Car Trouble Help!

Car Trouble Help!

This is a discussion on Car Trouble Help! within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My Great Little Niece Wrote this. I posted it on an automotive forum for her but got no answer as of yet. Any of you ...

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Thread: Car Trouble Help!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Car Trouble Help!

    My Great Little Niece Wrote this. I posted it on an automotive forum for her but got no answer as of yet. Any of you folks have any idea what the problem could be??? I am really not qualified to work on cars...guns I know...cars I don't. Any help would be greatly appreciated. She is going to pick it up in the morning but she is really afraid to drive it to work.
    "My 2000 Lumina has approx. 47,000 miles and I never had a single problem until 2 weeks ago and it's become a nightmare ever since. Here's the story..It was a hot day, we were attending a funeral. My Mom stayed in the car with the air running due to her heart condition for about 20 min. Then the air conditioner started to blow hot air and about 5 min later the car stopped running. We couldn't get it started, had it towed to a Chevy Service Dept. The car started for them. They tried to duplicate the 'events that occurred that day', they checked the electrical systm, left it running with the air at the max. level, test driving it shutting it off, starting it again, checked the battery, the alternator, the electrical system, couldn't find anything wrong. They had done this for 2 days. I picked the car up, drove it to work and back, it ran perfectly. I put the air about 5 min. before I turned the car off. 10 min. later I tried to start the car and it wouldn't start. It sounded like it was ready to, but it kept sputerring then stalled. I had it towed again to the Chevy Service Dept. after waiting an hour for the tow truck. It wouldn't start for the tow truck driver. We arrived 5 min later at the Service Dept. and of course it started for the service man. They had my car for 3 days, gave it a full diagnostic and could not repeat the problem. They said it could be electrical or the fuel pump. I called GM, they told me the same thing. It's very frustrating. I need the car for work, I have to drive through a dangerous part of the city to get to work and I'm afraid to drive my car now, I don't trust it. I really can't afford to buy a new car. I've already spent $350.00 on rental cars while they TRIED to repair my Lumina. This is all getting very expensive. I would love to know if anyone else has had a problem similar to this and how or if they ever resolved it."


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    replace gas cap and run a auxrillary nice fat ground wire to the body from the engine .. Try that shoulds like its got a ground problem ... i say gas cap cuz there cheep and prone to vapor lock

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    Member Array triggertime's Avatar
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    When the A/C blows cold air then suddenly blows hot air, its usually a thermostat problem. Sounds like the thermostat is closing spontaneously, then the car overheats and stalls. Then when the engine cools, it starts again.

    What is the temperature gauge doing? Is it going into the red? Has the coolant level been checked?

    If the temperature guage is acting normal, it could be a bad temperature sending unit in combination with a sticky thermostat. The first thing I would do would be to check the coolant level, if its low, this could be the cause.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Also ask her when it dies what lights up on the dash first ?

    Does it feel liek its running out of gas or just die .. more info

    Also check coolant level for overheating

  5. #5
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    Appreciate your help so far.

    I printed your replies as I'll see her tomorrow afternoon.
    Try to get you more info. Thanks so far.
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  6. #6
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    intermittant problems are the worst. I spent 7 yrs in service for GM products. The advice so far seems right , but its hard to diagonse a problem like this, especially without working on it. Does sound like something is overheating and making the car stall.

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    Some useful ideas so far - but I really feel that when playing up - something should dhow on the dash - whether temp reading or a warning light. If thermostat closing then water temp should show a rise.

    All seems to point to engine/cooling system going hot somehow - this in turn may if extreme enough even I guess cause some vapor lock in injection system.

    I HATE intermittents - with a passion. They are like the tooth that denies you a night's sleep but when you get to dentist it is all quiet!
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    I don't work on cars, preferring to support our local mechanics when I have a problem, but I had a fuel related problem that gave me some quirky problems with my Jeep soon after getting it that turned out to be the gas cap seal. With the closed fuel system on newer cars, that gas cap must seal. I took it to the delaer and he sprayed the seal with WD40 and it was fixed. I have done it twice since it was new. I agree with triggertime, though. I would bet on a thermostat closing, a proble I have also had in the past. I'm betting that it is closing, the engine temp rises and the computer turns off the air.
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    check and make sure the radiator fan/fans stay running. those electric fans sometimes overheat and shut off. also the thermo sensor goes bad and they won't start. they're supposed to start whenever the a-c is turned on to cool the condenser.

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    Thanks Folks Really Thanks Again.

    I printed everything out that you guys posted.
    She is coming over Sunday evening & we are gonna drive it around. I'll check out the easy stuff & then I'm having her take your suggestions to SERVICE Dept.
    Last edited by QKShooter; June 25th, 2005 at 11:05 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    One I havent seen posted yet, would be the ignition module. On that car there is no distributor, but a set of coil packs, underneath them IIRC will be the ignition control module. (icm?) I have seen a few GM's get intermittants from those. If the idle drops low enough or they don't realize the car has stalled the air will go warm on you.

    Is she turning the A/C off before trying to restart? If there is an electrical problem with the a/c it would stand to reason that it would go away after turning the a.c off.

    When she trys to restart the car after a stall, does it crank normally or sluggishly?

    If you can get it to do it again, use a test light to see if you have power on the engine, fuel pump, ign fuses. (some under dash and others under hood)
    If you don't have power on one of them, grab a long piece of wire and hook one end to the + on the battery, put the other end on the fues with no power on it with the key on. If the car will start and run till the wire is removed (or the wire sparks and or gets really hot) then you have just narrowed it down to one circuit.


    Last but not least, if you can't find it elsewhere try chacking the igniton switch (not the keyhole on the steering column but the actual switch) They can get hot and drop power to one or two contacts which may or may not kill power to random circuits.

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