1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes runs

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mikesoloway
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:12 pm

1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes runs

Unread post by mikesoloway » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:22 pm

My car will start most of the time but when it does not it takes sometimes as much as an hour of cranking it to get it to start.

Just so you know I have my grandchildren flying into town this Wednesday for their annual summer visit HELP!!!!

1. Sometimes it starts but is hesitating it will rev on it's own and then just die.
2. Sometimes no problem.
3. Sometimes when I am driving it hesitates and feels like it is running out of gas.

I brought it into the shop this is what I was told:

1. They told me to replace the Mass air flow sensor and that will do it. (I got that replaced)
2. It had the same symptoms just 3 days later I brought it back in.
3. I was told that "the Intake Vaccum had a leak" I fixed that.
4. I was told The fuel system had to be cleaned. I fixed that.
5. Then they went to bring my car around the front to give it to me and it would not start for them ..
6 I was told it is the fuel pump and the fuel pump regulator.
7. The fuel pressure they told me was 30.

Should I get this fuel pump and fuel pump regulator replaced and can it be anything else?

I appreciate any input.

Thanks
Mike Soloway

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carriedi
Posts: 2280
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:42 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: 1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes r

Unread post by carriedi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:33 pm

fuel pressure is supposed to be 41 - 47psi key on engine not running. S0, 30 psi would be a reason to replace the fuel pump. normally you would check the fuel pressure regulator first before you condemn the pump for a low pressure problem.

First let me say this, intermittent problems are difficult for any shop to diagnose. The shop needs to have the problem happen while they are looking at it. If it doesn't happen to them they will have to guess at what it might be. And though they will use experience and training behind their guess (hypothesis - an educated guess) it is still a guess.

with the correct tools you can pressurize the fuel rail and see if the regulator is releasing the excessive pressure off at the correct psi. Then you will know if the regulator is good or not. you should also look to make sure the regulator is not leaking through the vacuum port. if the regulator proves out good then, with 30psi fuel pressure you could condemn the fuel pump. You could also do a test called dead head pressure that will tell you the max pressure the fuel pump will put out and do a volume test to see what the flow rate is. the thing is that those tests need to be done when your car is having the problem you are experiencing. If it is working normally everything will check out normal.

Have they checked your fuel filter?

If the check engine light has come on you might want to print out the freeze frame and look at your fuel trims. (how much fuel your computer is giving your engine to make it run so the exhaust values are withing specs) If your fuel pressure is running low your fuel trims will show that the computer is adding fuel to make the oxygen sensor stay withing spec. (not too lean, not too rich)

then, there is always the shot gun approach. and it works sometimes. but it is better to diagnose and fix the problem without adding a bunch of parts you may not need. I am not saying that you did not need all that other work. You may have. but low fuel pressure or low fuel volume could cause the symptoms you describe.

mikesoloway
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: 1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes r

Unread post by mikesoloway » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:22 pm

Thank you so much.
The check engine light was on when they first started working on it last week.
After they did the work this morning the check engine light had gone out.

* I did have vacuum leaks they replaced the dry rotted hoses.
* I did change the fuel filter a few months ago when symptoms began to show up.

I understand the trouble shooting methods and if it is not doing what it does then they have to make an educated guess. (at my expense) But I trust these guys.

I was just wondering after all I did and when I do the fuel pump and regulator is it possible that it could be something else? This is my biggest concern!!

I just don't know how far down the rabbit hole I want to go with this but the car has been good for years.

Gosh give me the days when I had a 1962 Ford Fairlane (in the early 70's) Simple engine a carburetor, points, plugs, a timing light and that was pretty much it.


Thanks again

Mike

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carriedi
Posts: 2280
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:42 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: 1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes r

Unread post by carriedi » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:50 pm

well Mike, it's not very different from when you go to a doctor of medicine. Some things show up very easy and some things are difficult. You go by the symptoms and the data that you can find. I wish that repair shops could say "try this and you still have the problem come back and see me in a couple of weeks". The doctors will charge you for every examination, every test and every solution they gives you. And hopes they will cure you. sometimes they might not be able to cure you so they try to help with the symptoms. Or recommend a specialist. (another doctor that will probably charge a lot more but specializes if a particular area so has more tools and knowledge in that area)

hopefully we do our best and we can help the patient to live on for many more years (and miles)

mikesoloway
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: 1998 Olds Cutlas sometimes does not start and somtimes r

Unread post by mikesoloway » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:06 pm

Well said,

Thank you great analogy !!!!

I will see what they say Tuesday Morning!!
I'll post the results

Thanks again

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