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95' VS executive commodore station-wagon recent engine trouble [3.8L V6 Ecotech]

andynz2000

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So I've owned this 95' VS executive commodore station wagon for about 6 months. Automatic trans. 3.8L V6 Ecotech
Before me it was owned by a old bloke and before it was owned by a church - very tidy car, currently done 258,000kms.

Oil filter and oil change at 255,000kms, nothing else has been touched.

Since I've had the car, it has very small missfires sometimes when its idling.
Also, when doing 100-110kph on 4th Gear, it "rattles/rumbles/vibrates" when I add more gas and doesnt produce more power until i put my foot further down to shift down to 3rd gear. other than that it runs very smooth on all other gears and speeds. Oil temp gauge reads low temp when driving and is about half way when idleing stationary.

The car has had these symptoms for 6months that i've owned it, but no problems when driving 3 -5 hours on a highway

RECENT:

I'm on my way from Perth to Darwin. About 9th day on the road, we were doing about 140kph for about 30 minutes when the engine started to fluctuate and loose power, adding gas made the symptoms worse. We stopped on the side of the road and shut the engine off, started it back up almost instantly and it was idling normal again, acceleration to 110kph was normal no problems.

Doing 120kph after this incident about 30minutes later same problem, shifted down to 3rd to maintain 110kph @ around 3000rpm, was ok for abit but lost power again and this time I pulled over and watched it idle, it was idling poorly and was unstable. We shut the engine off and started it back up, everything was normal again. We did 100kph for about 1 hour to the next roadhouse with no problems. Stayed the night.

Next morning, did 3hours of driving to broome at 100-110kph no problems. Stopped at a gas station, shut the engine off. Started it back up, no problems, and doing 110 down the road about 5minutes later the engine lost power, then died completly. I put it into neutral and pulled over, engine was dead. Tried to start the car but it wouldn't. The car was cranking but the engine wasnt catching. We spent the next 30minutes trying to started but again, it was cranking but not catching, the fuel pump seemed to be normal too priming for a few seconds. We got towed into broome and at the mechanics it started up again. They tested the battery and jump started the car. (battery was charging and normal). The car was idling normal again.

The mechanic strongly thinks its a fuel filter blockage, and the engine isnt getting enough fuel. I know the misfires at idling and all that are likely to be coils, leads or plugs but im more concerned about this power loss recent few days.

Please let me know what you think!!! Cartons of beer for everyone!:hmmm::hmmm::hmmm::hmmm:
 
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K-BAGZ

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Check error codes.

Clean throttle body and IAC valve.

Check ignition system against specifications and nominal condition.

Fuel system check and pressure test wouldn't hurt either, even a filter change. What type of fuel you using? 98 PULP is the cherry of the pie.

My gut is pointing towards the typical Crank Angle Sensor fault though.

Good luck with the diagnosis, troubleshooting and repairs.
 

Brett_jjj

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Yeah, sounds like the crank angle sensor is on its way out. A very common problem on these engines, sometimes they will log error codes to show theyre failing and sometimes they dont, so they can sometimes be hard to track down when theyre playing up.. If the sensor is a more than a couple of years old , then its best to just replace it anyway. Theyre fairly easy and cheap to replace. Dont use a cheaper aftermarket replacement sensor, use a genuine holden sensor, they cost more, but genuine is definitely the way to go as genuine ones wont fail again in a couple of months time.
 

andynz2000

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So got fuel filter changed. was little dirty. It broke down again with the same symptoms, but i noticed that it was hot outside and the engine was quite hot too, just like last time. (oil temp was still lowish) We got towed for 1.5hours and when we stopped it started again when it was cooler. Got told today it is now a fuel pump issue. I changed the coils myself and am thinking about doing the plugs and leads too. Help....
 

Wozza

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Hi
You could try the cold water trick with the cas next time its hot and conks out...just pour cold water over the cas area, if the car starts then the cas is prob whats failing ...doesn't always work but worth a try :)
 

andynz2000

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K guys so the CAS has been replaced..... going driving now wish me luck
 
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