I'm hoping I can describe this as accurately as possible. When I start my
car(1990 V6 3.1L Firebird), it sometimes has a problem fully starting (i.e.
it sounds like it is about to die, and then it will sometimes catch). Once
I get it started and rev it one or two times, it'll stay started. If I put
it in reverse, back up and attempt to put it in drive, it usually stalls on
me. After about 3 minutes of driving, it runs fine. I also notice a lack
of power when accelerating (especially uphill), and a decreased fuel
economy. What should I check? I'm good at following the books'
instructions for fixing stuff but diagnosis is a killer. Thanks in advance.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin
If you have verified the service engine light works. Either by seeing a code
or seing it lit during start and driving then you may use a jumper as
indicated in the chiltons to cause the light to flash indicating if codes
are stored. My guess is probably the MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor) Looks like a
plastic tube with wire in it between air filters and the intake manifold.
Other option could be the idle air control valve in the throttle body.
My guess it would be the DIS module, and if you retrieve the codes, you'll
most likely get a code 42, back up timing mode. Retarded timing will cause a
hard start, until it starts a few times and gets the cylinders and heads hot
enough to burn the fuel efficiently. Hence, the two or three stalls.
The retarded timing would fit the loss of power climbing hills also. The MAF
(Mass Air Flow Sensor) manifests it self as a bucking, stalling at lights,
or when you slow down. So I would scan the codes and you will most likely
find a code 42.
But this is a seat of the pants diagnoses, as are all over the net. I hope
DIS can stand for Distributorless Ignition System. It can also stand for
Direct Ignition System, where the coil packs have a shunt between them and
the spark plugs, basically they sit on the spark plugs.
Ok, so last night, I go to work (delivering pizza) and after about 6
deliveries, I start my car and get going, and the battery meter shows that
the battery is just above the yellow/black zone. It's dropping and not
normal, and the battery charge wouldn't get better as I went faster. Could
this be related or is this just another bad alternator?
I once had an alternator die on my while driving. Battery fired those
spark plugs for a little while but needless to say it ran REAL rich
just before it stopped running completely. Nasty black smoke coming
out and all.
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