 PM
Sounds like a sensor,possibly collant temp sensor, yes this sensor helps to control fuel.
You need to get it scanned by someone with a good scanner (snapon) not by auto zone or the like.
My new scanner cost me almost 10K so not everyone is gonna have one.

Agreed, I think that having someone check it with a ****** scanner can end up costing you $$$$$$$$$$$$$ as it will misdiagnose the problem and you will pay to fix things that are not broke.

mapolley07
02-08-2008, 01:19 PM
alright thanks for all the help everybody. i am gonna go ahead and replace the fuel filter because I'm pretty sure it will help, and for 5 or 6 bucks i can't go wrong. I will get it scanned and figure out what the bigger problem is, and hopefully it will be a cheap fix (under $100).

I drove the car to walmart a few minutes ago and it drove fine though, i don't know if it just gets worse with the cold or what.

MrSwiss
02-08-2008, 06:27 PM
wow my 1992 lesabre has been doing the same thing for about a month. i was thinking it was the trans stuttering. im gonna look into these other issues. i was going to get the trans flushed tommorrow.

edit: btw i just got an oil change last weekend, and new spark plugs last fall, so those should not be an issue.

audioatg
02-08-2008, 11:08 PM
Worked for a GM buick place for a bit. So My guess sounds like a trans problem possibly a TCC seloniod or PCC seloniod. Both control shifting. Question about the stalling too. Has it ever actually stalled. When you said stall made me think could be the crank position senor. had alot of problems with them. But I hate to say I have a gut feelings its in the trans the two control seloniods I said we had alot of problems with them. Ppl said the same thing you said shifting problems.

$ Big C $
02-09-2008, 04:43 PM
Had a nissan in doing the same thing, check your fuel pressure.

motox_727
03-18-2008, 03:22 PM
get some mistery oil and run it through your motor a few times it should clear it up

jdc753
03-18-2008, 03:33 PM
Seems to be a bump on an old thread but to me it sounds similar to a fuel delivery problem. O2 sensor could cause that or dirty injectors, dirt fuel filter, bad fuel pickup. Cars got some miles on it so O2 sensor sounds reasonable and when was the last time the fuel filter was changed. I got a 83 F250 with a straight six and 4 speed, the jets in the carb were bad (crappy rebuild) and would leak fuel into the carb instead of metering it like normal. This made it want to fall flat on its face if you tried to accelerate too hard from a stop. I would say driveability wise see if it works fine if you go really easy on the throttle and if you can stall it out by just stabbing the gas from a stop.

Th3pWn3r
03-18-2008, 03:34 PM
Wow...the advice given has been pretty retarded for the most part lol. Especially the mystery oil idea. Anyhow, on top of all the things mentioned in this thread I can't believe that nobody has mentioned to check to see if your catalytic converter is "blown out" or clogged, the cat if clogged will cause the symptoms you're having. You can try running with the cat disconnected and see how it runs(Illegal in some states,possibly all) and if it runs fine you know that's your problem. You can also try banging or tapping it with your hand and listen for stuff rattling around inside. The extreme back-pressure this would put on your engine would definitely cause it to run poorly. Had this problem on my 89 Camaro Z28 back in the day.

ThatChevyGuy
03-18-2008, 03:36 PM
I think this is whats wrong with mine. When i floor it i smell rotten eggs. And fish.

audioatg
03-18-2008, 05:30 PM
Wow...the advice given has been pretty retarded for the most part lol. Especially the mystery oil idea. Anyhow, on top of all the things mentioned in this thread I can't believe that nobody has mentioned to check to see if your catalytic converter is "blown out" or clogged, the cat if clogged will cause the symptoms you're having. You can try running with the cat disconnected and see how it runs(Illegal in some states,possibly all) and if it runs fine you know that's your problem. You can also try banging or tapping it with your hand and listen for stuff rattling around inside. The extreme back-pressure this would put on your engine would definitely cause it to run poorly. Had this problem on my 89 Camaro Z28 back in the day.


lmao . Why is it that some one out of the blue comes out and says everyone else is stupid like this. Kids these days.

ThatChevyGuy
03-18-2008, 08:14 PM
Theses.
That is allses.

Th3pWn3r
03-23-2008, 11:41 AM
lmao . Why is it that some one out of the blue comes out and says everyone else is stupid like this. Kids these days.

You really need to learn how to read. Where did I say that everyone is stupid? I said there's been a lot of retarded advice but I didn't say everyone is stupid. You're right, I'm a kid, oh no, it's the end of my life because you called me a kid. Grow up, what are you 50 years old living at home with your parents still lurking and trolling websites in an attempt to make a "kid" feel bad? I'm 23 and I'm glad that I'm not old or even elderly such as someone like yourself.

By the way, to the original poster, have you figured out the problem or fixed it?

jdawg
03-23-2008, 12:56 PM
the very first thing I would have done is run codes before throw parts at the car http://www.obd-codes.com/faq/read-gm-2-digit-obd-codes-free.php

dman4486
03-23-2008, 12:58 PM
run the codes, and then remove and clean your egr valve....I had this issue with another make/model and egr never opened causing the cold motor to run like A$$

jdawg
03-23-2008, 01:02 PM
I had a similar in a 90 caprice. Ran codes doing the paper clip thing and nothing. Turned out the turn down under the back bumper was crushed like half way shut from pulling into gas stations and such. My car was lowered like 3".

HK93GMC
04-03-2008, 01:47 PM
pull plug wires off of coil packs and check for rust on post or up in wire boot, also could be a semi-clogged converter

youngcoke
04-03-2008, 01:48 PM
if you smell eggs that means you need a new catalytic converter . and check your fuel filter

Joseph M
04-03-2008, 07:52 PM
How about spark plug wires? have you changed those? i heard you changed the spark plugs, but the wires could be bad?

mapolley07
06-26-2008, 12:46 AM
Bumping my old thread, but my car is still hesitating when I accellerate from a stop. I have newer spark plugs, new air filter, new fuel filter, oil change 1k miles ago, and catalytic converter was removed before I even bought the car.

Anyway, I did the paperclip trick to read the OBD-1 codes and got codes 13 and 14 which are O2 sensor and Coolant Temp Sensors reading bad voltages. should replacing these fix the problem?

mapolley07
07-06-2008, 09:34 PM
I replaced the O2 sensor this afternoon and that seemed to do the trick! $21.00 and <5 minutes of work made a huge difference.

I think i need a Coolant Temp sensor still, I'll check the codes again soon and see which codes are still showing up