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Intrepidation

Stalling Problems

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So the oher day my girlfriend was at a drive-thru in the Intrepid waiting on food when the car stalled (oil light came on but that was the only light). Later that day I waspicking my brother up from work, and was at a stoplight when it stalled on me. Just a slight shutter and then dead. Started right back up, although as I entered the highway on-ramp it reved higher than it should have, but it was fine after that.

The problem is that it's been fine since then. Took it to the mechanic on Monday and they were unable to get it to stall. He suggested either the fuel pump or the timing chains. Today still no luck, and my girlfriend needed it so she picked it up and it was problem free.

So..based on queries on Dodgetalk, my own guess, and the mechanic, here's the possible issues listed:

  • Timing Chains
  • Fuel Pump
  • Crankshaft Sensor
  • Dirty idle air motor
  • Throttle Body
  • Fuel Filter
I could be wrong, since diagnosing a problem isn't my forte, but I would think the throttle body would be ruled out, since it idles perfectly all of the time and the revs are always properly modulated, with the exception of those stalls. It's not like the Shadow, which I know needs a throttle body, as it idles somewhat high, never maintains a steady idle (fluctuates a 100 or so rpm), and usually wants to stall when it's cold or sometimes going in reverse.

Fuel Pump...I don't know the symptoms of a dying one, but I would think once it goes it goes and won't work anymore...not most of the time and sometimes stop working. I have no idea though.

The sensor, motor, and filter I'm not sure where to check/how to check as the repair manual I have doesn't say for any of them.

As for the timing chains...I know they need to be replaced, as it's about that time (almost 200,000 miles), and I planned on doing it soon anyway (which I think/hope would get rid of that sound I mentioned several months ago). My question is...can they make a car sall by them and the guides/tensioners being worn?

Really the only thing keeping me from having it done now is the question of the fuel pump and if it's linked to the stalling or not. I have the money to replace the chains or the fuel pump but not both. I just hope it's not the fuel pump.

Any advice/thoughts/other possible causes would be great. If possible I'd like to get this remedied before this weekend. Thanks guys!

Edited by Dodgefan
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It could be the timing chain, considering you were already having some issues with it (I believe ?)

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So the oher day my girlfriend was at a drive-thru in the Intrepid waiting on food when the car stalled (oil light came on but that was the only light). Later that day I waspicking my brother up from work, and was at a stoplight when it stalled on me. Just a slight shutter and then dead. Started right back up, although as I entered the highway on-ramp it reved higher than it should have, but it was fine after that.

The problem is that it's been fine since then. Took it to the mechanic on Monday and they were unable to get it to stall. He suggested either the fuel pump or the timing chains. Today still no luck, and my girlfriend needed it so she picked it up and it was problem free.

So..based on queries on Dodgetalk, my own guess, and the mechanic, here's the possible issues listed:

  • Timing Chains
  • Fuel Pump
  • Crankshaft Sensor
  • Dirty idle air motor
  • Throttle Body
  • Fuel Filter
I could be wrong, since diagnosing a problem isn't my forte, but I would think the throttle body would be ruled out, since it idles perfectly all of the time and the revs are always properly modulated, with the exception of those stalls. It's not like the Shadow, which I know needs a throttle body, as it idles somewhat high, never maintains a steady idle (fluctuates a 100 or so rpm), and usually wants to stall when it's cold or sometimes going in reverse.

Fuel Pump...I don't know the symptoms of a dying one, but I would think once it goes it goes and won't work anymore...not most of the time and sometimes stop working. I have no idea though.

The sensor, motor, and filter I'm not sure where to check/how to check as the repair manual I have doesn't say for any of them.

As for the timing chains...I know they need to be replaced, as it's about that time (almost 200,000 miles), and I planned on doing it soon anyway (which I think/hope would get rid of that sound I mentioned several months ago). My question is...can they make a car sall by them and the guides/tensioners being worn?

Really the only thing keeping me from having it done now is the question of the fuel pump and if it's linked to the stalling or not. I have the money to replace the chains or the fuel pump but not both. I just hope it's not the fuel pump.

Any advice/thoughts/other possible causes would be great. If possible I'd like to get this remedied before this weekend. Thanks guys!

Personally I can't see it being the timing chain, if the chain jumped a tooth it wouldn't be an intermittent problem, it would be a steady problem, and most likely lacking in power...

Fuel pump doesn't sound terribly good to me either, maybe a plugged filter, dirty injectors, etc etc etc. The fuel pumps on many vehicles with EFI have inertia switches, but they would kill the pump and wouldn't run again unless reset.

Crank (and/or) cam sensor should be able to be brought up with a scanning tool, should it not? It sounds pretty reasonable to me if it's pulled a fault code, but to replace the sensors without verifying they are the trouble is a money problem as far as I am concerned. If you KNOW they are the culprit sure....

Dirty IAC sure sounds like a possibility too. I think it's a good thing to check first, IMO anyways....

Throttle body might have wear issues at the shaft, but you should be able to alter the idle easily by moving the shaft with your hand at idle if that was the case....

