Truck troubles - need help NOW!! (pretty please)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Tried to go to work today, but got just into town when the truck refused to pull away from a stoplight. Lately, I've been having problems where the truck tries to die at stops, and when it has been sitting many hours, it "surges" when taking off initially (VROOOMdadadaVROOMMMMdadadaVROOOMMdadad...), but it operates oky-doky at speed. Today, it was hard to start (turned over fine and everything, but wouldn't "catch"), and seemed a bit more "chuggy" at stops. I had to wait at a stop light to turn (with my foot resting lightly on the gas to keep it from dying) and when it was my turn, I gave it gas....and nada, just a bit of creep, enough to get me into the path of oncoming traffic, but no further. Wheeee.
I hit the flashers (jammed my thumb, darn it!) and it eventually chugged itself up to running speed. Needless to say, I turned around and went home. It still seems to operate just fine at speed, but any acceleration causes it to act like it's out of gas.
Hub and I are thinking fuel pump, but there are also innumerable other "fuel" things that could be wrong - sediment in the lines, vacuum hose(s) loose or leaky, clogged filter, etc. Anybody got any advice and especially diagnostic shortcuts or hints so that we can get to the route of the problem without needlessly replacing the entire fuel system part by part trying to track it down? The sooner the better - I am the sole breadwinner and I work commission only. If I'm not on the spot making the cash, none comes it at all.
-- Soni (email@example.com), November 30, 2001
Soni you don't say if this if a diesel or petrol truck? Meanwhile I will assume petrol.
The infernal combustion engine requires compression, fuel and ignition and problems with any of these could cause the behaviour you describe.
When one of the kids are sick you look at their tounge, when your petrol engine is sick look at the spark plugs. Take out each plug but take care to remember which cylinder each one belongs too.
Oiley black looking plug or plugs mean mechanical engine problems allowing oil to get into the comustion chamber. This could be serious like worn or broken piston rings or warn valve guides or it might just be a minor problem with the 'positivie crankcase ventilation' system. The positive crankcase ventilation system draws vapours from the crankcase into the inlet system so that the fumes get burned, a problem. If you have just one or two oiley plugs then look for a mechanical problem and the first thing is a compression check which any tune up shop should be able to do in a few minutes.
Dark sooty plugs indicate too much fuel maybe caused by restrictions or blockages in the air intake system, perhaps clogged air filter.
A hot burned look might indicate too little fuel perhaps from incorrect adjustment of the carburettor (I guess it is a carburettor engine?), or it might just mean you have been giving the old girl too much of that right foot pressure! :-)
If looking at the spark plugs shows nothing traumatic I would suggest addressing the ignition system, it generally requires more maintenance than the other systems and it is also the easiest to rejuvinate. New plugs, (correctly gaped of course), wipe over all leads with a clean rag. Clean inside the distributor cap, if the distributor has contact breaker 'points' I would replace those too. A faulty ignition coil can cause lots of weird problems and they can be installed incorrectly so just make sure the little '+' and '-' connections on the coil are correct.
Somewhere there will be a bundle of wires that connect from the body of the truck to the engine and engine vibration continuously flexes these wires, make sure that bundle is not under any sort of tension and with the hood up and the engine idling try to wiggle the bundle, if this causes the engine to misbehave you may have found a broken wire. This is not a common problem but it can cause exactly what you describe.
I hope this helps....
-- john hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 2001.
you didnt say,, but Id bet you have an automatic trans,, your low on fluid or the trans pump is going bad, trans lines are clogged or the filter is clogged
-- stan (email@example.com), November 30, 2001.
if i were you i would change the fuel filter first, if that doesn't correct the problem, try changing the fuel pump. i've had a few of these problems myself, and i always replace the least expensive item first.(i'm thrifty,,meaning cheap and poor)
-- bill vanfossan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 2001.
Repost telling us what fuel, what engine, what year, any of the details left out messes up our ability to help, right now with limited info it sounds like a gas engine witrh a ruptured vacuum advance, if it an older gas engine take the vacuum hose off the disributer and draw on the thing, if you get any air, replace the vacuum advance, if you get no air, spray wd 40 or starting fluid on the (vacuum) hoses, if the engine speeds up you have found your leak, maybe the vacuum advance timing needs lubricating.
-- mitch hearn (email@example.com), November 30, 2001.
could give you 100 different things it could be but knowing the make, model, year would pin it down better.
-- Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 2001.
very possible Mitch, and if it's a GM HEI distributor, a bad module usually acts like that.
-- Dave (email@example.com), November 30, 2001.
My '78 Ford does the same thing when the fuel filter needs changed! Hope that helps...
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 2001.
Soni,Check out www.freeautoadvice.com
-- Dave.??? (email@example.com), November 30, 2001.
Take off the air cleaner and have some one pump the accelerator pedal. If gas is going into the carb/fuel injector, then there is not need to change the fuel pump or filter.
Take out one of your spark plugs out and re-attach it to the wire. Lay the wire on the frame and have some one try and start the engine. While they are starting the engine look and see if you are getting a spark at the exposed end of the spark plug. If you are, then the electrical is okay.
If you are not getting a spark, you may have a burned out module. That is inside of the distributor. If your coil is in the top of the distributor, it could be burned out also or as well. Those things usually go out together.
Hope this is of some help to you.
-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 2001.
you can still get spark yet have out of whack ignition timing. So even if you get spark, it doesn't always mean the ignition system is okay. A screwed up vacuum advance like Mitch described or a hei module going bad would cause ignition timing problems close to what she described.
