Mechanics

NEW YORKER STALLS

1990 Chrysler 5th Avenue • 150,000 miles

I have a 1990 Chrysler New Yorker 5th Ave that stalls intermittently. Sometimes it will go for days or weeks. It seems recently in hot weather to be worst. It will run fine in mornings then in afternoon in summer heat after running for 30 - 40 minutes if you have to stop then it will sputter and stall out. It seems to run fine if you don't have to slow down or come to stop. It will restart and run rough then stall again. After it sits for about 30 minutes it will run fine again. Gauges show no problems and no check engine light comes on. No fault codes are present. Replaced fuel pump, fuel filter, coil pack, spark plugs, plug wires, alternator, crank sensor, cam sensor. Getting ready to replace fuel pressure regulator.
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Mclainb52
August 24, 2011.



Forgot to mention that Auto Idle sensor has been replaced also

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 24, 2011.
"It seems to run fine if you don't have to slow down or come to stop. It will restart and run rough then stall again"

That's the clue.

Sounds like the battery might have been disconnected or run dead recently. If so, the Engine Computer lost its memory and has to relearn "minimum throttle" before it will know when it must be in control of idle speed. It also might not give you the normal "idle flare-up" to 1500 rpm when you start the engine. To meet the conditions for the relearn to take place, drive at highway speed with the engine warmed up, then coast for at least seven seconds without touching the brake or gas pedals.

Caradiodoc
Aug 24, 2011.
Yes I have did the warm up and the coast for seven seconds without touching the brake or gas pedals. It seems to do it only during real warm weather. I installed fuel pressure regulator today and throttle position sensor. Checked fuel pressure, it is a steady 40psi. Will be driving it tomorrow, it may do something on way home in afternoon. Was thinking about fuel tank vent being plugged with dirt.

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 25, 2011.
Which engine do you have?

The next thing I'd suggest is connecting a scanner that can display live data while driving and has a record feature. I use the Chrysler DRB3 but many newer aftermarket scanners have that capability too. You press the record button when the problem occurs. Since the data travels through the scanner's memory, the recording actually begins a few seconds before the button was pressed. You can play back the data later frame by frame and look for clues to the stalling problem.

Of particular interest is the "AIS Steps". The Engine Computer can set the automatic idle speed motor to any of 256 positions. The higher the number, the higher the idle speed. Step 32 is typical for a good running engine. If you find it at a significantly higher step, suspect a misfire or some other running problem. If the number is lower but the idle speed is normal or too high, suspect a vacuum leak.

Look at the "target idle speed" and compare it to the actual speed. If the actual speed is low and the AIS steps are high, the computer is trying to raise the idle speed but not having any success. The common cause years ago was that air passage around the throttle blade got plugged with carbon. That seemed to affect the 3.0L most but I haven't heard much about that lately with better fuel additives. The DRB3 also has an actuator test mode that allows you to raise engine speed in 200 rpm increments up to 2000 rpm. If engine speed doesn't respond appropriately, suspect that blocked air passage or the motor is sticking. The motor will only set a diagnostic fault code if one of the coils of wire is open. The computer won't detect a sticking motor or plugged passage.

Caradiodoc
Aug 25, 2011.
I would have to find a scanner but the throttle body has been cleaned and problem still occurred after the cleaning. Suspected a vacuum leak but there does not seem to be one. The problem is very erratic. The engine problem will happen after driving in hot weather and always seems to be when slowing down. Then it will not run properly until the car sits for 30 minutes or more. After sitting it will run fine and idles without problems. Then it may not happen again for days. It started giving problems 3 months ago during mid May. One possible thing is the A/C vents in the car will not stay on the panel vents. When the engine warms up and power is increased the panel vents switches to the floor even though the display still shows it on panel. Vacuum switch problem possible? Not sure if this is related to engine problem.

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 25, 2011.
Which engine do you have?

You will likely find it's also switching to defrost momentarily. That's due to low engine vacuum. The vacuum motors are spring-loaded to go to defrost mode for safety to insure you can see. The fix is to replace the vacuum check valve with one with a storage canister. The old one will be the size of a stack of three nickels. It's inline with a thin hard plastic vacuum hose near the firewall. The replacement is about 1 1/2" in diameter and 2" long. You can get one at the dealer's parts department, or you'll find one in a salvage yard if you check enough cars and minivans.

A common cause of heat-related stalling is the crankshaft position sensor on some engines. They fail when hot and work again when they cool down. Normally the Check Engine light will turn on and a diagnostic fault code will be stored related to that sensor.