Fuel filter is a maybe... there might be TWO filters as well, maybe a question to the forum you use as to how many filters the car actually has might be worth a try, I know people who have regularly changed ONE filter and later found they actually had two from the factory.

Is there any noticable lack of power, or does the idle just dump from time to time? Is there any issues of a hunting idle?

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Personally I can't see it being the timing chain, if the chain jumped a tooth it wouldn't be an intermittent problem, it would be a steady problem, and most likely lacking in power...

Fuel pump doesn't sound terribly good to me either, maybe a plugged filter, dirty injectors, etc etc etc. The fuel pumps on many vehicles with EFI have inertia switches, but they would kill the pump and wouldn't run again unless reset.

Crank (and/or) cam sensor should be able to be brought up with a scanning tool, should it not? It sounds pretty reasonable to me if it's pulled a fault code, but to replace the sensors without verifying they are the trouble is a money problem as far as I am concerned. If you KNOW they are the culprit sure....

Dirty IAC sure sounds like a possibility too. I think it's a good thing to check first, IMO anyways....

Throttle body might have wear issues at the shaft, but you should be able to alter the idle easily by moving the shaft with your hand at idle if that was the case....

Fuel filter is a maybe... there might be TWO filters as well, maybe a question to the forum you use as to how many filters the car actually has might be worth a try, I know people who have regularly changed ONE filter and later found they actually had two from the factory.

Is there any noticable lack of power, or does the idle just dump from time to time? Is there any issues of a hunting idle?

It didn't throw an codes at the shop, there's no idle hunting, it idles at the same rpm consistently. no lack of power or idle jump either. The other stuff I'm not sure about. The one thing I do know is that the chains do need to be replaced soon.

We used it on my birthday and it behaved perfectly, so go figure.

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I had a '93 Intrepid years ago with a a similar stalling issue--spent a few bucks on a few of the items you mention...didn't get it fully licked and, since my brother was commuting with it (the stalling never bothered me, as I would shift into neutral and restart everytime) and he would panic each time (don't ask), we traded it in...

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I had a '93 Intrepid years ago with a a similar stalling issue--spent a few bucks on a few of the items you mention...didn't get it fully licked and, since my brother was commuting with it (the stalling never bothered me, as I would shift into neutral and restart everytime) and he would panic each time (don't ask), we traded it in...

I'm keeping it. :P

Sine I have no time and even less money this semester I'm just using the Prizm as my daily driver. Once school gets out I'll have time to look it over, although the chains are being replaced within a couple weeks hopefully.

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Just a thought, but you said the oil light came on. On a lot of GM's the oil light is tied to the fuel pump, if it reads low oil pressure, it kills the pump to save the engine. Maybe just a oil sender going out, or just a twitch that one time.

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Just a thought, but you said the oil light came on. On a lot of GM's the oil light is tied to the fuel pump, if it reads low oil pressure, it kills the pump to save the engine. Maybe just a oil sender going out, or just a twitch that one time.

Well it only came on when the engine stalled, although the engine light never came on. :huh:

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I think, though I'm not positive- the newer GMs will disable the fuel pump with a low oil pressure signal, but won't the "check engine" or "service engine" light then stay on?

If the key is on and the engine stalls the oil light should come on...

I have a weird feeling the IAC might be plugged or fouled, or maybe oil is getting up into the IAC...?

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Not to sound too obvious here, but the oil level is fine right?

Edited by Olds Guy
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Try replacing the PCM fuse.

I'll check that. I haven't really updated much but it still stalls...but as always it does it when it feels like it and never when I want it to. It'll always stall when stopped or coasting/braking never when accelerating. Usually power just cuts altogether. However sometimes if I can catch it and give it gas it won't stall. When the does stall it'll start right back up like nothing happened and won't stall again for the rest of the day. It won't happen every day either. I don't drive as much, partly the stalling, partly gas prices, but we used it extensively today without a problem...go figure.

Now that summer's here I will actually have time to tend to it.

Oh and the oil level is fine.

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Had the exact same thing happen with the Sebring. Its fairly common, from what I remember when I looked into it, basically all I discovered was that it happened to a lot of people, most of whom agreed that the 2.7 is a massive piece of worthless flaming $h!. Some people's cars ran fine, but died at a complete stop, others ran fine, but died at a complete stop and then wouldn't re-start. Ever.

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Had the exact same thing happen with the Sebring. Its fairly common, from what I remember when I looked into it, basically all I discovered was that it happened to a lot of people, most of whom agreed that the 2.7 is a massive piece of worthless flaming $h!. Some people's cars ran fine, but died at a complete stop, others ran fine, but died at a complete stop and then wouldn't re-start. Ever.

I've heard of that too. It's a horrible engine design, but on the flip side it's only started ahppening withing the last 3k miles...so going 189k problem free is pretty good for any engine and amazing for one of these. :P

Worse comes to worse I drop a 3.2 or 3.5 in it, which may be cheaper anyway. Nice thing about Intrepids VS Sebrings is that the V6's are interchangeable without any modifications besides reshaping of the exhaust pipe.

