1999 Chevy Malibu sputtering

Tiny
VINNIEZZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 78,000 MILES
I have a 1999 chevy malibu that will start to sputter then stall and wont restart at the same time the fuel guage drops to empty even though it has plenty of fuel. If you just wait a little the fuel guage will read normal and the car will start and run fine also the electronic odometer will go out as well and comes back on not sure if it is tied together or not. Thanks
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 9:55 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
DR LOOT
  • EXPERT
Let's start by cleaning your battery cables, make sure they are clean with no black residue on the battery posts
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 12:09 AM
Tiny
VINNIEZZ
  • MEMBER
Ok I cleaned them and still having the same problem!
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 1:04 AM
Tiny
DR LOOT
  • EXPERT
These are all the possibility, we can narrow it down if you could be a little more specific and don't leave anything out of what is exactly happened, tell me what symptoms occurred before it got worse. Is the check engine light on and things like that. Oh one more thing you're going to need lots of patience.

Symptom Definition
Engine cranks okay, but does not start for a long time. Engine eventually starts, and may die immediately or run okay.
Possible Cause & Correction Check the following items:
1. Check fuel pump relay by connecting test light between fuel pump relay connector ignition feed circuit and ground. Turn ignition on. Light should illuminate for 2 seconds. If light does not illuminate for 2 seconds, see RELAYS under MODULES, RELAYS & SOLENOIDS in appropriate SYSTEM & COMPONENT TESTING article. For location of fuel pump test connector, see COMPONENT LOCATIONS in appropriate SYSTEM & COMPONENT TESTING article.
2. Check for blown injector fuse.
3. Check for poor quality or water contaminated fuel.
4. Visually inspect injector fuse(s). Check for a binding or sticking TP sensor, or high TP sensor voltage with throttle closed.
5. Check EGR operation.
6. Check for a leaking injector.
7. Ensure resistance of engine coolant sensor circuit and engine coolant sensor is within specification. See appropriate SENSOR OPERATING RANGE CHARTS article.
8. Check for proper spark output using Spark Tester (J-26794). Check for shorts by spraying plug wires with a fine mist of water.
9. Remove spark plugs and check for wet plugs, cracks, improper gap, burned electrodes or heavy carbon deposits.
Check fuel pressure.
10. Check for loose ignition coil ground. Also check ignition coil fuse.
11. Check for faulty in-tank fuel pump check valve (if equipped). A faulty in-tank fuel pump check valve will allow fuel to drain back to tank after engine is stopped. To check this condition, turn ignition off, disconnect fuel pressure line at fuel rail and remove filler cap. Using a radiator pressure tester, apply 15 psi (1.0 kg/cm2 ) pressure. If pressure holds for 60 seconds, check valve is okay.
12. Ensure the installed PROM and/or PCM is correct for that particular vehicle. Check with dealer for latest application information. Check for restricted exhaust system.
13. Check Idle Air Control (IAC) system. Check for vacuum leak at high idle. Check for binding of throttle blade or linkage. Check for foreign material in IAC bore of throttle body.
14. Check for proper connection of IAC valve electrical connector. Check for failure of A/C compressor or relay.
15. Check MAP or MAF sensor.
16. Inspect crankshaft sensor clearance and resistance. Check harmonic balancer interrupter rings for bent or missing vanes. Check if crankcase ventilation valve is stuck open.
17. Check basic engine mechanical problems (i.E, compression, valves).
18. Check distributor vent system (if equipped).
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 1:40 AM
Tiny
VINNIEZZ
  • MEMBER
Ok thanks again. This is my fathers car, so when it first start happening it was very infrequent and progressed to the point it is now which is just about every start and or during every time the car is driven. What I noticed when I try to start the car that is if all guages are working properly it will start normally and run normally, however when I see the fuel guage drop below "E" as if it lost power the car will start to sputter, and I have to feather it or hold the accelerator in a little to keep it running, but it will be running "rough" and will sooner or later stall out. While this is happening I also noticed the electronic odometer goes out and the low fuel light does not work and I believe a couple outher guages will stop working also(I will find out tomorrow a little more detailed info foe you and even try to get a picture) While the car is running "rough", the check engine light will flicker on and off. During this time if I see the fuel guage and everything else that seem to stop working come back on, the car will run normal. Also today when I was running the car it really never ran normal, I had to feather the accelerator to keep it running after awhile I noticed some smoke coming from under the car, so I shut off the car and got out and looked at the exhaust and about midway under the car was "lava" red. Hope this helps and I try to find out some more detailed info for you. Thanks again for your quick responses
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
DR LOOT
  • EXPERT
Thanks that will help me I will think about it and wait for your input tomorrow. But I know what the problem is that"lava red" you are describing is a plunged up catalytic converter which is causing most of your problems. Puts her hand over the exhaust pipe at the rear and and tell me how much pressure it has, if I am correct you will have a hardly any.
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+1
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 3:38 AM

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