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JHoop
JHoop, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5446
Experience:  14 Year Engine Builder,16 years as a Tech HvyLine, Suspension, Electrical, Brakes, 6 Year Shop Owner
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1991 Oldsmobile Delta 88: misfire..highway..car stopped accelerating

Customer Question

My 1991 Oldsmobile Delta 88 started to shudder and misfire when I was driving through mountains two days ago. This was after a long day of high speed driving on a flat highway. Yesterday, while leaving the mountains, the car stopped accelerating almost completely, and finally just died while going up a slight incline. After a period of cooldown (about two hours), it started up again. I discovered, however, that the fan is not running at all.

I am currently stranded in Colorado (I was en route to California), and have to wait for a mechanic to have time to look at it. I happen to really enjoy working on my car myself, but don't have any of my tools (I know this is stupid of me, I just forgot to put my toolbox back in the trunk).

Thanks for any help you can give!
Gretchen
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
Hello , my name isXXXXX you for choosing justanswer.com.

Did the service engine light come on when it started to run bad?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That was what was very odd... none of the lights came on. Not the overheat light, not the SES light, nothing.

The fan was working yesterday morning; as I put in the area for details, there was a definite electrical smell both the night before (when the problem started) and yesterday when it really started to balk.
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
Will the car run now?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It runs, yes. It starts up, and I can drive it for a short distance (like through a parking lot short) but yesterday when attempting to drive it up onto the tow truck it balked again. It did not die, though. It only died when it was going up a minor incline.
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
Does your A/c work?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
To be honest, I don't know. I never run the AC when I'm driving it any distance because it decreases my mileage significantly. I can walk over to the garage where it's parked and start it up if you give me a list of things to check.
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
Turn the A/c on. \Does the compressor come on?

Do the cooling fans come on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, I will go over and check this. Will take me about 20 minutes but I'll be back asap.
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
OK
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok I discovered I can respond from my phone!

A/c works. Compressor comes on, fans come on. Popped the hood, and the fan is on again. I'm going to take it for a gentle drive to see what it does. Any other suggestions for what to check?
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
It may have a crank sensor going down when it gets to operating temperature.

Give it a road test and let me know how it goes.

If you have a paper clip you can also check for codes.

I uploaded the procedure in .pdf format here to justanswer. You can download it by clicking HERE. I hope this helps you.

If you need more help, please ask. If this answer helped you, please click ACCEPT.

If you have a deposit but do not click ACCEPT you will STILL be charged, but I don't get credit! Not clicking ACCEPT hurts the Techs that help you! Thanks again, JHoop
JHoop, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5446
Experience: 14 Year Engine Builder,16 years as a Tech HvyLine, Suspension, Electrical, Brakes, 6 Year Shop Owner
JHoop and 10 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, I drove it around the block and had the same problems, so it's definitely still there. I will go find a paper clip and give the code reading a shot, and come back.

Funnily enough the crank sensor was one of the possible causes I isolated... :)

Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
I'll be here.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, I went back to my motel since I couldn't read the pdf on my phone. I want to make sure I understand exactly how to put it into diagnostic mode. Do I need to put one end of the paper clip in Terminal A and one in Terminal B? Or am I totally not reading that right?

The other thing... and I know this is a total n00b question, but I've never fiddled with the OBD. What I'm seeing is that the codes are indicated by flashing of the SES light. So do I just need to note what the flashes are (i.e. three long, one short, or whatever it does) in order to figure out the code?
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
Yes terminal A an B for the codes with the key in run..

You are correct read the flashes
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I got just the 12 code, so there don't seem to be any codes stored. I will check my service manual and see if there's any chance I can do anything to check the crank sensor possibility; the other thing I considered was blocked fuel injectors or a MAF sensor. I'm just stupid ancious to get my car running again.
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
The problem is that an electrical component it failing at operating temperature.

If it is not the crank sensor, it is the ignition control module from my experience at GM.

If you have any more questions or need any diagrams, please don't hesisitate to ask If this answer helped you, please click ACCEPT.

If you have a deposit but do not click ACCEPT you will STILL be charged, but I don't get credit! Not clicking ACCEPT hurts the Techs that help you! Thanks, JHoop
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What about a TPS? Is that a possibility?

And as a shop owner/mechanic, can you give me a ballpark as to how much this might run me (either CPS or TPS) so I know if the shop I was towed to is trying to rip me off?
Expert:  JHoop replied 3 years ago.
No TPS issue.

The replacement of the CPS would be around 300.00 us. JHoop

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