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Engine dies at traffic light

Just bought used 04 Intrepid. After driving 11-12 miles, engine just cuts off when I stop at a traffic light, and won't restart. Let it set 20-30 minutes and it restarts. Has happened twice now in the same day. Once on the way to work, and once on the way home.

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 5,276 Answers

Possible the previous owner had no concern for maintenance, never good to find that.
Scan for trouble codes as a first step-many parts stores will do engine scans for free. If codes are present attend to that first. Fuel pumps can fail in this way and not work again until cooled down. So you should have the fuel pressure tested. The best time to check it is when the engine stalls and won't restart. If pressure is low then (or anytime) then you would need a new pump. Pressure can be tested without running the car, just the ignition has to be on. Another test to do when it won't start is to check for spark on a plug wire. If no spark, suspect the crank position sensor. The PCM requires a signal from this sensor to know when to initiate spark. If sensor fails when hot, ignition spark won't occur. Could also be your ignition module, however. They also exhibit similar symptoms. And same for the coils-so check for spark on more than one plug wire.
Good idea to clean your throttle body. Use CRC intake cleaner spray and a toothbrush to clean old varnish and gum deposits around the throttle valve and inside the bore as far as you can reach. Also take off and clean the idle control valve or motor.
They get dirty and affect idle. You might want to have your throttle position sensor tested. Try unplugging the mass airflow sensor and see if car will start-if it does, that sensor may be at fault-when unplugged, the computer uses a default setting for measuring air flow into the intake.
Now is the time for a tune-up anyway, so buy new spark plugs and check your spark plug wires for brittleness, cracking, old age-if in doubt, check plug wire resistance or buy a new set of plug wires. Check or replace your air filter and fuel filter. How dirty is your oil? Clean oil always helps an engine run better.
I hope you find the problem, just keep at it. Especially check for spark and fuel when the car stalls and won't restart. And be sure to check for trouble codes-if there are any, it will probably point you in the right direction.
Good luck, Josh.

Posted on May 06, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

stormbrewin
  • 426 Answers

SOURCE: Engine cuts off in traffic when car slows.

Sounds like it could be an ignition module breaking down.

Posted on Oct 18, 2008

SOURCE: engine intermitantly stalls

if this a fuel injected car just check to fuel pressure first.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

  • 12 Answers

SOURCE: Galant Special Edition 1994 Motor does not start

this maybe caused by no fuel or faulty fuel pump, ignition coil, wire and plug crank position sensor. first check for spark by removing on spark plug wire and put a spark plug in the spark plug wire boot, donot touch the plug only the boot have someone crank the car over. if you see spark, that part of the ignition is good. if not, check the coil resistance if should 40 to 80 ohm with a volt meter pf not replace. if ok, but no spark check the igniton control madule make sure the coil and module are receiving current. if not check the fuse that feels them. if it is ok, check distributor cap and rotor. if rotor and cap are fine, check for fuel at either the fuel filter, the fuel return line or removing some spark plug and see if they are wet. if there is no fuel check the fuel pump and the fuse and relay that control the pump. if there is fuel with high pressure but there is no spark, check the crank sensor for signal with a volt meter while cranking the vehicle

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: citroen picasso cutting out 60mph 30 mph!

under the ecu carrier there is a relay, that can cause this problem,
its about £20 to replace

Posted on Dec 03, 2009

  • 1565 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 Jeep Liberty - 3.7 Liter - Engine has begun

I would start with cleaning the throttle bore and plate. Then clean the Idle Air Control valve, IAC, as this is the device that controls idle speed. Use a can of spray carb cleaner and an old toothbrush. Trouble with the IAC would make sense if you can keep the engine going by holding down the gas pedal a bit.
Use the carb cleaner to check for vacuum leaks at hose connections and elbows. run engine and spray short bursts at hoses and listen for idle speed changes.
And lastly if problem is still there check MAP sensor.

Posted on Jan 27, 2011

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