Question about 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Vehicle keeps stalling. Replaced fuel filter and altenator. It'll run good but when you come to a stop it'll stall. Is this the fuel filter??

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  • Anonymous Jul 31, 2008

    changed both the censers for the fan and it only stalls when it hits 220 but the fan kicks on.

  • kyedh3 Sep 01, 2009

    Someone told me this could be the overdrive sensor?

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I have had the same problem. I changed fuel filter, added fuel injector cleaner, still runs rough as hell at a idle. Didnt think it could be the fuel pump, because ran ok at hiway speeds, it only stalled when giving less gas, not more. So in theory I figured couldn't be fuel pump. I was so wrong. At hiway speeds you have inertia, engine is running faster already etc. Its the fuel pump. 90% of the time in GM cars thats what it is when it behaves this way.
to change the fuel pump:

In the tank, the following is a run down of how to replace it..

This is actualy a pretty involved repair. You have to have the car jacked up on all 4 corners, or up on a car lift. Disconnected battery, and it is recomended you have as much gas as posible drained from the tank. Then underneath the car you will find the tank with 2 staps holding it in place. Those staps should be taken off or at least out of the way while the tank is being supported. There are vacume lines, the fuel fill and vent lines, and the wiring harness that all have to be unhooked. Once you are sure that all lines are disconnected, drop the tank and pull to the side. Wash the top of the tank off, there will be dirt and rocks on top of it, and you need to get all of these out of the way. You will see where the wiring harness goes into the fuel sending unit. Around that peice is a slide ring that has to be gently hammered counter clockwise. Once it is free from its retaining clips, the fuel sending unit will have to be wiggled out very carefully. Once out, you will see the fuel pump mounted in line on the fuel sending unit. You will have to work out how its mounted in line, and get it off and unplugged. Reinstall the new fuel pump and reverse the procedure.
Parts needed:
Fuel Strainer
Fuel pump
Lock ring O-ring
Posibly the fuel sending unit if you were having problems with your gas gauge.

Hope this helps!

Posted on Jul 24, 2008

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1 Answer

Stalls when stopped at a light


Do you have more information? Such as, does it do this every single time you are stopped? Does it ever happen when you aren't quite at a complete stop? How soon does it stall after stopping at the light (right when it's completely stopped? As you apply the gas to move again?)?

Mainly a vehicle will stall do to a problem relating to the fuel/air system. Specifying any 'special conditions' (very hot, very cold, etc.) when the stalling seems to be more prone to happening (if any) will help with a diagnosis.

It could possibly be a bad/faulty fuel pump, where the engine isn't getting the proper flow of gas (in a case like yours, it would most likely be an intermittent flow).

Also, a faulty throttle positioning sensor (TPS) could be the problem. These are a somewhat 'run of the mill' problem in vehicles in general and aren't overly expensive to replace. This is even more likely the problem if your vehicle stalls when you are taking off from the stop light. This isn't difficult to test yourself and there was plenty of directions to do so online and elsewhere.

A vacuum leak is another possibility. Another symptom of this can be a high idle (higher than usual for your vehicle at least).

Lastly, I wouldn't imagine this to be very common but it's worth a look, and i only mention it because it was the problem with my '87 Celebrity that suddenly stalled at a stop light, then kept stalling whenever i pressed the gas to move. The car had a known engine oil leak, one area of which it effected being the air filter housing (old-fashioned circular one). I noticed, once i finally got moving (albeit only for a short time before stalling again) it sounded as though the engine wasn't getting enough air. Even though i had just recently replaced the air filter, i checked it and found it was completely covered with dirty engine oil. I took out the dirty air filter and it solved it. It just hadn't been letting enough air through. So, simple solution though not commonly the case. No harm in checking anyways.

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