Runs 5 mins...shuts off. HELP plz!

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I have an `88 chev cavalier z24 with a 2.8 FI.

The car had been missing for a while...first just in 5th gear, and then more often in 5th, 4th, and 3rd, until finally it cut out while driving and wouldn't start. The next day it started up fine...ran fine...and then shut itself off after 4 or 5 minutes, and wouldn't start...until the next day.
It continued to do this...every day it would start...run for 5 mins and cut off.

I changed plugs, wires, fuel filter, and fuel pump relay, coil pack. the module was not changed... The fuel pump is making noise when ignition is on...but is the same as always...seems to be fine. also seems to be getting spark.

Does anyone have any idea what could make the car shut off after 5 minutes?
and not start again. Please help... any suggestions would be appreciated.

posted by  Red-Dog

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1. Find destinations within 5 minutes of your home.

2. Find the Introduce Yourself thread and give it a try... :thumbs:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

1. My suggestion would be to find it first. It'll be alot easier to work on.

2. See #2 above.

posted by  vwhobo

after introducing yourself

make sure all electrical connections are solid and vacume hoses in good shape

check the fuel pressure with a gage when you try to restart immediately after a stall. if you get no pressure (you should see 40-48 psig key on engine off) check and make sure you have power to the fuel pump. If you have power and no fuel pressure and the fuel filter was installed right, you are getting ready to drop the fuel tank and replace the fuel pump.

use an ignition spark tester between a plug wire and engine ground to make sure the ignition system is delivering adequate voltage to the plug. If not, we can help trouble shoot the ignition system.

Pull the trouble codes. If you don't know how to do it, post back and someone can explain or can refer you to a couple of references with complete instructions. These may shed light on other issues not resolved above

posted by  tbaxleyjr

And how may I ask do you know he's gonna do all that after he introduces himself?

posted by  Cliffy

Tbaxleyjr, in case you haven't noticed and I don't know how you couldn't, we have an unwritten protocol in this forum. When someone comes here and requests help, the least they can do is introduce themselves first. After all you wouldn't just waltz into a room full of strangers and blurt out your problem and ask for help, would you. In the future, as a new member of these forums I would appreciate it if you would remember and follow this protocol. Thank you.

posted by  vwhobo

can you help me pull the trouble codes or find documentation on shorting the ecm... also, thanks for the help! I'll try your ideas out...

posted by  Red-Dog

Okay... I can do this all day long in my sleep but explaining it but might have some difficulty explaining it.

1. If you have had the battery disconnected very recently don't waste your time. You need completed drive cycles when the discrepency has occured. In other words if you just disconnected the battery, go drive around for a while. I also need to mention that if the MIL doesn't illuminate at start-up you either have a burned out or removed bulb and need to fix that prior to testing.

2. Items you'll need. Ignition key, pencil or pen, something to write on and the special tool, a paper clip bent into a long deep "U" shape.

3. With the ignition off look below the dash about where your right knee is when driving. There you'll find a 12 pin rectangular connector. Look closely and you'll see that of the 12 pins only about half are used. Find two pins side by side (usually the top right corner) that are used. Insert you special tool into both of these making sure you have electrical contact.

4. Now the fun part. Sit up behind the wheel and turn the ignition on, not to start. Watch the MIL (check engine light) as it begins to flash. All codes are two digit, long flash being the first and short flash being the second and will repeat themselves three times. The first code you will always get is 12 (long short short short, long short short short, long short short short). Then the other codes will come in the same manner. Don't worry about it if you miss them the first time everybody screws up their first try at this, just shut off the ignition and turn it back on, they'll start all over. When it cycles through and has shown you all the codes it will go back to 12 and start over.

Whew, like I said, I could have pulled codes from about five cars in the time it took me to type that. Good luck and let us know what you find.

posted by  vwhobo

I forgot that I can do this now. You need to jump pins A and B in the pic.

posted by  vwhobo

I've successfully pulled the error codes.. 12 12 12 54 54 54 12 12 12.

code 54: Fuel pump circut fault or mixture control (M/C) solenoid fault or ecm fault/egr solenoid #2 failure. fuel pump relay.

Any idea what i should start with?

posted by  Red-Dog

Okey dokey. Let's get rid of the junk. Mixture control solenoid circuit is for carbureted cars only, gone. EGR fault is for 3.1 and 3.4 liter engines only, see ya.

A 54 for your car is most assuredly the fuel pump circuit. We'll assume the relay is good due to the fact that you have recently changed it. That pretty much leaves all of the associated wiring, power supply and pump. Because of that this is about the end of the line for what we can do online. One thing you can do is attach a fuel pressure guage and see if you have any pressure when it dies or doesn't start. Obviously you need the inspect all of the above mentioned items for damage, deterioration, good connections (especially grounds). Or...

I'll deny ever telling you this but here is a fairly accurate and easy way to check if it's the pump. Find yourself a piece of 2x4 or a rubber mallet and keep it in the car. The next time it dies, hop out, get underneath and give the bottom of the tank a several good whacks. Jump back in and try to start it. If it fires right up you might want to duplicate that a few times for insurance but that will 99.9% tell you it's the pump. Happy whacking.

posted by  vwhobo

I think it'd be more fun to use a regular steel hammer...then you can try and spark it up!! :thumbs:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

vwhobo - sorry - I'll behave and follow the protocol

I haven't tried the 2x4 before

posted by  tbaxleyjr

2x4? What 2x4? I never said anything about a 2x4. That would be... unprofessional. :hi:

posted by  vwhobo

Thanks for all of the info...I will definatly try it with a peice of 2x4. I will also try to find a fuel pressure gauge...I'll keep you posted! Again, thanks for the help.

posted by  Red-Dog

does anyone know how to bypass or cross the the fuel pump relay...just in case the connector that the relay plugs into is damaged...It would definatly be worth a try. Anyone know how?

posted by  Red-Dog

Yep, but it's not something I would even try to explain online. Go get yourself a manual with a good wiring diagram.

posted by  vwhobo

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