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Engine Turned off While Driving

Old 01-18-2018, 01:46 PM
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Engine Turned off While Driving

As I was driving today my engine turned off. I was able to pull off the road and restart it. It seems to drive ok now. I have noticed for a while an intermittent problem where I feel a loss of acceleration power for no more than a second or two before it recovers. Because the problem has been intermittent I can't get a shop to reproduce it so I'm wondering if you all have some ideas.

A few notes:
  1. I've checked and there are no OBD diagnostic codes
  2. Car has oil and the belts seem ok
  3. Someone thought it could be fuel/air sensor related though I'd expect to get an error code.
Thanks
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:02 PM
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Check your battery terminals. Likely loose and causing engine to lose power. Corrosion is bad!
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:33 PM
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Thanks. Just checked and the terminals look pretty clean.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:25 PM
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One more note: when the car died this morning, the air conditioning and radio were still running. I lost power steering, braking and acceleration though. This makes me think the electrical system was working and I can rule out battery and alternator.

If that assumption is correct, fuel seems like the next place to start. I'm wondering what would cause an intermittent problem. Some ideas:
  1. Bad gas (try an additive in case there's moisture in the system)?
  2. Fuel filter? Would this cause a constant problem or intermittent?
  3. Fuel pump? could this fail slowly or would it fail completely?
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:44 PM
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When I used to have an accord the used to be a problem like this where the ground under the distributor was to blame. Is there a similar issue with TL's?
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:28 PM
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Check your engine grounds. Unbolt and clean up the contact points with sand paper.

Had a similar issue with my old CL-S and a ground was the culprit.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:58 PM
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Took it to O'Reilly's not really knowing what to do other than a battery test just in case. They found the alternator was bad. Looks like a bit of a pain to access it on my 97 so I found a mobile mechanic who charges very reasonably. Hoping this is the answer. At first it didn't make sense, but if the alternator is failing to provide a consistent current that could explain why the problem is intermittent and doesn't shut down the lights, AC, etc, but does shut down the big things like engine, power steering, etc.

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by noynek View Post
Took it to O'Reilly's not really knowing what to do other than a battery test just in case. They found the alternator was bad. Looks like a bit of a pain to access it on my 97 so I found a mobile mechanic who charges very reasonably. Hoping this is the answer. At first it didn't make sense, but if the alternator is failing to provide a consistent current that could explain why the problem is intermittent and doesn't shut down the lights, AC, etc, but does shut down the big things like engine, power steering, etc.

Thanks
Just wanted to follow up on my post in case someone finds it useful down the road. Long story short: we replaced the alternator, but something was wrong. One day I got a bunch of random OBD/Engine codes. A few days later my battery/charge light came on. We tested the battery and found that the new alternator was bad. O'Reilly's didn't believe me, but after removing the part, they tested it and confirmed it was bad. It made an odd sound when running in their test machine, but it wasn't very obvious with all of the engine sounds. Frustrating that I had to pay someone to install it twice though I probably could have figured out how to do it, but wasn't sure if the car would make it home.

A week or two later, the car died while I was driving. I was able to start it up again, but the charge light was on. Tested again and the battery showed up as basically dead. Replaced the battery and it wouldn't start. The ignition was turning, but not getting fuel. The tank was low so I added a few gallons and after about 10 minutes, it started up.

A few days later it wouldn't start again. Ignition turned, but no fuel even though the tank was full. This led me to replace the main relay. My mechanic recommended replacing the ECT sensor at the same time. They've found this sensor can fail silently and it's a good idea to do when you replace the main relay. Getting the old relay out was a real pain. Tight space squished under the brake pedal and it was just wedged in there. 2 hours later and it's been running fine ever since.

My interpretation of this is just a perfect storm of things going wrong (charge issues combined with a gradually failing main relay). That makes it next to impossible to know which symptoms came from which system. Good news is the car seems fine now. Hope this helps someone.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for following up on it
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