View Full Version : question?

09-04-2008, 01:08 AM
I need some advice on figuring out what happened. I was driving home and was just slowing down at a stop light, and all of a sudden my car just died for a quick second, all power was lost, but then returned back to normal. My car never totally lost power, it had just blinked for a second, the engine almost shut completely off due to this and my firm ride light had started blinking 5 times after it had happened. The firm ride button was not being used at the time, nor was I in gear, I had my foot off of the clutch. Has anyone had this happen to them, and if so, could you please tell me what happened. Thank you for your time.
89 SC 5 spd :)

09-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Yes, sure...had something similar happen - did your tach jump around, or just fall to zero, when the engine cut out?

Do you know how to pull the diagnostic codes?

09-04-2008, 07:40 AM
Yes, it did fall to zero, and no, I don't know how to pull the codes. sorry

09-04-2008, 07:45 AM
Never had this happen to me in the Thunderbird, but sounds all too familiar in my Buick. I had battery terminals that were very corroded and were causing very intermittent stall-outs. Power would bounce right back after losing power for a second. It was really wierd, I just decided to clean the terminals as kind of a first guess, and it hasn't happened since. I would be driving, starting to slow down for a turn and it would just die completely, but I would be able to restart with no problem.

09-04-2008, 08:42 AM
Sounds like a possible problem with the ignitioin switch for a complete cut out like that to happen, or a bad battery post.


09-04-2008, 01:40 PM
Running/pulling codes involves using the built-in diagnostic ability that the vehicle comes with from the factory. You can use something as simple as a paper-clip and volt meter (http://www.fordfuelinjection.com/?p=13), or you can spend the money to buy a code (http://www.njtacc.com/tech/eec_codes.html) reader.

Either way, this will open up a world of information that can be used to help diagnose issues such as the one you have now.

Also, keep in mind this car has several ground cables and that 'ground paths' are critical to keeping the electronics working properly. Inspect these carefully and repair/replace anything that looks green/corroded.

09-04-2008, 02:24 PM
I can't say for sure, but I think it may be an ignition problem - possibly the crank sensor or the ignition module. However, testing is required. One quick thing to check is to look at the front of the engine while idling and see if the big pulley on the end of the crank is spinning true or not. If it is wobbling, you probably have a failed harmonic balancer, which affects the crank sensor. There are pinpoint tests you can do with a voltmeter, also.

09-04-2008, 07:18 PM
Same thing happened to me ( well almost ). I did not get the firm light flashing that you have. My car would just suddenly cut out and die. Would turn over but not fire. Then after five or ten minutes it would fire up and all would be right until the next episode. At the time I had multiple things going wrong, so I am not quite sure what fixed the problem. But here is what I needed to fix on my car:

Cig lighter was stuck (welded) in the holder. Caused the battery to drain down every couple of days. What a pain it was to track that down. Fuel pump would sometimes not get power. Turned out to be the interupt switch in the trunk. Just soldered the wires together. Again, a pain to track down. Still getting the out of nowhere cut out of power to the engine, I decided to replace the cam position sensor. Did this because when it would happen while on the freeway, the car would stumble badly like it was firing on 4 clydiners. Then the car would start, but not continue to run.

While I was moving all the wire harnesses out of the way to get to the cam position sensor, I noticed one plug that had its wire only partually covered by a rubber hose, the rest of the wire was bare going into the harness. Taped it all up best I could. Also at this time, I noticed that the line from the driver's side pvc valve over to the cold air intake had broken right at the cold air intake. Fixed that. At that time (sigh) I noticed that the pass side ground wire from frame to engine mount had not been replaced when I had new motor mounts put in three years age.

Not sure what fixed my problem, but now the car runs perfect.

Hope this gives you some ideas of where to look.