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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6112
Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
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1992 buick century: 10 minutes..stalls..temp sensor..the alternator

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I have a 1992 buick century (3.3L) that will start when cold, then run for about 5 - 10 minutes. It then starts to backfire and stalls. At htat point you have to wait 45 to 60 minutes before it will start again.
I have replaced the plugs & wires, the radiator fan motor, the temp sensor (below the alternator on side of engine). Initially when this happened I thought that the car had overheated, because the fan didn't seem to be running when hot. I have rewired the fan to run when the key is on. I also changed the oil and filter, as well as, flush and refill the radiator along with installing a new thermostat.
I had the module under the coils tested at autozone. It gave a bad reading, then tested good for 6 test intervals. Originally I was getting codes 26, 27, 28 and 42, however the last time there were no codes present and there didn't seem to be a spark at the coils (1 & 2).
Is there anything else I can get tested, off the car? I don't know what else to do at this point. Any help would be appreciated.
If you are losing spark like that when the engine has run for a short time I would be inclined to think the module is bad. The circuitry often times will fail after warming up some and so an off the car test is not always going show as bad. I have had cars that would only die after a certain amount of time on the highway, would run all day at idle or slow speeds. Swap the coils to a different position, get it hot, and see if the same coils lose spark or the same position loses spark. If it is the same position, you have a bad module.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
As I understand it, you are saying that the spark module and not the ECM would be the problem. You want me to change coil positions and re-test, for spark, correct.
Yes, if the loss of spark follows the coil than it is likely the coil, but if it maintains the same position then I would suspect the module. While it is theoretically possible the ECM could do it, it is unlikely the ECM could effect only 2 coils.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I changed coil 1/4 with coil 3/6, and it does the same thing. No spark to NO 1. So I guess the coil module is bad as you said. Thank you very much.
Sounds like you are on the right track, thanks for using JA.
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