2001 Lesabre quit running

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#1
I was going down the road and all of a sudden the car just shut down. I coasted over and turned down a street to get out of the traffic. I turned the ignition off and turned the key and it started right up. I drove home (about a 1/4 mile), and it run normal. I sat in the driveway idlying and all of a sudden it shut down again. I restarted it and drove down by the garage and everything seemed ok and normal. It seemed to be like the symptoms of a fuel pump shutting off. I checked the fuel pressure today, and the pressure when just turning the key on was 48#. Started it and the pressure went down to 46# when idlying. Stayed the same when reving it up a little. Pulled the vacuum line off of the fuel pressure regulator and it went up to 54# when running. Put it back on and went back to 46#. Then after a while it started bouncing rapidly between 42# and 46#. I know the fuel pressure is susposed to be between 53-59#. I don't know if that is susposed to be when running or not. I have not replaced the fuel filter yet but am going to do that, but I don't think that is the problem. I have no check engine light showing and none on the scanner either. Does this sound like my fuel pump is dying or what do you guys think.
It did not miss or sputter when it shut off, it just shut down like you turn the ignition switch off.. Don't know quite where to look other than what I just did. It has new plugs and wires. With these modern technologies, I don't know if that wacky fuel sender I got would shut down the fuel pump if it temporary swung to empty or not on the gauge. I don't know if it did that or not, but it was moving around a little. Most of the time it just stay on full. It has a full tank of gas also. Thanks for any information Kelly
 
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#3
I will have to check that out and try to see if there is bad connections etc. I had a 1999 chev prism that had a ac compressor that would not come on and all I had to do was to take the relay out and plug it back in a few times to make it work Had to do that 2 years in a row. Everybody was telling her it was low on freon. You never know!

Right now it "Bud Light" time!!
 
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#4
hope there is beer left?

Good news fuel module has an in trunk access... yea.
they dont often quit running more often when you try to start is when they crap out..

Thinking with the HEAT - might want to look art ICM.
 

billr

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#5
When it shuts down, have you noticed if all electrical goes dead; like radio, lights, instruments, etc? I doubt it is fuel pressure, there would be some sputtering as the pressure died. Does it have an anti-theft system? Those are designed to kill the engine completely... a sick one would be pure joy. I sympathize with you. I had a car die like that just once, and couldn't find anything wrong. For years I carried a DMM and schematics in the glove-box so I could jump out "next time" and start trouble-shooting. It took a long time to start trusting it again and use the schematics for scratch-paper and put the DMM back in my tool-box!
 
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#6
Electric still on and gauges were working. Don't think it lost battery voltage. Funny thing that you mention security system. Every once in a while when I start the car, the security light will not go off at first. It still runs but the security light stays on. I turn the ignition off and restart it and the light goes off. I never noticed if the security light was on or not when it died. It has only happened to me about 4 times since I have had it. I hope it does not die on me again, but if it does, the next time I can be more observant. Thanks all for the input.
Might get my hairdryer out and put heat on the ICM and see what happens.

Kev2: There is always beer left. LOL
 

billr

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#7
I assume you have scanned for codes, even if CEL isn't on, right?
 
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#8
You have assumed correctly. No PO codes. Never checked for transmission codes though. Don't think mine can get transmission codes on this car. Have to check.
 
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#9
You should have 60 pounds at the fuel rail. The fact that it is running... my bet is a clogged fuel filter.
 
