1994 Oldsmobile 88 Intermittent problem

Tiny
FABULADICO
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 OLDSMOBILE 88
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My 94 Olds 88 Royale has just topped 200,000 miles and runs great. The problem is that it doesn't always start great. About twice a week, I'll stop somewhere, and when I go to start the car it turns over and does not start. If I wait for about 15 minutes it starts fine. On two occasions, I had to wait it out for more than an hour. In addition I have had two "flame outs" (the car killed while I was driving) which resulted in the same starting situation. Any ideas about what's wrong?
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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 AT 4:10 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Has the check engine light come on? Have you checked fuel pump pressure?

Let me know.

Joe
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Friday, August 13th, 2010 AT 9:54 PM
Tiny
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The engine light does not come on. I have already replaced the fuel pressure regulator. There are other clues I have observed. The problem is less likely to occur if the fuel gauge reads over 1/2 a tank. The car tends to lose power somewhat going up hill. When the problem does occur (and having a nearly full tank will not necesarily prevent the starting problem), sometimes it will start if I turn on the ignition for a count of two, then turn it off for a count of twenty, then try again. This has worked only twice, and may only be coincidental. It usually doen't take as long to get started after a flameout. It always starts the first time each day. The incidence of this problem is about one out of four starts.

No, I have not had my fuel pump pressure checked. How is this done? How do I know what the correct fuel pump pressure is supposed to be?
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Saturday, August 14th, 2010 AT 12:54 AM
Tiny
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It sounds like you may have a weak pump that is losing its prim. Here is a how to for checking pressure. You will need a gauge; however, most parts stores will lend one to you.

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_check_fuel_pressure.htm

It should have between 41 and 47psi. NOTE: When the key is turned off, the pressure should hold for a while. Let me know how long.

Joe
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Saturday, August 14th, 2010 AT 11:02 PM
Tiny
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I have already purchased a fuel filter (my motto, if you're guessing start cheap and work up). Would it be a good idea to replace the filter BEFORE the test?
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 5:35 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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That is a good motto. Actually, I would check it both before and after to see if there is a change.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 10:14 PM
Tiny
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I wanted to give you an update on my problem. First of all I still have the intermittent starting problem. I have done the following since my last note: Acting on the advice of a local Mechanic, I replaced the Ignition Control Module (along with the three coils). That did not fix the problem. Fortunately I was told that if it wasn't the problem I could bring it back, so I did. The good news on that is that is cost a little time and gas, but nothing else. A "free" move. I have replaced the fuel filter. Actually, the connections were rusted so I had a mechanic change it. While he was at it, I had him check the fuel pressure. The fuel pressure read between 35 and 40, which he said was ok. When he reved the engine the pressure went up. He said that was as it should be, however it must be noted that at that moment in time, the car was functioning well, and not having the intermittent problem.
Am I still looking at a possible fuel pump here? I have also been told it might be some kind of sensor. I would be grateful for an idea on this, since the car has now eaten most of my money and is still misbehaving. Personally, I'm thinking a few sticks of dynamite.
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Sunday, October 24th, 2010 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
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Do you remember what sensor they mentioned?
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Sunday, October 24th, 2010 AT 11:00 PM
Tiny
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No, I don't recall, but he did seem to indicate that it was located under the car. If that helps. It's not an expensive part, according to him it's about $30.00, but the labor is apparently extensive since that will run another $80.00 or so. I will try to reach him early this week and see if he will repeat it for me.
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Monday, October 25th, 2010 AT 12:26 AM
Tiny
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  • EXPERT
I'm not sure, but if it is under the car, I'm thinking it is an O2 sensor. However, they are more than 30 dollars, but labor should only be around.5 hours.

Let me know.

Joe
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Monday, October 25th, 2010 AT 6:28 AM
Tiny
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Yes, that's it. I remember now that you mention it. He did say the oxygen sensor. Could a bad O2 sensor create the behavior described?
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Monday, October 25th, 2010 AT 1:39 PM
Tiny
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I still have the intermittent starting problem as perviously described. I have now replaced the air filter, the plugs, the fuel filter, the fuel pump, the fuel pressure regulator, and the ignition control module w/coils. I have now been told that it may be the crankshaft position sensor.

The car managed to malfunction in front of a garage today. When cranking it has no spark. I have also noticed poor engine performance just before the problem (flameout, not starting) begins. What do you think?
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Thursday, November 11th, 2010 AT 1:33 AM

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