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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright. So I've looked all over and can't seem to find anyone who has had this exact experience that I'm dealing with right now, hoping y'all can enlighten me as to what I should do about this/what might be the problem.

Sometimes, it starts. Most of the time, it starts and immediately stalls. If I punch the gas as soon as I fire it, I can usually get it to run, revving the gas. But if I let off the gas to shift into drive, it often stalls again before I get the chance to shift.

The only way to get it to drive is to get lucky. Sometimes it just runs, sometimes I get it to shift into drive JUST in time and then after that, it's usually good.

Occasionally, when I'm coasting a low rpms and giving no gas, it will stall while driving. Occasionally it stalls when I pull into my driveway and park. Mostly the stalls happen on startup and I sometimes need to start the car 3-8 times until I'm driving it. And then I'm afraid to turn it off.

It DOES seem to worsen when I have low gas in the tank. But hard to say, because it still happens on a full tank. A mechanic told me it WASN'T the fuel filter, but I'm not sure if I believe him, though I certainly want to because nobody, not me or any other mechanic i've talked to, wants to remove this filter because we all are afraid of breaking the fuel lines.

I replaced the fuel pump around a year ago. I did a tune up not too long ago, etc.

Like I said, I've been able to drive the van, but the stalling is pretty intense. I definitely need to figure it out but don't have a clue what it could be. HELP!
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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Alright. So I've looked all over and can't seem to find anyone who has had this exact experience that I'm dealing with right now, hoping y'all can enlighten me as to what I should do about this/what might be the problem.

Sometimes, it starts. Most of the time, it starts and immediately stalls. If I punch the gas as soon as I fire it, I can usually get it to run, revving the gas. But if I let off the gas to shift into drive, it often stalls again before I get the chance to shift.

The only way to get it to drive is to get lucky. Sometimes it just runs, sometimes I get it to shift into drive JUST in time and then after that, it's usually good.

Occasionally, when I'm coasting a low rpms and giving no gas, it will stall while driving. Occasionally it stalls when I pull into my driveway and park. Mostly the stalls happen on startup and I sometimes need to start the car 3-8 times until I'm driving it. And then I'm afraid to turn it off.

It DOES seem to worsen when I have low gas in the tank. But hard to say, because it still happens on a full tank. A mechanic told me it WASN'T the fuel filter, but I'm not sure if I believe him, though I certainly want to because nobody, not me or any other mechanic i've talked to, wants to remove this filter because we all are afraid of breaking the fuel lines.

I replaced the fuel pump around a year ago. I did a tune up not too long ago, etc.

Like I said, I've been able to drive the van, but the stalling is pretty intense. I definitely need to figure it out but don't have a clue what it could be. HELP!
Nicksrug:
I am more inclined to look for an electrical issue of some sort, if it is dying at idle.
Determining if you have lost spark, or fuel pressure, when it dies will be a major help in the diagnostic process.
You may have to borrow a fuel pressure gauge from your local LAPS, and have it plumbed into the sytem for a while, to prove you have adequate fuel pressure when starting and when it dies on you.
I cannot help much, except to say I agree with the one mechanic who did not think it would be the fuel filter. A partially plugged fuel filter can cause the engine bog down under heavy load ( close to maximum fuel flow conditions) . If it runs normally most of the time, and stalls only under light load, I would not suspect the filter to be the issue. Have you checked the running fuel pressure?
If "... not me or any other mechanic i've talked to..." , is worried about breaking the fuel lines, is it because of rust, or what is the concern? Unscrewing the fittings on the fuel filter, with a pair of the the proper sized wrenches, should not be that hard on the fuel lines and fittings. How long has it been since that filter was changed, or do you know?
If it is a rusty fuel line concern, I would want to get it fixed, before it comes apart on it's own.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nicksrug:
I am more inclined to look for an electrical issue of some sort, if it is dying at idle.
Determining if you have lost spark, or fuel pressure, when it dies will be a major help in the diagnostic process.
You may have to borrow a fuel pressure gauge from your local LAPS, and have it plumbed into the sytem for a while, to prove you have adequate fuel pressure when starting and when it dies on you.
I cannot help much, except to say I agree with the one mechanic who did not think it would be the fuel filter. A partially plugged fuel filter can cause the engine bog down under heavy load ( close to maximum fuel flow conditions) . If it runs normally most of the time, and stalls only under light load, I would not suspect the filter to be the issue. Have you checked the running fuel pressure?
If "... not me or any other mechanic i've talked to..." , is worried about breaking the fuel lines, is it because of rust, or what is the concern? Unscrewing the fittings on the fuel filter, with a pair of the the proper sized wrenches, should not be that hard on the fuel lines and fittings. How long has it been since that filter was changed, or do you know?
If it is a rusty fuel line concern, I would want to get it fixed, before it comes apart on it's own.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
Yep. Rusty fuel lines. Kindof in a pickle between this issue and something else im fixing and trying to decide if its worth spending all the time/energy/money or if i should give it up. I guess testing fuel pressure is the next step!
 

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The only thing I can offer is that perhaps noting what year you are dealing with might be relevant. Throttle body or multiport injection could play a role.
Fuel pump being electric driven should put out a steady pressure regardless of throttle. The filter should allow a steady stream by regardless of throttle as well. If it were clogged, it would limit as Rod's Trucks stated above. A pressure relief valve allows the excess to return to the tank via a return line.
I don't know if they have ever been known to stick and cause too much pressure, essentially flooding an engine, but I had an oil pressure relief stick on me before in another different vehicle all together on a Jasper engine I had installed, so I think why not. The result on that was the excessive pressure found the next place it could go, out through my oil filter's gasket to the road. You can guess why I don't have that car anymore.

An add on edit after a quick check...
Around here we have a fuel pressure regulator. Do some searches on the forum about that and see if anything fits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only thing I can offer is that perhaps noting what year you are dealing with might be relevant. Throttle body or multiport injection could play a role.
Fuel pump being electric driven should put out a steady pressure regardless of throttle. The filter should allow a steady stream by regardless of throttle as well. If it were clogged, it would limit as Rod's Trucks stated above. A pressure relief valve allows the excess to return to the tank via a return line.
I don't know if they have ever been known to stick and cause too much pressure, essentially flooding an engine, but I had an oil pressure relief stick on me before in another different vehicle all together on a Jasper engine I had installed, so I think why not. The result on that was the excessive pressure found the next place it could go, out through my oil filter's gasket to the road. You can guess why I don't have that car anymore.

An add on edit after a quick check...
Around here we have a fuel pressure regulator. Do some searches on the forum about that and see if anything fits.
Thanks for your response! My astro is a 2005
 

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2005 Astro Cargo 4WD
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A malfunctioning Idle Air Control Valve can cause stalling at Idle.
 

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2004 Astro rwd
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First thing I'd do is check for engine codes, even if the cel isn't on, there could very well be some pending codes. That's the absolute first place to start. Also look at live data if you can and read fuel trims. Look for a rich or lean condition. It'll help figure out if it's a spark problem, being escessivly rich, my 03 has went through 2 coils within the last few months. Or it could be a vacuum leak and lean. But it's hard to say without diagnostics first.
 
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