1991 Plymouth Acclaim engine stall's out when you put it in

Tiny
BOND ROBERT
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 PLYMOUTH ACCLAIM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
When it first started doing this it was cold and only in reverse.
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Friday, January 15th, 2010 AT 11:54 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Can you elaborate just a little? Is the idle speed too low? Will it stay running if you hold the gas pedal down a little? Was the battery recently disconnected or run dead? Any other history or recent work done? Is it still acting up only in reverse or has something changed?

What have you tried so far? Will it stall while the car is moving? Did the Check Engine Light come on while your were driving? When the engine starts, does the speed go up to around 1500 rpm for a couple of seconds, then come down to normal?

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 2:59 AM
Tiny
BOND ROBERT
  • MEMBER
Thank you for such a fast response. I appreciate all the help. I have tried to answer your questions.
Engine runs fine, no problems there. Until you put it into gear, and it's cold then the engine cuts out and I believe it due to an electrical short, because I can put it back into park and restart it and it runs fine again until you put it into gear. It has been doing this only occasionally I am just afraid it will turn into something that happens all the time. I want to fix it before it gets to that point. I believe it has to do with rotation of the motor when I put it into gear that is causing a short. And yes, the "check engine light" did come on and the codes that came up were: "battery disconnected" and "not reading odometer" and "throttle position sensor" Occasionally, the speedometer will quit working after that everything else seems to work fine, engine runs good, this is just an occasional problem. Any help you can give me, is appreciated.
Thank you for your time
Robert
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Monday, January 18th, 2010 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I would start by doing a "psychic reading" or interpretation of the engine's operation characteristics. When the stall occurs, does the engine stop instantly like it does when the ignition switch is turned off? Or, does it surge, or drop in rpm when you shift into reverse, and just seem to be running too slow?

First of all, when started, the engine speed should go up to around 1500 rpm for a couple of seconds, then come down to normal. This "idle flare-up" proves the idle speed motor is working, the air passage around the throttle blade is not blocked with carbon, and the engine computer has control of idle speed. If this does not occur, there could be a problem with the idle speed motor system. Further evidence would be that the stalling does not occur if you hold the gas pedal down 1/8" when shifting into reverse.

The engine computer also commands more fuel to be delivered in cold weather. An inaccurate reading from the coolant temperature sensor or ambient air / battery temperature sensor could result in too little fuel to maintain proper engine speed.

Automatic transmissions need to develop much higher hydraulic pressure in reverse. That puts more load on the pump which increases the strain on the engine. That is one possible reason the stalling occurs in reverse. Another is the rocking of the engine that could lead to wires in a harness rubbed through and touching bare metal where the paint has rubbed off. The harness under the battery tray is a good suspect.

Due to the throttle position sensor code, another good place to check is electrical connectors between the engine and body. Wiggle and flex the connectors while watching for the engine to stumble or sputter. Your mechanic can connect a hand-held computer to read the sensor voltage while he tries various things to make the voltage change. The least likely suspect is the sensor itself. It would cause a stumble when you are cruising and the sensor is moving with the gas pedal.

Related to corroded connector pins and bare wires rubbed through, try pushing the car forward and backward while it's in park and the engine is running. That will rock the engine and make the wiring harnesses move and flex.

If the engine stalls most of the time when you shift into reverse, I'd be leaning toward a wiring issue. Plus, it will stall after you feel the clunk of the transmission engaging. If it only happens once in a while, and mostly when the engine is cold, I'd suspect insufficient fuel or idle speed is too low. And, it might stall before you feel the transmission engage.

As for the other fault codes, forget about # 12. That just means the ignition switch was turned off. If you have the reliable 3-speed transmission, the speed sensor is the likely culprit for the intermittent speedometer.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 AT 1:37 AM

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