Hesitation or surging

Hesitation or surging

Postby elkavox [OP] » November 23rd 2009, 8:06pm

1996 Astro AWD 4.3L V6 308,000Km
I have a hesitation or fuel surge problem. What are the likely causes?

Symptoms: when in drive and accelerating, it will start hesitating as it changes from 1st to 2nd. It will do the same from 2nd to 3rd and recently has started surging/hesitating at highway speed. If I keep the van in 1 (ie. 1st gear), it is smooth to accelerate, but as I ease off on the gas when reaching high engine speed it will start surging. So it seems like whenever the engine is at high idle and I ease off on the gas, it will hesitate/surge. Happens in temperatures from -20 to +7. Didn't happen much in the summer when temps were warm. Sometimes it won't hesitate/surge at all! (totally frustrating...especially when I take it into the shop and they can't replicate the problem) I've ran a couple bottles of fuel system cleaner through and nothing changed. Something electrical? Please help, I love this van and don't want to get rid of it.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby astro355 » November 23rd 2009, 11:25pm

Does it hesitate while the van is at idle and in park?

Does it happen while the van is cold or once its warmed up? Not talking about outside temperature but engine temperature.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby elkavox [OP] » November 24th 2009, 12:00am

It doesn't hesitate when idling and in park.

In addition to accelerating, it will happen when I'm maintaining a speed, in any gear. In this case, it hesitates when I'm going slightly downhill and will work fine when I'm going uphill (probably because the gas pedal is depressed more).

It used to stop after I drove around for a while, but now it seems like it will come and go as it pleases. I can't seem to figure out the logic to it anymore. It will do it when hot/cold/warm/driven for a while/ etc.

Whenever it hesitates, I can stomp on the gas and it will accelerate smoothly again, and continue to be smooth only if I stay heavy on the throttle. It seems like it's not getting fuel when it hesitates, but I don't know if it's mechanical or electrical. I've tried to take it into the shop but, of course, the van will run perfectly fine. :banghead:
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby daisykleen » November 24th 2009, 12:05am

it sounds like a fuel pump i have a 99 had to replace a fuel pump! not cheap
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby moneymaker » November 24th 2009, 12:50am

Sounds to me she's leaning out to much at cruising speeds. I would check fuel pressure, and make sure o2 is reading correctly.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby racer x » December 9th 2009, 4:18am

This is the exact same symptom my 2000 RWD cargo van is experiencing. If I am on the gas it seems smooth . But as it goes to light throttle or just as it shifts it misfires . So when the cruse control is on and the van starts to go down hill . it will start to hesitate or studder.When cold itis worse and dose it while accelerating. Runs fine later in the day and on the drive home from work it runs fine. I can see how this would happen when you take it to a shop.

I have replaced all the basic stuff . Filters and ignition components. The fuel pressure is good. But it still has this misfire. At idle it is fine with 0 misfires. I am going to try replacing the poppet valve injector with the upgraded MFI injection system. It comes from AC Delco as a kit . Les see if it fixes mine.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby racer x » December 9th 2009, 4:20am

This is the exact same symptom my 2000 RWD cargo van is experiencing. If I am on the gas it seems smooth . But as it goes to light throttle or just as it shifts it misfires . So when the cruse control is on and the van starts to go down hill . it will start to hesitate or studder.When cold itis worse and dose it while accelerating. Runs fine later in the day and on the drive home from work it runs fine. I can see how this would happen when you take it to a shop.

I have replaced all the basic stuff . Filters and ignition components. The fuel pressure is good. But it still has this misfire. At idle it is fine with 0 misfires. I am going to try replacing the poppet valve injector with the upgraded MFI injection system. It comes from AC Delco as a kit . Les see if it fixes mine.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby ghiafreak62 » December 11th 2014, 4:36am

Did anyone find a cure for this problem? surging at highway speeds.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby 1998kingbong » December 11th 2014, 4:40am

Yeah, the transmission blew. Sometimes a tune up with ac delco fixes it. Other times it will remain forever a mystery. This is the third or fourth van I had that had done this. For fun I replaced eveything possible just so I would know what it was. Never did change. Moisture could be getting under the cap
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby ronaldperu » December 11th 2014, 5:03am

same thing happen with my v6 chevy express, before tranny blew.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby WoodButcher » December 12th 2014, 2:15pm

Am I the only one to see a trend here?
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby Philly758 » December 12th 2014, 5:43pm

I'd be curious to know how many of these blown transmissions did not have trans fluid cooler installed. It is often preached that this is one of the best preventive upgrades and basically mandatory if you tow or carry a load.
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Re: Hesitation or surging

Postby WoodButcher » December 13th 2014, 5:59am

I replaced '97 trans w/ a rebuilt 50,000 mile ago. I had symptoms like these for quite a while if I used the overdrive but most of my driving was 3rd gear so it went unnoticed, city and secondary roads, heavily loaded. I got the 1870 code once the year before making highway runs to and from a job an hour away so I changed the filter and fluid adding 2 quarts of Lucas and added a cooler then. Another year, another job making the highway trips and overdrive the code came back and after 230,000 miles I had to replace the trans.
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