TR Randomly Shutting Off

terik.m

I thought GNs are black
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Okay heres the dillema. About two days ago Im accelerating from a stop and I get to about 3500 rpm and the car just shuts off. I thought it was my alternator cuz it did that when my alt went bad. I coast it to a parking lot and try to restart her. I turn the key and nothing happens. No clicks from the starter or anything. So I break out the handy heat soak tool (The Club) and tap on the starter...the car starts like normal. Im like "ok" so I need a new starter. Anyhow, last night Im out cruising around cuz I was bored and it happend again this time at about 10mph as I was going thru a parking lot. Same deal, I tap on the starter and she starts. Now I am paranoid. So Im on the way back to my house and it did it once more. I checked all the grounds this morning and everything is good. So I log into turbobuick.com and start reading. Besides needing a new starter and accoording to what Ive read so far it seems like the crank position sensor is in question. I have no CELS.

All knowing Turbo Buick scholars..my questions are...

What are the symptoms of a failing Crank Pos Sens?
Can it cause intermittent stalls like this?
Can a dirty Crank Pos Sens cause this problem?
 
When you say "turn the key and nothing happens" - do you mean this literally as in no dash light, etc etc...or do you mean all else is normal but the starter doesn't engage and spin when you turn the key to start position.

Regardless, I wouldn't suspect the starter at all if your "no start" always coincides with "random stall".
 
Thanks for the fast response...all the dash lights come on like normal when the key is turned. The fuel pump sounds hums like normal. The starter will not spin nor does the solenoid click. If I tap on the starter with something it will fire right up. So I know I need a new starter. I checked the cable from the battery to the starter to see if it was grounding out and causing the car to stall but the wire is cool. I also checked the ground in the trunk for the fuel pump and its cool too.

When it shuts down all the dash lights are on, the stereo is still playing, and the gauges are still lit.
 
Fusable link bad perhaps?

I had that happen on a truck once....just died on the road, lights still worked, no starter, no power source to coil....bad fusable link...burned right in half.
 
Just a random guess- bad MAF? Sorry I can't be of much help. Maybe old gas in the tank?
 
I was thinking maybe this autozone maf has the car acting crazy. I am on my third one now but I have no CELs. I have Friday off so Im gonna investigate a bit more. Thanks for the input fellas.
 
the starter will have nothing to do with the car shutting off.
do you have a tilt column? if so, is there any wobble in it?
if so, then the linkage from the key to the starter switch down on the column might have some play in it. had that happen on an 87 Caprice- if i hit a bump or just bumped the column wrong, the car would shut off and sometimes would start right back up, other times i had to wiggle the column a bit to get it to work. but the dash always had power when it happened.
another thing to look at would be to make sure that the ignition switch isn't moving around on the column and going out of adjustment- even if you don't have a tilt column.
 
Starter solenoid? if you have to tap on the starter to start the car, you do have a starter problem..... I dont know what cels is though.?
 
Car shutting off randomly and no power to the starter. I vote fuesable link or ignition switch. Easy to check if you bring a test light along with you, but guaranteed to happen in a spot that you won't want to be with diagnosing a problem. (middle of a busy intersection :rolleyes: ) I don't know what wire colors to check for coil pack and starter power but I'm sure someone here can chime in with them.
 
Check for the battery wire running down to the starter that it is not burning/grounding out onto the exhaust. Been there done that. Same symptoms.
 
Alright so I checked the wire from the battery to the starter and its cool. I decided to change the alternator cuz its under warranty. The car doesnt stall anymore but after about 45 minutes of driving with the headlights on the volt light will flicker. The serp belt has a faint squeaking noise coming from it. I took a look at it and its glazed a bit. So I will replace it today and hope that the flickering volt light is due to the belt slipping.
 
Fusable link bad perhaps?

I had that happen on a truck once....just died on the road, lights still worked, no starter, no power source to coil....bad fusable link...burned right in half.

Very good possibility.

I was thinking maybe this autozone maf has the car acting crazy. I am on my third one now but I have no CELs. I have Friday off so Im gonna investigate a bit more. Thanks for the input fellas.

Buy a good MAF and be done with it. Even though its not throwing codes, it still might not be reading right. Or invest in a MAF translator ;)

A starter wont cause a stalling issue. Definatly look at the fusible links coming from the starter. Make sure they are not shorting out on the engine block or loose.

Get a volt meter and see what your charging system voltage is also.
 
I was thinking maybe this autozone maf has the car acting crazy. I am on my third one now but I have no CELs. I have Friday off so Im gonna investigate a bit more. Thanks for the input fellas.

kirban 2 cents worth

Although it may not be an initial problem the rebuilt mass air flow sensor you got from AUTO ZONE is it the factory original style or does the plug connector run horizontal instead of pointing down to the ground?

If plug is not pointing downward it is not the correct original version.

The crank sensor could be playing a part unless it has been replaced since new as the original design was changed... something about them coming lose....

No fuses are blowing are they?

I by no means a mechanic just giving possibilities that I am familar with over the years and yes I have had the starter problem as well.

kirbanperformance.com

denniskirban@yahoo.com

we are one of the very few places that get the factory original mass air flow sensors rebuilt....
 
Another posibility , check to make sure your chip is seated good and all the prongs are straight and making good contac . this happened to me , took a while to find it . I would be cruising along and car would quit . wait awhile and it would start
 
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