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#10
I don't think it is the fuel filter myself, but I am going to change it anyway for maintenance purposes since it is a different car for me and it does not show that he changed it in his maint. records. It runs too good when it is running. No bogging, plenty of power. like nothing in the world is wrong with it. Something is breaking down. Something that will not set a code when it shuts down. I know the fuel pressure is down from what it is susposed to be, and the fluttering of the needle on the fuel pressure testing gauge may be a clue. I already have a bad fuel gauge sending unit that is bad and needs to be replaced and cost around $120 to buy. I may go ahead and spend an extra $100 and buy the entire unit so as to not have to replace the pump later on. Kill two birds with one stone. It has 185000 miles on the car and I think the fuel pump is original from the looks of the fuel pump hold down ring on the pump. (rusty ring and all). Being 72 years old with breathing problem, I will wait till cooler weather to crawl inside of a trunk and take a fuel pump out. I am not going to go inside of a trunk when it is 95 degrees outside. LOL The shut off problem could have something to do with heat. Intermittent problems are hell. I just wish it would just break down and stay that way. Thanks for all the input.
 
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#11
I swapped out the fuel pressure relay today with another one on the relay board to get that out of the way. Check ground to the fuel pump and all OK. Check connections on the ICM and all looked fine. Put hair dryer heat on it and nothing changed. It still runs fast and strong and acting like it never had a problem. Drove all over town and back. I have a new fuel filter on order and will be in this week. I know that is not why it shut off on me, but it might improve volume and pressure a little. We will see. The results of the new filter will determine if I buy just a sending unit or a whole new pump. It seems to be an easy fuel pump to put in through the access in the trunk.

One of the things that billr mentioned was the security system. Was reading up on the security system and read where one of the symptoms of a flawed security system was where the engine might shut down while going down the road if the system detected any manfunction as far as reconizing the parameter that need to be reconized. The only reason that I am concerned about that is that a few times I have started this car, the security light would stay lit while it was still running. I never let it run long enough to see if it would shut the engine down. I just turned it off and everything was back to normal and no security light. I don't know if the security light come on the other day when the engine shut down or not. If it does that to me again, you know where I will be looking first. I don't know if that is true or not. Anybody ever hear of anything like that?

The owner gave me two keys. The one that I am using is a copy of the original. I think I will change over to the original and see if I have any problem with the security light with the original key. If that works out, I may go up and have a new one made from the dealer. Anyway that is the latest. Thanks for all input.
 

billr

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#12
The one with a possible anti-theft problem for me recently was a Ford product, that POS Taurus. It set code P1260, but didn't turn on the CEL. I wonder if Gus can enlighten us as to whether that Lesabre will set the P1260 or something similar if the anti-theft is triggered?
 

Gus

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#13
As far as I know, the SECURITY system comes into play this way.......if the problem is there while attempting to start the vehicle, the car won't crank......if the problem is not there during cranking, the car starts.....now if the Security signal is lost, then the SECURITY light will come on, but the car will not stall/die......in fact, it goes into a default/backup mode, and continues to start even without a signal, and the SECURITY LIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO STAY LIT....It will also set a code......
 
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#14
It sounds like it is not in the security according to that. It definety was not in the default mode because the engine completely died. No power brakes, no power steering etc. while I was coming to a stop, and it also died while I was sitting in my driveway when I got home and left it running. I started it back up and it has not acted up since.
PO420 Cat inefficiently came on again today. Lt and ST trims are around "0" plus or minus 1 or 2. Vacuum gauge show no blockage in the converter.Besides that it runs like a scalded dog. Probably have to bite the bullet and buy a converter if I want to get rid of the code popping up. Already replaced both front and rear 02 sensors.

I was reading how the fuel system works in my program that I have, and it says that even if the fuel pump relay goes out on you, it still has a oil pressure sender that will take over once the pressure builds up to 4# of pressure and will run the fuel pump. If that is the case then I doubt the fuel pump stopped. I could check that by pulling the relay and see if the motor would start. It probably is something electrical.It just won't throw a code. Then again it may never happen again. Thanks for the responses. Kelly
 

billr

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#15
Kind of off the subject, but I have to pick on that poor Taurus again. There is actually a factory-type label on the inside of the hood that advises about a "fuel safety relay" to check if the engine suddenly dies or won't start. Do you suppose they have frequent trouble with that one, huh?