-- Dave (email@example.com), November 30, 2001.
As a retired fork truck mechanic I would look for a vacuum leak. I would start with the EGR valve. Take it out and shake it, If it doesn't rattle replace it. If it does rattle start checking the vacuum hoses and connections.
-- Mel Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2001.
Hello, Soni. Hope you don't mind advice from a professional mechanic.
There really are only two possible ways to handle this over the "wire." One is to give you a comprehensive, technical education over the next year or two. The other is for you to identify the year, manufacturer, and model of the truck, on the chance that someone on the forum is especially familiar with the foibles of that vehicle. (Laura says: Dean did say, that telling whether your truck is carbureted or fuel injected might help as well.)
I suggest that you leave your checkbook in your pocket until you can get an informed opinion about what is wrong with the truck. This might be a case in which a trip to the garage would be the cheapest route of all. -------------
Hi Soni, Laura here. That was my partner, Dean, who has been a professional mechanic for, I think, around 23 years, and is one of the best GM diagnostic mechanics in a five-state area, according to test results. Sometimes he can tell just from descriptions such as yours what is wrong with a vehicle, but sometimes there are just too many possibilities and he can't tell without actually getting his hands on the vehicle. Apparently, yours is the latter situation.
Incidentally, lest you think he is just promoting his profession, I will tell you that I first met him (over ten years ago) because he gave my mother the extremely inexpensive solution to a car problem when he could have sold her a very costly repair, and he was the garage owner at the time. So he is honest and very capable, and I would seriously consider following his advice if I were you. Best of luck!
-- Laura Rae Jensen (email@example.com), December 01, 2001.
Dodge Dakota, 88, 3.9 gas engine, 6 cyl with one of those hybrid carb/fuel injection thingies that everyone looks at and says "interesting...".
I checked the auto hints site and I think that the cat. conv. may be blocked or busted. There is rattling coming from under the truck, and I think it may be the heat shields. The truck had been running for quite a while before this, and had been off for about 30 min, but the engine seemed hot to me when leaning over it, although the gauge read fine, so could have been excess heat from exhaust (?) that I was feeling.
We just did a tune up - plugs, wires, coil, dist., rotor, clean carb, PCV, and so on. Oil change, check trans (fine), gapped the plugs myself (I actually am having fun learning how to do this stuff, if it didn't cost me so much money missing work!). All good. Will try to see if there are any vacuum leaks. Also will check for codes (another new skill under my belt - and I have the code web page bookmarked. I am feeling sooo butch right now!) and see if maybe the air flow sensor is okay, and the emmission sensors as well. Any more ideas on things I could eliminate?
-- Soni (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2001.
This is just a comment - IANAE. However, I've met vehicles which were very fussy about their exhaust systems - they depended on having the right amount of back-pressure from the exhaust to achieve correct combustion in the engine. Now, this was a while ago, and may not apply now, but it sure gave me the symptoms you describe. Check the exhaust system for leaks - if you find any try temporarily stopping them and see if that improves matters. If it does, you can buy a special heat-resistant "exhaust putty" (I think it's called here) to make a somewhat more long-lasting fix - not permanent, but it can give you some breathing space to save up. If the stupid catalytic converter has burnt out then that could do the same thing, and there's not much you can do about it except replace the stupid expensive thing. If you're really strapped for cash you might get a fair-condition one from a wrecker at a reduced price, but of course it won't last as long, and you really don't KNOW how long it will last. Don't take too many chances with your exhaust system - breathing carbon monoxide is in many ways not conducive to long life.
-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (email@example.com), December 01, 2001.
a dodge with throttle body injection,,hmmmmm,, first thing I would do,, is make sure the cap is on tight,, all the wires are on tight,, then pull codes. DId it do this BEFORE the tune up? if not,, then you knocked something off while doing it,, vacumm hose,, sensor wire,,ect,,
-- stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2001.
if it does turn out to be the catalytic convertor, you could also just replace it with regular exhaust pipe. It'd effect emissions if your state requires tests but I've never had a problem with it affecting the operation of a vehicle. Some people also just gut out the convertor.
-- Dave (email@example.com), December 01, 2001.
Soni, the next time the truck stalls, very quickly, go to the fuel tank cap and open it, if there is a "whissshing" sound the problem is in the caps vent to atmosphers vent is clogged; the vacuum from consumed fuel becomes equal to the suction of the fuel pump; a long shot but I have seen it baffel total experts.
-- mitch hearn (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2001.
For problems such as this, you may actually be further ahead bringing it to a reputable repair person. There are some things which are much cheaper to fix yourself, but beware of the "I don't know what the problem actually is, so I'll throw money into the vehicle in hopes that I eventually cure it" syndrome. If it does turn out to be a $50 part, and a technician charges you another $100 for diagnostics and install... so be it. It does not take long to throw $150 into parts which are actually not necessary. All of this is probably even more true if you're losing income because you have no vehicle.
-- Jack (Jack@nienet.com), December 04, 2001.
I drove a 88 Dakota for 7 years. I had the problem you describe. I had to replace the Distributor pick-up. Also the vacuum line. After that I had no more problems.
According to my uncle whom is a rural mail carrier that has driven many dodges He says that the distributor pick-up goes out on most all dodges. He should know he's been driving them for over 50 years.
-- Kenneth in N.C. (email@example.com), December 04, 2001.