I hope that my lengthy post will not discourage anyone from reading it
and trying to help, but I was hoping giving as much detail to the
problem would help...
I've had an off and on problem for two months that is driving me nuts.
It all started when one time I was sitting at a light and I noticed the
RPM fluctuate and the car cut off, started right back up no problems
and ran fine. A couple of days later I was on the freeway and the car
bucked a couple of times. I was hitting about 2000 RPM and the tach
would jerk down to 500 then back up. As time went on, the frequency
increased. If I'm driving it bucks/jerks but not enough to cut the car
off (since I'm giving it gas). If I'm sitting at a light, of course it
will make it cut off.
Ok, so I take it to my usual mechanic and ask him to give me a
diagnostic for 70.00. He called a few hours later and said he noticed
when he was checking the wires to the control module, that he was
getting ready to unlatch one of the sets of wires and the car stopped
the bucking. He determined that the wires, the connector or the module
itself may have a short in it or that maybe the wire connector wasn't
tightly in there socket. But it does run great now. So I picked up
car up and was happy I didn't have to buy any parts. It ran 100%
perfect for about 2 weeks solid. Then I noticed the bucking deal
slowly started back up. Started out once a day and only for a split
second and never again. As time went on, the frequency would increase
to maybe a quick buck a couple of times an hour. But as long as it
wasn't bucking, it would idle sooo smoothly and have great performance.
Heck I could even step on the gas at 55 and make it downshift and get
it to 75 in 2 seconds. The torque would whip my neck back into the
So I decided to inspect the wires he spoke of. I unplugged it. The
connectors were extremely clean, no dirt, corrosion and they looked
brand new in fact. The wires themselve were in fine condition as well,
no cracks, etc. But I hooked it back up and the car did not buck for
another week. So over the next two months, it go to the point where if
the car started acting up, I would just go through the motions of
pushing the connectors on tighter. Even the they were on tight and
they would not wiggle with any play whatsover. Not even a micro
millimeter of play. There were on so snug, that I don't really think me
pushing on the connectors was doing anything, but nonetheless, just
going through the motion of doing it, seemed to fix the problem. So a
couple of weeks later, I'm having to do this twice a day it seems like.
Heck now I'm starting to really wonder if its all just coincidence and
I in fact wasn't really making anything happen. Then a month ago, it
got to the point where it would never buck or cut off at idle, but
anytime the gas pedal is pressed, it had a chance to cut off or buck.
I remember twice (different days) that it would start up everytime with
absolutely no problems, but the second i put the car in gear it would
cut off. I could sit in park and rev it and it behaved and reved
normally. But the instant I put it in gear it would die. It was
something else forcing it to die, because even if I stepped on the gas
a little or a lot before I put it in gear, it would still die. But the
weirder thing is at the same time, if I put it in Reverse, it does not
die. I was able to hold my foot on the brake and it had full torque. I
could even burn rubber on the tires. But putting it in Drive, 2 or 1
would make it cut off immediately.
At this point it's getting dangerous to drive because its too
unpredictable, so I figured I'd have him go ahead and replace the
module. I thought that maybe one of the pins inside the module itself
could have a short or be loose. I figured while he was at it I'd have
him replace the O2 sensor since I never had it replaced before. So
this was about 3 weeks ago. He replaced the module and O2 sensor.
The car has ran beautifully since I've had it replaced and I patted
myself on the back for getting it replaced. No bucks, no misses,
nothing. Even with 180k miles on it, it still has great power and runs
smooth. So its now going on week 4 and its starting back up again.
Slowly but surely. A week ago I was approaching a stop sign and it
just cut off without warning, but started right back up and did not do
it again until 2 days later. Occassionally sitting at a light, I can
sometimes see the RPM all of the sudden do this big fluctuation and cut
off. If I give the gas about 300 rpm extra, its enough to keep it from
cutting off. But its not all the time, its random. Like yesterday I
drove it and it cut off at 3 different lights within 10 minutes. As far
as I can tell, at this point, it won't buck while driving it, only at
idle or very low driving range (like keeping it at 35 where you barely
have to press the gas).
Any ideas? I strongly believe there is no short in the wires to the
module itself. If I move them around, jiggle the connectors, etc while
its running, there is never anychange to the way the car behaves.