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Old 08-13-2017, 12:14 PM   #1
curtpank
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ckp sensor or coil pack bad with no SES?

hi all - I'm having stalling issues and according to scans it looks like there are crazy fluctuations in engine ignition timing. This causes random stalling while driving once the car has warmed up. It can't be restarted again until it cools down.

I've replaced the ignition switch and lock cylinder and changed plugs, wires, cleaned the MAF sensor too.

The funny thing is there are no CELs lit or stored.

So: is it possible that this is caused by a failing CKP sensor or coil pack? Is that even possible without a CEL?
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:32 PM   #2
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OOOOOOOOOO FINALLY, someone else with my issue. Took me like a month to figure this out. ICM. Sits under the coil packs. Once too hot it starts to mess up and stall you out. But sense you haven't checked your coil packs yet it could be that too.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:43 AM   #3
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okay - I was planning on checking and potentially replacing the ignition coils (there's three of them, I believe). I will test the ICM as well. My thinking is that if only one of the three coils is bad, the car wouldn't stall because there are two other functioning coils (there would be misfires but probably not full-out stalling). If the ICM impacts ignition generally, it may be more likely to cause the stalls.

Does that sound right?
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtpank View Post
okay - I was planning on checking and potentially replacing the ignition coils (there's three of them, I believe). I will test the ICM as well. My thinking is that if only one of the three coils is bad, the car wouldn't stall because there are two other functioning coils (there would be misfires but probably not full-out stalling). If the ICM impacts ignition generally, it may be more likely to cause the stalls.

Does that sound right?
Spot on sir. Btw testing the ICM could show negative (IE it works) but with heat generated from the engine it starts to fail, why exactly idk but I tested mine after at autozone and it passed but my car never had that problem again after replacing it.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:17 PM   #5
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well, I changed the ICM this evening but it didn't solve the problem. Same thing: I start the car, let it idle and after about a minute there is a "ping" and it stalls. Then it cannot be restarted again until it cools off (it will start for a second but then backfire and stall immediately). So it's definitely heat-related. It's almost like something is trying to turn on.

So at this point I have changed the ICM, ignition switch, ignition key lock cylinder, spark plugs, wires, alternator and battery.

all I have left is: 1) the coil packs themselves, which looked fine when I took them off to change the ICM, 2) CKP sensor, and 3) the fuel pressure regulator in case it's a fuel thing. I guess tomorrow I'll test the fuel pressure.

Would a bad coil pack make the car stall like this? There are three packs so I figure losing one wouldn't completely stall it....

I just know it's some simple thing but there are still no CELs
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtpank View Post
well, I changed the ICM this evening but it didn't solve the problem. Same thing: I start the car, let it idle and after about a minute there is a "ping" and it stalls. Then it cannot be restarted again until it cools off (it will start for a second but then backfire and stall immediately). So it's definitely heat-related. It's almost like something is trying to turn on.

So at this point I have changed the ICM, ignition switch, ignition key lock cylinder, spark plugs, wires, alternator and battery.

all I have left is: 1) the coil packs themselves, which looked fine when I took them off to change the ICM, 2) CKP sensor, and 3) the fuel pressure regulator in case it's a fuel thing. I guess tomorrow I'll test the fuel pressure.

Would a bad coil pack make the car stall like this? There are three packs so I figure losing one wouldn't completely stall it....

I just know it's some simple thing but there are still no CELs
GDI. Fuel pressure sounds like a good thing to check. I wouldn't think one coil pack would make it stall that way. I don't know symptoms of a bad CKP sensor but the more I think about it the more I think I did change mine while trying to figure this out but obviously for me it wasn't that.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:55 AM   #7
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I would check the fuel pressure. See what it is when you start it cold, then after it shuts down after getting hot, so if you have full pressure when trying to restart. Could be a bad regulator. Early cars also had a hot start issue with the fuel pumps that was fixed with an update to the fuel pump assembly during 02-03.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I think I've done almost everything that could go with spark or electricity. So I suppose I'll start with the fuel side now. I'm going to check fuel pressure.

the problem has worsened - first it was a stall every few weeks. Then it got more and more frequent. Eventually it was every day, then it would stall after a minute or so and now it stalls within a few seconds of starting.
Sorry lost touch with you as I was moving to Michigan. How did the fuel pressure test go?