Caradiodoc
Aug 25, 2011.
It is a 3.3L engine. I replaced the crankshaft position sensor and cam shaft sensor few weeks ago and the engine is still having problems. When it failed with me couple days ago temp was over 100 and no check engine light came on and there were no fault codes. Daughter had been driving the car and said that the check engine light use to come on when the A/C was turned on, but does not anywhere. The air blows thru the panel when it is cool out and will switch to defroster when it is hot out. What would cause the vacuum to be lower when it is hot out 90s-100s and higher if it is cooler out?

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 25, 2011.
Would to low a vacuum affect the fuel pressure regulator causing the engine to starve for fuel?

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 25, 2011.
Lower engine vacuum would result in higher fuel pressure, a rich mixture, and black smoke from the tail pipe. There's two forces acting on a molecule of fuel waiting at the injector nozzle. Think of a person about to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. There's two forces acting on them, the vacuum pulling them out and the guy behind them pushing them out. In the car, there's intake manifold vacuum on one side and fuel pressure on the other side. During coasting, vacuum goes way up. That would pull in more fuel causing a rich condition. To counteract that, fuel pressure is dropped so the net difference in the two forces remains constant. That's why there's a vacuum hose going to the pressure regulator.

A lot of the higher-class New Yorkers had automatic temperature control HVAC systems. I never got very familiar with their operation. I do know there are times when the mode will change on its own but that's the best I can tell you. When I ordered out the last of the '93 Dynastys, I ordered every option possible except the auto-temp system because I didn't want to have to worry about fixing it if something went wrong.

As for the stalling, I don't think you have a fuel pump or regulator problem. Unlike GM fuel pumps that commonly let you sit on the side of the highway, Chrysler pumps almost never stop once they're running. When the brushes in the motor become worn excessively, the motors fail to start up. A bang on the bottom of the gas tank often gets them going again for a few weeks, but once they're running, they keep running.

The pressure regulators seem to never fail. The only one I ever saw cause a problem on a Chrysler product was on a newly-delivered car that had a very long crank time to start the engine, but it ran fine once started. It simply had a cut five cent o-ring on it's nozzle that let fuel pressure bleed off as soon as the engine was stopped. GM has a lot of trouble with their regulators leaking fuel into the vacuum hose but I've never heard that about any other manufacturer.

The fuel filter isn't the cause either. They easily last the life of the car.

Here's something you might think about and compare your experience to mine. What HAS been known to happen is the pickup screen in the tank collapses or gets plugged with mud. The symptom is stalling when the highest volume of fuel is moved, which is during coasting. It takes a couple of minutes before the engine will restart. The faster you drive, the better the engine will run. I went to Minneapolis about eight years ago on the hottest day of summer. I noticed a slight hesitation when leaving a stop light; just enough to get my attention. About 30 miles later when I slowed down to turn onto a side road, the engine died and wouldn't restart. I plugged in a new MAP sensor; didn't help, but it did restart about five minutes later. Eventually I figured out it always died when coasting. Took me four hours to nurse it through the city again, then it ran fine at highway speed for 90 miles. It stalled again when I turned off the highway. The next day, the second hottest day of the year, it stalled four times in a 30 mile trip, then it was fine for the next six months. Finally it started acting up in the middle of winter. Had a couple of students look at it and they found the pickup screen plugged with a rust-colored mud. Threw in a used pump and it's been fine ever since.

Had I known what the cause of the stalling was, I could have plugged the vacuum hose going to the pressure regulator to nurse it through Minneapolis. By raising the fuel pressure, it's harder for the fuel to get through the regulator and go back to the tank, so a lower volume has to get through that screen. Because it couldn't pass that higher volume during coasting, the pressure was dropping too much and no fuel could spray from the injectors. We never did figure out why it started acting up in the really hot weather and was fine two days later when it was in the low 80s.

I overlooked this possibility because in your original post you said you already replaced the pump, but there are a lot of pumps out there that have to be installed into the original housing which means you would be reusing that pickup screen. If you got the entire assembly from the dealer or aftermarket supplier, it would have the new screen on it already.

Now that I know what caused my problem, if it were to happen again, I'd drive it with a fuel pressure gauge hooked under the wiper arm so I could see what happens to the pressure. If you have a pressure gauge, you might try that.

Caradiodoc
Aug 25, 2011.
Yes the pump came with a new screen. I have a pressure gauge I was going to use if it occurred again. I will take the pump out and inspect it to see if something is wrong with the screen. That sounds like what this car is doing. My problem with this theory is that it happened two weeks after installing the new pump and I did not see any rust or dirt in the tank when I installed the new pump, but it was difficult to see all of the inside of the tank. I had the tank out and tried to make sure there was no dirt in it. Will be taking the pump out this weekend to inspect it.

Tiny
Mclainb52
Aug 26, 2011.
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