engine quits, will not start again

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Hello, I have a 1990 Chev Berreta 3.1ltr engine w/auto trans. The engine has high mileage (263,000kms)but up until now has purred beautifully. Two days ago, while driving, the engine light came on and the engine quit with no warning. It would crank but no start. After a few hours, the engine started, however, in approx five minutes, engine light came on and engine quit. It would turn over again, run for maybe another minute when same thing would happen. Would not start a third time. I had it towed to a shop and diagnosed. The mechanic said it came up with no RPM and not firing one cylinder. He said it was the ignition modual. Replacing the ignition modual did not help much more than letting it run for a longer period of time. Now he says that there is too much oil gumming up the electronics on the engine so he is having a hard time diagnosing it. This is going to cost way to much money for something that sounded like a simple fix so before he costs me much more in labour any suggestions from you would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much for your time!!

posted by  firefighter1

Tell him before he does anything else to your car to give you a trouble code printout. Post what it says and we will work from there.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I will go there and get that printout, thanks!

posted by  firefighter1

If there is lots of oil every where it might be an idea to go around with some "gunk" and degreese and steam clean it, only take 45 mins and make finding leaks much easier.

posted by  cinqyg

A 3100 with those miles is a feat in itself! I am impressed! No RPM tach reference is usually the module but the ignition module takes reference from the cam sensor, (Can't remember if it is the 3.1 or the 3.4 but possibly located beneath the power steering pump on the right side, well hidden.) Some GM's have a crank to ECM override for the cam sensor if it goes bad. This bypasses the cam sensor and the ECM uses the crank sensor for refrence via the ECM. Might grab a test light and check the cam sensor wire going into the module plug and check it for voltage reference. I believe it is white with a red tracer, or the second wire from the left of the plug, but don't quote me on that, safe bet would be to get a wiring schematic for the module plug. On something with that many miles one would have to wonder if the ECM isn't tired. It does sound as though something is heating up and shutting down somewhere. A good rule of thumb, when it quits, immediately check for fuel or fire. One will be lacking. I have not seen a 3.1 get that many miles, the old ones were junk but they say the new ones are much better and the problems have been weeded out, (hint hint:) Just kidding.

posted by  MsSnapon

If the problem is something heating up, failing, and restarting when cooling down, I would be looking @ my crankshaft position sensor since it provided the reference engine speed signal to the ECM (assuming your new ignition module is good). If there is too much oil leakage for diagnosis, I suspect the O ring @ the sensor leaking lube oil and fouling the sensor.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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