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I would check the fuel pressure. See what it is when you start it cold, then after it shuts down after getting hot, so if you have full pressure when trying to restart. Could be a bad regulator. Early cars also had a hot start issue with the fuel pumps that was fixed with an update to the fuel pump assembly during 02-03.
This guy^^ Wealth of knowledge.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:09 PM   #9
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now it will only start and run for about 3-4 seconds. When I press the gas pedal to try to keep it running, it backfires a bunch of times and then stalls.

would a fuel pressure regulator cause backfiring like that?
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:10 PM   #10
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I'm going to do the fuel pressure test tonight or tomorrow and let you know.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:11 PM   #11
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the other thing I haven't done yet is the 7x CKP (crank position) sensor. That's the one on the back of the engine. Is that a possibility as well?
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtpank View Post
now it will only start and run for about 3-4 seconds. When I press the gas pedal to try to keep it running, it backfires a bunch of times and then stalls.

would a fuel pressure regulator cause backfiring like that?
what the duck man!

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I'm going to do the fuel pressure test tonight or tomorrow and let you know.
And den?

Quote:
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the other thing I haven't done yet is the 7x CKP (crank position) sensor. That's the one on the back of the engine. Is that a possibility as well?
It is a possibility, IICRC I changed mine out when i had similar problems.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:38 PM   #13
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I used a multimeter and found that there is no voltage coming to the ignition control module. So maybe it is the CKP sensor.

checking fuel pressure right now
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:15 PM   #14
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fuel pressure:

ignition on car off: 52
car idling: 50

also, no trace of gas in the vacuum line
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:07 AM   #15
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That's not terrible, but not great. Normal is 48 psi at idle, and around 56 psi at WOT (no vacuum). Could try changing the fuel filter, and the regulator if that doesn't fix it. Not sure if that would be causing the new issues you described though.

I'm thinking possible ignition module or crank sensor. From what I recall, the ICM has three signal inputs: 24x crank sensor, 7x crank sensor, 3x cam position. The PCM uses the cam signal mostly for injector timing. The ICM converts the crank signals to another signal to the PCM for ignition timing. Even if the 24x crank sensor fails, it only uses that under 3000 rpm, and mostly for smoother idle... it will still run off just the 7x sensor. If the 7x sensor goes bad though, you've got big problems. The wire from that sensor to the ICM is also an individual jumper separate from the main harness that runs up the back of the engine and can get heat soaked and brittle. Could be a bad wire. I'm just surprised it's not showing any codes.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:10 PM   #16
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I changed the ignition switch (yes, removed the stereo and gauges to get at it). Didn't fix the problem. So I replaced also the ignition key lock cylinder but also no fix. I disconnected and cleaned both ends of the 7x sensor (the end on the sensor as well as the end in the ICM). I felt the wire as far as I could and it didn't seem brittle and there were no breaks in the coating.

To see if there is current coming through from the 7x, I disconnected the wire at the ICM and tried starting the car, and it just turned over without starting. Then I did the same thing at the other end, disconnecting it at the sensor and same thing. I knew that would happen but the key is to compare that to when the wire is plugged in at both ends. When it is, the car starts (stalls shortly thereafter, but starts). So there is definitely charge going through the wire.

The fuel pressure while idling was indeed around 48-50. I couldn't go WOT though because it stalls too quickly and if I open the throttle it backfires and stalls anyway.

Fuel filter is only about 3 months old and this problem began intermittently before that so I don't think that's it.

Now I'm thinking either:
1) fuel pressure regulator
2) wiring/signal to fuel pump or regulator.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:26 AM   #17
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SOLVED:

it was my aftermarket immobilizer. It was cutting out the signal when it got warm and therefore shutting off the engine. Took it out and the car is running well.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:11 AM   #18
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Didn't know you had an aftermarket alarm in it. You should have told us that from the start. That would have been the first thing I'd recommend is bypass that and see if it fixes the issue. A lot of after market units are either hastily and poorly installed by shops looking to make a quick buck, or they are simply not engineered to last as long as OEM equipment and go bad after a few years. It's a common problem.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:33 PM   #19
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thanks Aaron. I definitely should have thought of that first. Here in Manitoba insurance requires an aftermarket immobilizer for certain "high-risk" cars, including the Grand Am. So the dealerships put it in (free) - it's been in the car since the beginning and I actually never really thought about it as an aftermarket thing.

The question now is whether I need a new one to re-insure my car...

Thank you very much for your help. And, I learned a lot. I have learned how to do some pretty serious mechanical stuff that will save me some cash in the future.

thanks again.
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