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Old 02-07-2014, 11:18 AM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,470,936 times
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I had the exact same problem when I bought my new 72 Cuda 340.

Electronic ignition was just out and the problem was a little white condenser on the firewall.

With everything using sensors, I'll bet is electrical.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,581 posts, read 9,002,297 times
Reputation: 5402
I had the same issue with an 83 Pontiac 6000. Problem started a year or so after purchase and after three years of diagnosing and warranty consumption, along with two transmissions, they decided the issue was the computer control module. Unfortunately, they decided that right after the warranty was expired on it and the engine crapped out. No coverage, went to junkyard.

Dealers never did find any codes or anything that pointed to the problem and refused to look at the CCM before because "If that was the problem it wouldn't even start". I'll never forget those words!
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,009,036 times
Reputation: 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillys View Post
VATS is a simple resistance value check prior to start, and once authorized is done. It will never shut the vehicle down once started.

I am not so sure on this. Do you have a source? I am genuinely interested. From my research, the particular resistance is needed in the entirety of operation as it serves as an interlock for injector operation (pulsing). My understanding is that it is actually an integral, working, part of the circuit rather than a simple check allowing starter operation. In otherwords, if you were somehow able to rip the key out of the column after the vehicle has been started, effectively removing the resistor from the circuit, fuel injection would cease.

This would be supported if she were able to instantly restart the vehicle. A crucial piece of information we need..
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:13 PM
 
30,881 posts, read 24,210,085 times
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three things i can think of will cause the very problem you are having;

1: a bad ignition module. when they overheat they will shut down, and when they cool off they will start working again. ultimately they will fail completely.

2: a clogged fuel line will cause the same issue. i dealt with that constantly with my 83 grand marquis. i never solved the problem because i never replaced the fuel line in question.

3: a dodgy fuel pump or fuel pump relay will also cause the same issue. if they overheat they too will shut down until the cool off then start working again.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Utah
4,968 posts, read 13,996,516 times
Reputation: 4922
This happened to me twice while driving my 2008 Cobalt coupe. First time was only 3 yrs old and only 15k miles. No error codes & dealers couldn't figure out what happened. Dealer guessed and replaced BCM (Body Control Module). Happened again 5 months later. Dealer added redundant ground wires to ECM (Engine Control Module) and TCM (Transmission Control Module). It's been 2+ years and no more engine shutdown problems.

Very scary experience since my engine shut down, power steering went out and dash went blank.

I was able to re-start my car both times right after I pulled over and came to a stop. Didn't try restarting it while moving.

As far as Aleros go, my neighbor's Alero had the "no starting" problem from the Passlock security system. I don't think that applies to your problem as your Alero will start, but here's the info about that anyway. These instructions also worked on my dad's Chevy Malibu when we couldn't get it started either.

Good luck to you!
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
4,576 posts, read 9,076,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Hauler View Post
I am not so sure on this. Do you have a source? I am genuinely interested. From my research, the particular resistance is needed in the entirety of operation as it serves as an interlock for injector operation (pulsing). My understanding is that it is actually an integral, working, part of the circuit rather than a simple check allowing starter operation. In otherwords, if you were somehow able to rip the key out of the column after the vehicle has been started, effectively removing the resistor from the circuit, fuel injection would cease.

This would be supported if she were able to instantly restart the vehicle. A crucial piece of information we need..
VATS/PassKey
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
4,576 posts, read 9,076,201 times
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Rbohm,

Great advice, except number 1. No ICM on this car.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,966 posts, read 3,761,042 times
Reputation: 3768
Default fuel pump relay

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainGuy74 View Post
I had a 91 Honda Civic that did this exact same thing. It would just randomly shut off without any warning or any pattern. Took it to specialized Honda shop for diagnostic and they checked every sensor and component and never found anything wrong. Ended up selling it to the shop so they could use it for parts. Darn shame too since it was such an awesome little car.
Honda's are famous for this, but considering your car is almost a quarter century, and the original poster is driving an Alero it may be the fuel pump relay.

Resolder all the cracks in the relay board: just touch them. You'll see under magnification they get solder vibration cracks. Add little to no solder at all. Clean before and after. Vrrooom. High school science kid with solder gun can do it.

Unfortunately, the OP sounds like little maintenance? has been done on the car and the mechanic doesn't seem to be trouble-shooting electronics. Old school?

The LOCATION of the fuel relay on your Honda is up above the emerg. brake.
Suggest having hands and arm of a Japanese friend to go up there and get the'
one bolt holding it in.

this may not be the problem but I do the cheap stuff first.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:44 PM
 
30,881 posts, read 24,210,085 times
Reputation: 17772
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillys View Post
Rbohm,

Great advice, except number 1. No ICM on this car.
wasnt sure on that, it does hit right around the time they were being phased out at GM.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:45 PM
 
9,821 posts, read 13,892,257 times
Reputation: 10708
Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainGuy74 View Post
I had a 91 Honda Civic that did this exact same thing. It would just randomly shut off without any warning or any pattern. Took it to specialized Honda shop for diagnostic and they checked every sensor and component and never found anything wrong. Ended up selling it to the shop so they could use it for parts. Darn shame too since it was such an awesome little car.

That's main relay, right there.
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