I made post earlier today about draining the fuel tank of my Chevy
Astro. But I'm curious if anyone can diagnose what is wrong with it
before I have it towed to a mechanic only to be told it's not worth
I don't drive it very often. Maybe once or twice a month at the most.
I mostly use it to haul stuff that won't fit in my car. Anyway about a
month ago the van wouldn't start so I jumped started it. I drove it
around but it wouldn't start up again after I shut it off so I
replaced the battery. The van started up fine with the new battery but
after driving it around for a few minutes I lose power and the engine
shuts off. It starts right back up and doesn't shut off again so I
didn't think anything of it. For the next few weeks I take the van out
and it works fine. Occasionally I will have to turn the key and hold
it for a second or two to get it to start but the engine stayed
running once it starts.
On Saturday my wife takes it out to run some errands but when she gets
in it to come home it won't start. She gets someone to jump start it
but on her way home the engine cuts off while she's driving on a busy
road and she can't get it started again. A nice guy towed it into a
parking lot for her but she still couldn't get it started. So I come
by and I turn the key and it starts up, but cuts off after a few
minutes of idling. I tried restarting it but it won't start again for
10 minutes. It seems to be very random when it will start up and when
it will cut off. It was raining that day and someone said that might
have affected it but I don't really know.
Based on how the van is behaving I don't think the jump start my wife
got was actually necessary. It probably would have started anyway. The
dashboard shows the battery at 14 volts while the engine is running.
Anyone have any ideas?
Yes... Corrosion or bad connections with the power cables would be the first
of investigation. Many GM products have multiple cables going into the
battery terminal connector, and these are infamous for internal problems.
this out really well, not only at the battery end but at the other ends of
If this is the problem, you can clean the internals of the cables, but they
corrode again in short order.
Good luck with it.
On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:56:43 -0700 (PDT), Deuteros cast forth these pearls
These vehicles have a very badly designed electrical connector on the
driver's side, underneath - about mid-ship. This connector is for the
power to the fuel pump and sender. Known to build up corrosion and act up
very intermittently. Worth looking at.
My guess would be wiring connection corrosion. If you're not driving
it very often, corrosion hits just about everything.
Other than connections, you could have something as simple as fuel
filter, as it sounds like fuel starvation from what you said.
It also could be an alternator not putting out enough juice, but then
you said the guage showed 14 volts.
What about water in the gas tank? You leave it sitting a long time,
then you fill it up. Gas floats on water, so driving around a curve
could stall it.
Pretty hard to judge not seeing it, especially from us armchair
They're pretty good looking vans for that year.
I bet yours is a rust bucket underneath, eh?
Here's a list of things on a GM website that are connected to the fuel
system on your truck:
Extension, Filler cap, Filler hose, Filler neck, Filler pipe, Filter,
Fuel cap, Fuel pump, Fuel pump assy, Fuel tank, Fuel tank assy,
Housing, Insulator, Level sensor, Lower shield, Pocket, Pressure
sensor, Sending unit, Shield, Strainer, Strap, Tank strap, Vent hose
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.