hello tim my name is XXXXX XXXXX i'll be helping you today. welcome to just answer!
as i understand it after 20 miutes or so of combined stop and go and highway driving your car will quit running.
it seems to do this after you get off of the highway. you can crank but the engine will not start although it acts like it's trying to start. if you wait for 5 minutes the engine will start and run long enough to get to work. is this all correct?
the problem sounds to me to be an incorrect input to the computer from one of the sensors. the most likely culprits are these (in order of most likely) 1. mass airflow sensor (tells computer how much air is flowing into engine at a given time), 2. coolant temperature sensor (tells the computer how warm or cold the engine is - if it, for instance, tells the computer that the engine is running at 100 deg instead of 180, the computer could easily dump too much fuel to the injectors for the conditions), 3. air temperature sensor (tells computer the temperature of the air entering the engine - same thing for symptoms as the coolant temp sensor).
with 180k miles it is very likely that the airflow sensor at the very least needs to be cleaned if not replace entirely. you should figure $100-$150 range on a new sensor. they are not very hard to install.
both temperature sensors are relatively inexpensive and also fairly easy to change. i would approach your problem in that order. also, if the check engine light has ever come on (or even if it hasn't) i'd take it to a parts house where they will pull the engine codes on it for you for free. if any of the codes correspond to one of the sensors i have mentioned then that is the first one to replace.
but remember, sometimes sensors are simply incorrect rather than being out of range and so they can fail to let the engine run properly without setting a
i am going to switch now to q&a mode so i can make sure you have received all my replies properly. sometimes chat doesn't work the way it's supposed to.
Hello bill...Sorry for delay but I could not retrieve any answer for a while and then I was working..1st of all..The car is a 95 and not a 98. I don't know if that makes a difference ?
Also the mechanic talked about the catalytic convertor? that sounded crazy..that's why I queried this site??
Just let you know..you were "spot on" about the mass airflow sensor. It was dirty. Put a new sensor in since the contacts fell off when we removed it. We figure the hesitation/jerking is a result of the sparking occuring at coil due to oil around the engine block. Changing the valve cover gasket after I find a part in junk yard...'ll know how it it runs later..But you answered initial problem well.