I know I've said it before, but I think I have finally solved the
Herky-Jerky problem I posted about
here over the last several months.
As a final effort to diagnose the problem, while we were on vacation
for a month
I left it with an independent garage noted for their diagnostic
talents. Naturally, they found nothing concrete, just
like my other independent and the Buick dealer. However, they did say
it sure seemed like ignition break-down.
Some of you may recall that I replaced plugs and wires early on in the
ordeal, using the OEM AC plugs but
Federal-Mogul wires from a local parts store. Someone on this listed
said at the time that "new wires
are sometimes worse than the ones removed," and the Buick dealer
complained mildly about "non GM parts
on the car." Finally, in desperation, I decided to follow up on these
thoughts and replace the wires again,
this time using the genuine GM set, which by the way were cheaper than
the Federal-Moguls. As you have
probably already guessed, the problem seems to have gone away. I'm
hedging a bit since there have been times
in the past when I thought it was fixed only to have it come back.
However, over the months I learned it would
always happen if I drove the car about 20 miles, stop for a Starbucks,
and drive back, all in the warmth of a
Southern California afternoon. I've now done that twice since putting
the GM wires on, and got absolutely
no herky-jerky, so my confidence level is higher this time.
Just to review, here are the other things done, none of which fixed
Coolant temperature sensor
Throttle position sensor
Did not replace it, but ran with the EGR valve disconnected
Fuel pressure sensor
Tested rail pressure
Gasoline additive to displace water
Spark plugs (twice)
Spark plug wires (non-GM)
In the meantime, we bought a new Avalon. So, the Park Ave is up for
sale and I will probably never know
if the GM wires really fixed it in the longer term.
I am not convinced that OEM cables are better than aftermarket ones, but
fixes the problem. Ignition cables can be pretty delicate, and they can be
very easily. Same goes with GM cables.
A friend owned an Olds a few years ago, and had a history of herkyjerky with
damned car. The stealership kept replacing the crankshaft position sensor
car would run right for a while, and then screw up again.
Finally, the Olds went into such a state of orgastic shuddering that it
broke the timing
drive. As you can imagine, considerable damage was done. When they
friend with the bill for the valve job, $2100, he got pretty red in the
face. (A new factory
fresh engine could have been bought and installed for about that much ten
I believe he went over to Ford about that time.
Obviously, I too thought there couldn't be that much difference. The
were made with Beldin cable, and both of these brand names have always
been first rate
in my book. I was careful in installing them and careful in removing
them when I put in the 2nd set
of plugs. I do know to twist the boot to break it loose, and not to
pull on the wire, for example.
But, looking back on the whole episode, I wish I had put the GM parts
on. If nothing else,
it would have removed that issue from the table.
Did your friend's the problem go away after the $2100 fix? Interesting
he went to a Ford. I was telling
my story to a friend who drives a Crown Vic. He said he had much the
same problem, and
replacing the ignition module fixed it. I suspect that all or most
newer cars with the TCC (practically all,
I believe) are subject to this problem... small engine problems
getting amplified to become
major drivability issues.
Well, Ed, the problem went away because the car went away... He had had
enough Bought his wife
a new Continental.
He had a Ford van about the same time, that was a nice comfortable vehicle,
but suddenly, it began
to go bad too. Would just quit on him. Took it to the Ford stealership in
Crosby, Texas and they
kept it for a week or two, during which time he had to rent a car. When he
got it back, it immediately
started misbehaving again. Back to the dealership. This time they replaced
fuel pumps, and I don't
know what all. When he got it back, same old shit. It would run for a
while and then stop.
Finally, several thousand dollars into scattergun parts replacements, and
even more in car rentals,
he asked them to check the fuel lines. Yep, they were partially plugged.
Would run for a while and then
plug solid. Relieve the pressure and they might open up a little. Amazing
that a dealership mechanic
could screw around so long, replace a ton of parts, and charge him literally
thousands, and not be able
to diagnose plugged fuel lines...
When you have stop run situation isn't fuel delivery one of the KEY
things to check/measure? I always thought the key things were fuel,
air and ignition. That is one lousy mechanic, or else one crooked
garage that tries to rape you for as much as they can.
I had a problem once that may have been related. On a 70 degree or
cooler day I could drive all day long and no problem. 85 degrees day
or hotter and about 20 miles the car would die just like it was shut
off. Sounds like vapor lock right? Except if you pulled to the side
and hit the key it would start right up instantly. Away you would go.
Maybe 10 miles maybe 1 mile. It would die just like you shut off the
key. Pull to the side and it would start right back up again.
Replaced all the things you mentioned plus some you didn't try. We
had it to 4 different garages and they said it ran fine and wouldn't
act up for them. Finally one mechanic took it for a drive, more than
around the block twice and it died for him. He said just before it
would die the fuel pressure dropped. He spliced a wire into the ground
wire of the in-tank fuel pump about two feet from the tank and grounded
it to the frame with a screw.
Yeah right, like that is going to fix it? It did! Never had that
problem again in over 100,000 miles of driving. Since then he gets all
of my business. Somewhere there must have been a connection in the
wire that would break contact when it got real hot. Then cool down and
make contact by the time you got stopped. Not herky jerky, but might
have been if the contact had reestablished before it died completely.
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