DIES AFTER ABOUT 3 MILES OF DRIVING

1989 Dodge Colt

Tiny

phillman5

June, 2, 2010 AT 11:15 PM

Engine Mechanical problem
1989 Dodge Colt 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 116000 miles

Car runs great, except after starting, usually in warm weather, it dies after about three miles, this is pretty repeatable. When it dies temp gauge shows normal. After restarting it run great. Sometimes it takes a while to restart. It seems turning key to off first before restarting helps (does this reset what is causing the problem?). It can die while driving, not just idling. Today I drove about a mile and did some shopping, 5 minutes, it would not start when I got back in. I let it sit for about 3 minutes and it started fine. I have checked voltage to the fuel pump immediately after it has died and that is not the problem (ran wire from fuel pump connector into cabin and had voltmeter ready). Sometimes it seems to fire weakly while trying to restart so that tells me at least some ignition is happening. Check engine light does not come on, but light works when you first turn the key on.

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5 Answers

Tiny

Jack42

June, 4, 2010 AT 8:21 AM

When it wont start, I take it the engine is turning over, so ou need to check for spark and fuel pressure when it wont start to see what is missing. Even with power to the fuel pump it maybe weak. Also check for power to the coil when it is dead to be sure the system is at least getting powered up

Tiny

phillman5

June, 4, 2010 AT 7:46 PM

1) it turns over fine, new battery
2) The not starting " after stopping at a location after about 1 - 2 miles" symptom occurred again. Again it took a while to get it start.
3) When it dies while driving its just like some turned the key off, no sputtering.
3) Since it runs well other wise, and will run for hours with no problems (500 mile trip), I am going to assume for now its not fuel pressure. (I may have to come back to this.)
4) What's the best way to check power to the coil? There doesn't seem to be a way to " splice in" wires into the connectors temporarily.

Tiny

Jack42

June, 5, 2010 AT 9:11 AM

No splicing. You will need a test light, a spark checker may be a good idea as well. Check for spark when it wont start, as well as power to the coil

Tiny

phillman5

June, 12, 2010 AT 6:34 PM

I hooked at timing light to one plug and brought the light inside so I could check it if problems occurred.

I while looking at connectors to coil, I played with the one to the power transistor. It was slightly raised and pushed it back on tight. Haven't had problem since. I think I will remove and reseat most connectors a few times, maybe try some contact cleaner and see how that works.

Tiny

Jack42

June, 14, 2010 AT 8:18 AM

Good call, when the connection heats up it will lose contact

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