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Old 10-24-2010, 10:49   #1 (permalink)
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Car starts then dies

Like the title says, but this problem is intermittent. It has done it about 5 times in the last 2 weeks. It dies out within a few seconds like it doesn't want to idle. I have done a complete tune up in the last 6 months. Checked batteries/connections and they look good. Alternator is charging correctly. I'm not getting a check engine light and no codes. Car runs normal the rest of the time. Any ideas where to start looking? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-24-2010, 14:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

I got it to act up a couple of times. It didn't die but got surging at idle and then cleared up pretty quick. I think that when I turn the key on w/o letting the pcm initialize is when I have the problem (but it's intermittent). About 2 months ago I had a problem with my drivers side exhaust manifold leaking. I got that fixed but in the process I think I created a small exhaust leak on the passenger side where the manifold meets the exhaust pipe.

So is it possible that the pcm is just using default values from turning on the key quick. Then when it reads the actual sensors (maybe o2 since I have a leak) it tries to compensate and the car does not like it? That's is the only thing I can come up with after thinking about it a little more.
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Old 10-24-2010, 16:46   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

When the car is cold it's in open loop and doesn't pay attention to the O2 sensors other than to check if they're plugged in. I'd clean the IAC and MAF sensor and see how it does.
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Old 10-24-2010, 17:46   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

I cleaned the IAC earlier. I went ahead and cleaned the MAF sensor. Started about 5 times and seemed good. That would be nice if that was the problem. I'll report back in a week or two, maybe sooner if the problem still exists. Thanks
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:05   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

I have not had any problems with it dying on a cold start but it has only been 1 1/2 days. Today I went to try to start at 36 degrees and did not want to start. It seemed to crank over ok but took me about a minute to get it started. I took my battery to get it checked out and took it into the store and they said it tested good and is about a year old. What should be the cranking voltage on a cold start? I know on my truck most recommend greater than 10.5 vdc. Could a problem with the MAF sensor cause this? I did clean it with some electrical parts cleaner. Last year I had a problem with cold starts. I did a tune up and cleared up the problem. It has been less than 10k miles since the tune-up so I can't see that being the problem. Any other things to check out?

I also threw in some Lucas treatment. I usually do this every oil change. This car is starting to get on my nerves. Only good thing is it has not left me stranded anywhere and is paid for...knock on wood....
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:06   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

Not familar with that particular car but symptoms on other makes can sometimes be caused by faulty engine coolant temperature sensor .
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Old 10-26-2010, 14:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

The ECT can cause problems. Autozone will pull codes for free. See what they come up with.
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Old 10-26-2010, 16:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

I checked the codes at Autozone the other day. No codes or check engine light.
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Old 10-26-2010, 17:11   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

It could also be the IAC. For the ECT here are the readings for it.

Temp °F Resistance Voltage
176°F 3840Ω 0.75 V
194°F 2800Ω 0.60 V
212°F 2070Ω 0.45 V
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ECT.jpg (59.7 KB, 10 views)
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Old 10-26-2010, 17:28   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Car starts then dies

Bert, appreciate the help. That thumbnail is for the IAT? Maybe that was for reference? I don't even know where it is on my car. Is the ECT right above the water pump? It would be nice if it would set a code but I guess not.
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