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I'd either check the oil pressure/level, since power to the fuel pump runs through the oil pressure switch. I'd also replace the fuel filter, should be located on the driver's side, under the rear door (IIRC). Other than that, you could test the cam or crank position sensors with a simple volt meter. You'll have three wires running to either sensor, one will be a ground, one will be a 5-volt reference signal, and the last one will be a signal wire. The sensor works like a pick-up coil in a distributor, being that it is a hall effect switch, there'll be a ring mounted normally to the back of the harmonic balancer (for the crank position sensor) or on the timing gear (for the cam position sensor) that will block the magnetic signal that the sensor puts off. From there the PCM can reference engine rpm and determine spark advance, fuel injeciton pulse, etc, etc. So really all you'd have to do is find out which wire is which, backprobe the signal wire and turn the engine over ever so slowly. If you had one, you could even use an oscilliscope (sp?) to watch for the square wave pattern that the sensor produces.

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I'd either check the oil pressure/level, since power to the fuel pump runs through the oil pressure switch. I'd also replace the fuel filter, should be located on the driver's side, under the rear door (IIRC). Other than that, you could test the cam or crank position sensors with a simple volt meter. You'll have three wires running to either sensor, one will be a ground, one will be a 5-volt reference signal, and the last one will be a signal wire. The sensor works like a pick-up coil in a distributor, being that it is a hall effect switch, there'll be a ring mounted normally to the back of the harmonic balancer (for the crank position sensor) or on the timing gear (for the cam position sensor) that will block the magnetic signal that the sensor puts off. From there the PCM can reference engine rpm and determine spark advance, fuel injeciton pulse, etc, etc. So really all you'd have to do is find out which wire is which, backprobe the signal wire and turn the engine over ever so slowly. If you had one, you could even use an oscilliscope (sp?) to watch for the square wave pattern that the sensor produces.

k, I'll give it a shot, thanks a lot man! One question though...I took a look under the car and noticed there's a small oil leak from the oil pressure sending switch. I'm gonan replace it, but could that be part of the problem?

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MOST definitely. If the PCM can't read oil pressure due to the switch leaking, then it'll cut power to the fuel pump thinking that the engine has stopped (wreck, roll over, whatever) so that there isn't a steady steam of fuel to come out of the electric pump and reduce a fire hazard.

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MOST definitely. If the PCM can't read oil pressure due to the switch leaking, then it'll cut power to the fuel pump thinking that the engine has stopped (wreck, roll over, whatever) so that there isn't a steady steam of fuel to come out of the electric pump and reduce a fire hazard.

I'll replace it tomorrow then.

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Update:

Jessica took it to the shop to have the oil sending unit replaced. She got it back and was driving it to my brother's graduation. It apparently lurched violently but didn't stall while she was driving. She's asleep so I forget the exact description. There's also the smell of burning oil now she said, and it ended up stalling anyway. I took it for a drive tonight and I was only able to replicate the oil smell, the rest didn't happen so I can't describe it first hand.

It's gonna have to go back tomorrow...they must have done something wrong for oil to be burning like that. As for the other problems...I dunno.

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Sadly things have gone from bad to worse.

We took it out tonight to do some late night food shopping (we like it quiet and it's cooler out oo). WQe got about halfway to the store when the car died while cruising down the road. Pulled off, and tried to start it. However, for teh first time, it refused to start. We had to wait about a minute before it finally started. We went into a parking lot to turn around and it stalled again, and then a third time...each time not wanting to restart right away. So after spending $90 to have the Oil Sending Unit replaced, it's actually worse now than it was before.

I think I'm going to take it to a dealer this week or next (need to get my paycheck first) and have them look at it VS the independent mechanic. Maybe they can find the cause....I want to be able to drive my car without having to worry about stalling dammit.

A couple bright spots: the oil burned off so the smell is gone, and now that it's summer my dad can hopefully help me do some of the mechanical work it needs (timing chains/tensioners/water pump and compressor) after he gets back from vacation. That should save a good chunk of change.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Sorry about the problems!

My girlfriend's (Heather) Intrepid (with 2.7L enigine) as the the low oil pressure light come on at virtually every stop, but never stalls, shudders, or lurches to my knowledge, and I have driven it more than just several times. It does burn oil though. Hers has approximately 112,000 odd miles on it.

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Sorry about the problems!

My girlfriend's (Heather) Intrepid (with 2.7L enigine) as the the low oil pressure light come on at virtually every stop, but never stalls, shudders, or lurches to my knowledge, and I have driven it more than just several times. It does burn oil though. Hers has approximately 112,000 odd miles on it.

Mine currently has 192,000 on it. Oil light never comes on, besides when it stalls (sometimes). It does burn some oil. Gonna have it looked at tomorrow one more time by the mechanic, if he finds nothing it's going to the dealer next week.

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Sux dooode, ....modern electronics are such a pain in the rump. :(

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Mine currently has 192,000 on it. Oil light never comes on, besides when it stalls (sometimes). It does burn some oil. Gonna have it looked at tomorrow one more time by the mechanic, if he finds nothing it's going to the dealer next week.

Well, if worst comes to worst, you could look into that 3.2 or 3.5 swap.

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