Question about 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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1991 Olds Cutlass Ciera 3.3 v6 would start, run a few minutes fine, while cold. When warmed up it would shut off, stall, not restart. It would crank over good, but not restart. Added fuel to aircleaner, it would restart, run a little smoothly, then stall again. I had new battery. Changed to new CPS (Crank Position Sensor), checked IAC ( Idle Air Control valve). They were not the problem. Found problem: There was one bad electronic fuel injector ( one of the six injectors on the engine). A single bad injector on this type of fuel injection will cause the engine too shut off, once it has gotten warmed up. ( Many cars have this type FI, Not just Olds, Not just V6, Not just this year model) You can Check your: With the engine hot, (after it stalled and shutoff) I unplugged one injector at a time. By pushing in on the wire keeper to the injector connector electrical plug, it will let you lift (unplug) that injector. Then with it removed, try to restart the engine. If it will not start, plug the one you remove back in, and pull the next injector connector. There are three on top, each side on the 3.3 V6. Just keep working you way around, one at a time, trying to restart after each Injector plug is removed. The car should restart when you find the injector that is bad. The car will run (but mis-fire ) a little rough, but it got me to and from the auto parts store just fine to buy the one new injector I needed to change. It was NOTanything to do with : Crank postion sensor (CPS), Computer, Electronic Control Module (ECM), Coil, coil packs, Ignition Control Module (ICM), spark plug wires, Spark plugs, Bad ground, Idle Air Control (IAC), Temperature sensor, Throttle position sensor (TPS), Fuel Pump, Fuel Filter, Vacume leak, bad vacum lines or hoses, Cam Postion Sensor (CPS). Hope this helps anyone with a car that starts fine cold, but stalls after driving a short distance (warmed up). It may restart just fine, but shut off, stall again later. Good luck, this worked for me.

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  •  ROY ENGLE
    ROY ENGLE Jun 30, 2013

    That is a very good answer!

  • DONALD
    DONALD Aug 20, 2014

    THANKS. It took care of my 1988 2.8 V-6 5SPEED CHEVY BERETTA. I didn't have much more hair left to pull out.The next thing was going to be a trip to the auto recycling center.I had run out of all knoun options.THANKS AGAIN.

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Jrtvett's "unplug one injector and start" troubleshooting procedure would work if one injector is bad. If more than one injector is bad, then not so sure.
Like you mentioned, one or more injector(s) can go bad and it causes the others to stop working as well. After our experience, I am convinced this observation (fault mode) is correct (see below). Its as if upon warmup the solenoid in the faulty injector shorts, resulting in short circuit of signals to all the other injectors.
We have a 1989 Olds Cutlass Ciera with the 2.8L V6 that recently had the same fault: At least one injector went bad after warmup, then engine refused to restart. All other possibilities were eliminated, including crank shaft sensor, ECM, ignition pack, idle start valve, bad gas, rail pressure, etc.
No Service Engine light illuminated, and there were no fault codes in the ECM computer.
The jrtvett procedure could not easily be utilized in our case because all the injector connectors are underneath the intake manifold and inaccessible.
My cousin is a Ford mechanic told me of an analysis procedure Ford uses to troubleshoot injector problems. They display rail pressure on a LCD or CRT monitor and can see pressure drop with each injector's opening. Unfortunately, if the car is not starting, then this test will not be of much use. The engine has to be idling or at least all of the solenoids in all of the injectors operational to use this test. If engine won't start, then its clear none of the injectors are opening as described above, then no fluctuations in rail pressure would be displayed.
The shop that was working on our car decided to replaced all of the injectors, and the engine now runs like new.
Due to inaccessibility of injectors and fact these injectors were inexpensive ($40-$50 each), it was wise just to replace all six. Grading old injectors is not exact science.

Posted on Jun 08, 2011

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When an engine stalls, there usually are two basic causes: No spark, or no fuel. As simple as this may sound, there is unfortunately a plethora of "troubleshooting" techniques; some are easy but some may require specialty tools and diagnostic equipment. How the engine "stalled" may actually give you some hints on where to begin.

We are not checking for charging system/battery failure at this time due to the fact that the starter cranks strong.

If the engine shut off abruptly, say, like you switched off the engine, I would start by checking for spark. Be careful not to touch the igntion wire ends while cranking the engine as this may result in a nasty shock. Begin by unplugging one of the ignition wires from the spark plug, insert a spark tester in the plug boot and crank the engine to see if there is spark. Don't have a spark tester? Try inserting a screwdriver into the plug boot, position the screwdriver shaft about 1/8th of an inch from a grounded surface and crank the engine. A strong arc indicates that the ignition system may not be the problem at this time. No spark could mean a bad ignition coil, Cam Position Sensor, Crank Position Sensor, Mass Airflow Sensor or even a bad Ignition Module. Note: Ignition coils can be tested by using an ohmmeter (you will need the primary & secondary resistance values). Ignition modules can be tested using a module tester (Parts stores like AutoZone actually tests these for free).

Got spark? Let's move on to the fuel system: Did the engine "cough" and slowly lose power as it began to stall? It's probably not getting gas. Try spraying Starting Fluid (ether) into the intake tube. Please exercise extreme care as you are dealing with highly flammable gases; backfiring is not uncommon in these tests, so wear protective equipment (goggles) and have a wet towel handy just in case you start a small fire. Note: Some vehicles may not run/start if the intake tube is left off, if so, try reconnecting it to the airbox after spraying. If the engine "fires up" after spraying ether into the intake tube, then dies shortly after you stop spraying, your problem is in the fuel system.

Did I mention specialty tools required for further diagnostics? Try to get hold of a "Noid Light" tester if you wish to check for fuel injector malfunction. The term "Noid" is short for "solenoid" --- as in fuel injector solenoid. While cranking the starter or with the engine running, a good fuel injector will cause the tester to pulsate brightly, while a bad injector would have intermittent pulses or none at all. Replace injector(s) that test bad.

For fuel pressure checks, a Fuel Pressure Tester needs to be connected to the schraeder valve on the fuel rail. These tests will let you know if your fuel pump if functioning. No pressure while cranking the starter? Does the pump "prime" itself (usually a 2-second buzz) as you turn the ignition to "on"? Be sure to check the fuel pump relay first before you drop the tank and replace the fuel pump.

By doing your diagnosis in steps, you narrow down the possibilities and will eventually "zero in" on the culprit.

I hope this helps'

LouieBenz

Posted on Apr 04, 2011

  • manager2 Oct 09, 2011

    That is exactly what my 1989 Olds Cutlass Cierra 3.3L V-6 is doing. I have replace fuel filter,fuel pump etc, same as above. I am changing the fuel injectors this week. I willl post my results.

  • manager2 Oct 09, 2011

    After reading this article I went outside and unplug the injectors one by one when I unpluged the last injector my 1989 Olds Cutlass Cierra 3.3L V-6 started right up. GOD bless I been driving a rental and spent about six hundred try this trying that on my car the fuel pump,fuel filter etc,. I will install the injector this week 10/09/2011. Blessing to the people that help me resolve my issue.

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