The car is a 1998 supercharged 3.8 buick regal. While driving down the road, the car frequently shuts off for an unknown reason. I pulled the codes off of the computer, and p1404 came up indicating a faulty egr valve or carbon build up in the manifold. I spent 180 bucks on a new egr valve and ran seafoam through the motor. Granted, the engine runs better now, but that did not fix the problem. The alternator is putting out 14.3 volts, so it's great. After I did that work, with the car running I turned the headlights on and then back off and the car completely shut off. The car would immediately start back up, but now it will not. It has shut off and will not crank back up and is currently decorating the side of I-26. I was thinking of replacing the ignition switch, but I can't afford to waste anymore money. I also don't want to tear into the dash or steering column with no definite idea. Any help will be appreciated.
05-18-2009 09:40 AM
try checking your grounds. there is more than 1.try around computer. under drivers seat, or behind kick panels.may have to remove fuse (can't rember which one)for airbags first, don't want them to blow!!
they are not marked- tagged on to something else-poss. cig. liter ect.
05-18-2009 02:37 PM
Sounds like the a repeat of an "ignition module" problem I've encountered on some cars over the years. I don't know if your car has one. The car runs fine for a while but after it runs for a while the module heats up and takes out the ignititon system. After the module cools for a bit the car restarts with no problem until the next time... Don't know if this applies to your situation though.
05-18-2009 04:27 PM
I agree with Bobjob. Check all the grounds but also check the battery. The new cars require a certain voltage to run. When you said you turn the lights on it killed the engine, that rang a bell. I have seen where a battery was weak where as it would spin the engine and start it as long as nothing else was on. While idling or running down the road and the A/C compressor, blower motor or anything that draws amps came on it would steal current from the ECM and shut down the engine. You need to do a voltage drop test on the cars electrical system. Hope this somehow helps.
05-18-2009 04:47 PM
I did a load test on the car, ac and stereo on, revved the engine and it was still over 14 volts. Battery is literally 3 weeks old, I tested it and it had over 700 CCA charged. I checked the main grounds under the hood, I will go through and check through the other ones as suggested. I don't believe that it's the ICM, the car would crank easily even while hot, good idea though they go bad all of the time on these styles of engines. Thanks for the suggestions.
05-18-2009 07:21 PM
Ok, this is a common issue. There is a pack of grounds in the drives side floor, under the carpet. You need to pull up the trim strip that runs on the door sil and pull back the carpet. There is a black connector there with a cover. If you pop the cover off there is a piece of metal that connects about 5 or 6 spade lugs together, pull the metal strip out and clean the green crap off it with a wire wheel. Put it all back together and your problem will be gone for a while. I have seen this in several 95-2000 GM full size vehicles. It is a really stupid setup. The grounds for most items in the car run through this connector. The fuel pump ground is in there. It will usually happen after turning on a high load item like the lights or rear window defroster. Usually when the car wont start the power windows will also be real slow or wont work at all. We have actually eliminated the connector all together buy cutting off the connector and soldering all the wires together.
Hope this is your issue as it is a cheap and easy fix!!
The first one of these we fixed had been to the dealer 3 times and they couldnt find it.
05-18-2009 09:10 PM
Corrosion strikes again! I'll give it a look tomorrow to confirm, but that sounds like the culprit. Thanks a million t bucket!
05-20-2009 11:46 AM
Check Battery Terminals
New battery, huh? Doublecheck the terminal connections. Once I had similar problem. Turned out the mechanic had crossthreaded the terminal nut so the terminal seemed tight on the battery, but came off in my hand!