Odd issue

Odd issue

Postby rugman [OP] » September 30th 2015, 3:20pm

Might not even belong in this section. 04 Astro cargo van 125K miles. Cruisin down the hiway and lose all power - engine shuts off. I figured it was a fuel pump maybe. Sit for 15 mins and it starts up - drives for 10 mins - same issue. Sit for 10 - drives for 10. I then sit for 10 and take off (just trying to get home) - it thumps like it shut down but kept going and made the 1/2 hour ride home!
A friend (mechanic) told me could be the crank sensor (if it has one).
We have had a hard rain but want' raining too hard when this happened.
How the heck do you figure this out when its so intermittent!
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Lumpy » September 30th 2015, 3:26pm

It seems to me that "Crank Sensor" is the most frequently "Could Be" item ever mentioned. I don't know much about them. My van doesn't have one.

I think no matter what engine/car/year you're dealing with, the first two questions are always -

- Is it getting gas?
- Is it getting spark?

Once those are verified, I'd look for OBD codes.

Might be the crank sensor. Also might be a loose battery connection.


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Re: Odd issue

Postby Astrofarian » September 30th 2015, 3:58pm

Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) is located under the timing cover/oil pan junction at the front of the engine. You'll see a wire going up there. it's held in place with a single bolt (8mm or 10mm....I can't remember which). CAREFULLY pull it out after taking the bolt out and take a look at it. The tip of it should be clean and oil/slop/slime/grime-free. Clean it off with a rag if it isn't. Or change it out....they're less than $40 bucks last time I did one. And clear your codes afterward. I'm not sure if a "test" exists; someone else will chime in here for sure and clear that one up for you.
Hope this helps...
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Re: Odd issue

Postby 97cargocrawler » September 30th 2015, 5:04pm

CPS don't give two **** how long you sit and wait. If it's bad or the wiring to it is bad you're gonna sit forever or until a wire jiggles.

I would suspect overheating fuel pump or some EVAP issue in the tank. You seem to think it's time related, so heat and pressure are the only factors there. Remove the gas cap and see what happens.

If it continues to run with the pedal floored then it's probably a fuel flow issue, then look at clogged filter or injectors maybe. Test the fuel rail pressure while its running.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Sailing_Faith » September 30th 2015, 5:16pm

Oh oh oh!

What codes do you get?

I had the same issue manifest several times on my last cross country road trip.

Go out to your van, and pull the ECM 1 fuse, see if it runs fine. Yea, I know it sounds crazy,... What that will do is throw a MAF code, the CPs code, and one other... But it will also put it into closed loop.

If that is it, you may find disconnecting your MAf will also "fix" it. Of course you will have to figure out what was the problem from there.

Take a look at this thread, I talked about the problem here.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=57609
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Astro Pop » September 30th 2015, 6:35pm

That issue can also be an overheating ignition module. It's attached to the ignition coil. Gets hot kills ignition, cools down, runs until hot, kills engine..... GM has never built reliable ignition systems.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Don1806 » September 30th 2015, 6:48pm

And to throw another "maybe" item in here... this is the exact thing that I had happening last year when I had the wiring issue in the firewall pass through block. Sometimes it would re-start, but as time went on it wouldn't. Other times you could drive hundreds of miles with no problem, until you couldn't.

Next time it quits, immediately try to read the code using a code reader. If you have no data or scrambled date, I would strongly suspect a bad wire or connector in that wiring block. I ended up having to get an auto electric shop to diagnose and find it after my mechanic thought it was fixed several different times because it happened so intermittently.

That wiring block is fragile, so tread lightly if you decide to go in there yourself. Mine was ultimately one of the little connectors on the interior side of the block. It looked like a little spade connector - worth about 3 cents and that is what was heating up or loose and causing the entire van to lose power.

I would also occasionally hear a loud thump which I think was an intermittent power loss, but not enough to shut down the van before it would re-connect.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby rugman [OP] » September 30th 2015, 7:06pm

Ok - some great places to start! One other thing I forgot to mention - all other power is on in the van when this happens.
What really threw me was the fact that the third time it took off and ran fine all the way home so it's not a time/temp thing which was my initial thought.
I tried to scan the codes but my scanner is not communicating at the moment - hopefully just a bad fuse.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Don1806 » September 30th 2015, 7:25pm

rugman wrote:Ok - some great places to start! One other thing I forgot to mention - all other power is on in the van when this happens.
What really threw me was the fact that the third time it took off and ran fine all the way home so it's not a time/temp thing which was my initial thought.
I tried to scan the codes but my scanner is not communicating at the moment - hopefully just a bad fuse.


My scanner wouldn't communicate when the van was dead. if it started and ran, it would communicate but there were no new codes. I went back and checked, and the wire connector that was bad was on a red wire that provided power to the PCM. The PCM would sense the loss of DC power and shut down the fuel pump which is a built in safety mechanism. It detects that the engine isn't running so it shuts off fuel to prevent a fire.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby rugman [OP] » September 30th 2015, 7:30pm

My non communication issue started a while ago - just haven't gotten around to fixing it so it didn't occur just with this issue. Probably a fuse (happened on my silverado once).
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Re: Odd issue

Postby 97cargocrawler » September 30th 2015, 8:14pm

I too have had random dying issues in the past and never once saw a code readable by an average priced scanner. I did however see a deep level PCM comm code with my Tech2 scanner, one that does not illuminate the MIL. I never did find a smoking gun during the entire removal of the PCM and clean/re-insulation of every inch of wiring in the harness. But afterward the code was gone and have not had any issue since.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby Lumpy » September 30th 2015, 9:13pm

Could be loose ring gap spacing on #4 cylinder.


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Re: Odd issue

Postby Old Barney » October 1st 2015, 12:38am

Don't over look a weak COIL These Astro's are noted for their bad coils mine went bad and acted like this before it went totally dead. I carry a spare after this reason. I went to "U" pullit and picked up a spare with then got towed home I'm glad I did because the new coil does not come with the bracket or ignition control module. The rivets have to be ground off and punched out to mount the coil to the old bracket. Not to be accomplished in the dark with no tools like the old days with a screw driver and pair of pliers.
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Re: Odd issue

Postby CoasterCoaster is online! » October 1st 2015, 12:58am

i had this exact issue on a 1997 intrepid with a 3.5L and it was in fact a dying crank sensor. it did however throw a code for the CPS right away
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