Engine cuts off while driving

Tiny
MEGANMARMO86
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PLYMOUTH NEON
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
Came out of nowhere the other day while driving 35 mph, the engine cut off, the battery light came on. So I opened the hood and tried tightening the positive terminal thinking this was the issue. Probably had the car stopped about 8 minutes. I got in and started the car no problem, made it to my destination about 12 miles. When I came back out to the car to start it about an hour later it wouldn't start. Another 30 minutes go by and it starts, keep in mind I live in NC so temperatures outside were about 80°. I drove approximately 3 miles going around 30 mph and the engine cut off at a traffic light so I coasted to the side of the road. Stuck there for about 45 minutes got it started and made it about 2 miles to a gas station next to an Advanced Auto and it wouldn't start. I went into Advanced and plugged into the computer and got 2 codes saying, oxygen sensor circuit high voltage bank 1 sensor 2, Oxygen Sensor circuit no activity detected Bank 1 Sensor 2. I then had AAA tow the car 3 hours later because it still wasn't turning over. It was towed to an Auto shop. That was 5 days ago, I gave them a detailed explanation as to what was happening, they said it was because I needed a tune up. Called me Wednesday to come get the car that it was running fine. I got the car made it 4 minutes down the road and it happened again. I got it started and made it back to the auto shop. They called me today saying they can't figure it out and to just come get the car that it must be the computer and I would need to take it to a dealership to have it fixed. I can't afford to keep paying different places, I was charged $318.00 for a tune up already. Please help.
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Friday, October 23rd, 2020 AT 9:28 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The O2 sensors won't cause this. Also, a needed tune up isn't going to cause these symptoms. What it sounds like is you have a faulty crankshaft position sensor. Take a look through this link and let me know if it mirrors what you experience:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/symptoms-of-a-bad-crankshaft-sensor

What happens is as the sensor gets hot, the circuitry in the sensor fails. As a result, you lose spark to the engine. You could check for spark when it doesn't start to see if that is the cause. Or, using a live data scan tool, you can check for an RPM signal when cranking with a no start.

If you determine this is the cause, here is a link that explains how in general one is replaced. It isn't hard on this vehicle.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/crankshaft-angle-sensor-replacement

__________________________________

The location of this one is a bit different than the one in the link. It will be right above the oil filter. See pic 1. Only one bolt holds it in place.

_________________________________

If you feel confident in replacing it yourself, it should take about 15 minutes. Once the connector is disconnected and the bolt is out, gently wiggle it back and for while pulling outward. It will come out, but be careful not to break it. Before installing the new one, make sure the port is clean that it sits in. The new sensor will have an o-ring on it Lubricate that o-ring with a small amount of oil before installing it.

Align it so you can reinstall the bolt and connect the wiring to it and you're done.

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, October 23rd, 2020 AT 11:50 AM
Tiny
MEGANMARMO86
  • MEMBER
Yes, I have been looking into it and came to the same conclusion. I just spoke with the shop and they are going to replace it.
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Friday, October 23rd, 2020 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If you have a chance, would you let me know if that takes care of the problem? I'm interested in knowing and I'm certain it will help others in the future.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, October 23rd, 2020 AT 9:10 PM
Tiny
MEGANMARMO86
  • MEMBER
I picked the car up last night and it was fine, it ran. I went to work this morning and it was fine, but just ran to the store and when I went to turn it on and it would not turn over, it wants to but it won't same as before. But it didn't happen while I was driving this time.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2020 AT 8:36 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Okay, what we need to do is to check if there is spark and fuel to the engine when it won't start. That will help us identify if it is a fuel or ignition related issue.

Here are two links that explain how to check each:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

Let me know if this is something you feel comfortable doing.

Take care,
Joe
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Saturday, October 24th, 2020 AT 11:03 PM
Tiny
MEGANMARMO86
  • MEMBER
Okay, I will check them. I was wondering after looking further into it, could it be the camshaft sensor?
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Sunday, October 25th, 2020 AT 3:26 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The camshaft position sensor is responsible for fuel injection timing. However, if it fails, there is a default mode to keep the engine running for you.

We need to see if it is spark or fuel that is causing the problem when it doesn't start. Then we can dig deeper into that specific component.

Let me know.
Joe
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Sunday, October 25th, 2020 AT 6:25 PM
Tiny
MEGANMARMO86
  • MEMBER
Okay.
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Monday, October 26th, 2020 AT 3:50 AM

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