Engine stalls (kills) but will restart

Tiny
LIZA
  • 2002 FORD RANGER
  • 100,000 MILES

I had the cam (distributor)replaced in May. Spark plugs, wires, and fuel filter fuel filter replaced around the 4th of July. Twice since then, about 5 weeks apart, the engine stalled. The first time I was low on gas, it was a fast stop, from 40 mph at a red light and the temp here was 115F. I restarted it in neutral, at the light. Firestone said everything was fine, it was because I was low on gas. When it happened a few days ago, I was making a curved right at a light, it killed and I restarted while still moving - by putting it in neutral. It is a automatic. The second time it was beautiful day in the 90's and my tank was nearly full. No lights telling me anything is wrong. The idiot lights gave me no clue before it completely died when I needed the new cam(distributor) - I don't know what it is called. I've noticed it hesitates when I'm leaving my apartment complex, I have to stop at a hill and then pull out. It hesitates for a split-second.

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Sunday, September 18th, 2011 AT 2:32 AM

21 Replies

Tiny
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I would start by checking fuel pump pressure. It may be a weak pump or partially plugged fuel filter. For directions, check out our homepage under the DIY section.

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Sunday, September 18th, 2011 AT 2:34 AM
Tiny
LIZA
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Thank you, I will do that right now! :)

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Sunday, September 18th, 2011 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
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Let me know how it goes.

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Sunday, September 18th, 2011 AT 4:18 AM
Tiny
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I was told there is nothing wrong electrically or with the fuel system (pump, etc) They did feel that if it kills again, I will be able to re-start it again.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 3:52 AM
Tiny
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Yes, but it shouldn't just die for no reason. Even if it restarts, there is a problem that will most likely get worse and eventually let you down. Are you at the shop now? What have they checked?

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 3:55 AM
Tiny
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That's all they told me, they checked the electronic system and the fuel system. I asked about the fuel pump and they said yes, that was what they checked.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 4:45 AM
Tiny
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They don't know what is wrong. I hate that because you are left out in the cold. Most likely they will tell you wait until it doesn't restart and they can fix it.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:00 AM
Tiny
LIZA
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That is exactly what they said. The 'kid' next door told me as much as they did. I hate to go there again, but, it started 5 weeks after they changed the fuel filter, and then 5 weeks later the second time. I have to wait until it won't re-start, like you said. I'm constantly positioning myself to be near where I can pull over, watching my gauges at every light.I've put nothing more than routine work into my truck and it's been good. But, I don't like this feeling at all. When I ever find out what was wrong, I will let you know.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:07 AM
Tiny
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I understand your frustration. When it dies, does the engine just stop or does it seem like you are not getting enough gas?

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:10 AM
Tiny
LIZA
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It just stops. It runs pretty smooth, so the first time, I was at a light, and I couldn't tell, I just looked at my dash and saw all the gauges facing low and maybe the idiot lights were on. The second time, I was making a right hand curve and I knew it killed because the steering got hard. So both times I had let up on the gas. And that's how it feels like the gas isn't flowing. But, it doesn't sputter. I would say it does hesitate occasionally and that scares me. I think I mentioned when I leave my apartment area, I'm on a 25degree (?) Incline and it feels like it hesitates when I'm pulling onto the road.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:17 AM
Tiny
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The hesitation makes me feel it is related to the fuel pump. If there is no hesitation and it just stops, it sounds ignition related like a crank sensor. Something makes me believe it is related to the fuel pump.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:21 AM
Tiny
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They replaced the cam - distributor - spark plugs and wires in May. I'm going to print up your previous answer and keep it with me.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:25 AM
Tiny
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I'm not sure cam was the right word.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:36 AM
Tiny
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It may have been the cam sensor. That is ignition related. That eliminates one thing for me. The idea that it did while turning makes me question the fuel pump too. If the fuel was low, that can have an affect. Do you remember if you were low on fuel?

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:39 AM
Tiny
LIZA
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The first time I was very, very low on fuel. And it was hot around 115F. I had come to a quick stop from 45 mph. And that is what they thought and it sounded good to me. So I never let it get below 1/4 of a tank.

The second time I had 3/4 of a tank and it was a nice 98 or so. I'm in Phoenix.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:46 AM
Tiny
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Good God. I'm glad I don't live in those temps. It has been around 70 here in PA, but lots of rain. Next comes the snow. I could do without that.

Here is what I can tell you from my experience. When you run the fuel tank very low, there is dirt that the pump can pick up that sinks to the bottom of the tank. I have seen that cause the pump to just go bad, clog fuel filters, and sometimes damage the pump. Please keep in mind, that isn't always the case, but it happens.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:50 AM
Tiny
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Yes, I just wanted to get home - a safer area to get the gas. Thanks for the info, with the price of gas I've been letting it go low for a couple of years. Although that was really low. What is the price range of a fuel pump? Maybe it would be cheaper to fly my son in law in to fix it. Tickets from Mpls to Phx are around $250. Lol.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 5:59 AM
Tiny
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We are paying around 2.70 per gal. What I do is keep my tank full. Once I drive about 75 miles, I refill it. It doesn't seem to hurt as much as letting it get too low. If your son-in-law is a good tech, it would be cheaper.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 6:06 AM
Tiny
LIZA
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Oh yeah, I get nervous now when I hit 1/2 a tank. My son-in-law is probably like my dad. Good enough that he never has to bring his car anywhere for repair. I used to help my dad and he explained alot at the time. So, I still know a little bit about engines when someone is explaining something to me. And almost enough to tell when someone is feeding me bullogna. I appreciate all your time and at least I will have an idea what to expect. Thank you very much and keep warm in the season ahead, I do not miss the MN winters at all! :)

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 6:16 AM
Tiny
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I can understand why you moved. Let me know how thing go for you.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 2:16 PM

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