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1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically


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hicollegeguy
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Nov 13, 2011, 6:19 PM

Post #1 of 7 (1595 views)
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1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically Sign In

I'm driving a 1998 Chevy Lumina 3.1L with around 130k miles.

It was serviced in May because it would often be dead the day after I had used it with no issues. They replaced the alternator and battery. It was generally running fine since then, with a couple of exceptions.

About once every 6 weeks, it has died while I was waiting at a light, for no reason that I could determine. The car also used to start fine without any gas. I had to start giving it a little gas to start it, but now pretty much have to floor it to get it to turn over.

Recently even that been pretty much hit or miss. Even once it starts running, it'll stop about half the time. When I use the accelerator in neutral, the engine will often rev and then go back to normal in very quick cycles, rather than running smoothly like it used to. I don't notice any problems when driving, but I do hear a rattling that goes faster and slower depending on how fast the engine's going.

Any help would be appreciated.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 13, 2011, 6:21 PM

Post #2 of 7 (1586 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

 You may have a bad IAC ( idle air control) but try eliminating any vacuum leaks and cleaning the throttle body first. Remove the intake snorkel, have someone hold the throttle wide open for you and scrub the back side of the throttle plate and surrounding bore with an old tooth brush and some carb cleaner. Be sure to spray some into the small holes next to the throttle plate. That should help stabilize the idle. If it still has a problem, replace the IAC.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 13, 2011, 6:27 PM

Post #3 of 7 (1581 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

Playing with the gas pedal is just confusing the poor thing. You aren't giving it gas and "flooring" it cuts off the fuel delivery. It is supposed to deliver fuel by just turning the key, warm or cold conditions.

Noise: See if belt is loose or any item in the belt system

Get the codes read even if no warning light is on it probably has some helpful info. All crank and not starting is likely lacking either spark or fuel and go from there,

T
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Long retired now


hicollegeguy
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Nov 14, 2011, 10:17 AM

Post #4 of 7 (1539 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

So I realize that it's just a band-aid and probably not good for the car, but giving it gas has to do something, right? It won't catch unless I give it gas.

Thanks for the suggestions, though, I'll be trying them out.


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 14, 2011, 10:32 AM

Post #5 of 7 (1535 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

You aren't giving it gas like a carb used to by pumping back when. It will decide by itself (all things normal) how much based on many factors and set the proper idle for the conditions it's in.

HT suggested IAC - idle air control) as that know the incoming air speed and if dirty could send a wrong signal. Code readings would help to find at least the system/circuit that is not sending correct info. Basic code readings are free at many of the parts outlets. Post #s as that doesn't necessarily tell you what part to fix/replace but rather the trouble area,

T
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Long retired now


Hammer Time
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Nov 14, 2011, 10:42 AM

Post #6 of 7 (1523 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

The IAC is supposed to let in sufficient air to start the car at idle but if the throttle body isa dirty or there is a problem with the IAC, it may require opening the throttle plate a little.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 14, 2011, 11:09 AM

Post #7 of 7 (1517 views)
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Re: 1998 Lumina engine dies sporadically [In reply to] Sign In

Yes - so I'll stand corrected but it isn't pumping in fuel but rather allowing air flow. Needs cleaning first or possible replacement,

Tom
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Long retired now




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