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sputtering/surging issue

 
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Old 04 Jun 2011, 01:14 pm
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Default sputtering/surging issue

just decided to sell the wifes 2001 pt to upgrade to a bigger family wagon, and of course the pt starts acting up. yesterday at a stop light the cars revs were going down to around 600rpm then back up to normal approx 900rpm. causing the car to feel like it was going to stall. the ac was not on. then when i was leaving work with the car in park, the car reved up to 1500rpm then down to 1000rpm 3 times in a row in about 7-10 seconds time. did the key trick no codes. the plugs and wires are only about 15,000kms old. air filter is new. i cleaned all the sensors in the intake track last night but i had same problem this morning. ? any other ideas. i can hook up my shops scan tool to look for sensores out of spec.
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Old 04 Jun 2011, 04:02 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

just hooked up the shops scan tool checked for codes, ignition misfires, injector performance etc. nothing. i did notice that the pre cat convertor o2 sensor was quickly changing from rich to lean, probably 10 times in 5 seconds.
don't know if that is normal or not, can anybody tell me? i don't think this would cause the sputtering issue.
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Old 04 Jun 2011, 04:22 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

No, it's not normal, you're bouncing from rich to lean because your fuel pump or your Puter are surging. Fuel pressure is regulated by the ECM, however there is a fuel pressure sensor and solenoid involved also. Also there are two accelerator pedal sensors that could be involved, if say one was misreading it could lead the ECM to think the pedal was being pressed. Also there are two grounds coming off the fuel pressure solenoid, if they are loose they can cause an intermittent ground effect, causing the solenoid to open and close often, creating a surge. It also could be something as simple as the fuel filter, which is a PITA to get to as it's mounted on the pump and the pump assembly is INSIDE the fuel tank. Sadly, the fuel pressure regulator is also part of the fuel pump assembly and inside the tank.

Now, because most of these items are hard to get to since the pump is in the tank, I'd suggest changing your plugs and making sure you've got a good gap, then run an entire can of Seafoam through your gas tank. I'd be tempted myself to bleed down the fuel system and pull the fuel rail and clean it out but would suggest trying the can of Seafoam first. Might also want to change the oil if it's got more than say 5k miles on it.

This might get you running well enough to make a surge unnoticeable, long enough to sell the PT. Old used car salesman trick.

Edit - there is no picture in the service manual for the location of the fuel pressure solenoid but it says it's "in the front of the engine compartment on top of the engine". This might help you find it. Also, you need to look for vacuum leaks, I just read about failures on the proportional purge solenoid, which is part of the emission control vacuum harness that can cause idle surge. Lastly, check the vacuum line going to your speed control assembly, on the fender well, top by the firewall and the passenger side. That can also cause some issues with idle surge.
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Last edited by Chromenut; 04 Jun 2011 at 04:33 pm.
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Old 05 Jun 2011, 10:44 am
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

thanks for the tips chromenut, hopefully i don't need to get into the tank.
left work yesterday and took the hwy route this time to check for surging and jerking. right around 1800rpm approx 80kph the pt had a definate jerk/sputter to it right when im feathering the throttle, but when i got to the red light the idle was fine? got home and took the intake off and checked all 4 plugs and wires, did notice that one plug was not too hard to unscrew but they all looked to be firing correctly. started up the car about 1/2 later and now the idle was not smooth up and down about 200rpm all erratic for sure.
did some more research on line and found quite a few posts that people had problems with the egr and idle issues. back under the hood i go, take out the egr( took about 20mins). the egr valve doesn't look that sooted up ,but i brake clean,sea foam and penatrate the valve, clean the tube and hoses and reinstalled.(about 30 mins). fired it up idled smooth even when i turned the ac on. took it for a spin, seemed like the throttle was more responsive, tighter? took it up to 80 again to see if i could replicate the sputtering. nothing. seemed really good and smooth. parked it and watched for idle issues in park and in drive. nothing. we are going to use it today shopping hopefully i found the problem.
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Old 05 Jun 2011, 04:45 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

I'm gonna have to write that one down! Let us know if that cleared it, I'm going to take mine off this week and do the same you've done!!! Great tip!
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Old 05 Jun 2011, 06:27 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

seems to me that the egr could have been the problem, i will drive it this week and post if the sputtering/idling issues come back. i reccomend that people should clean or replace the egr at the same time they do the plugs and wires.
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Old 07 Jun 2011, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromenut View Post
I'm gonna have to write that one down! Let us know if that cleared it, I'm going to take mine off this week and do the same you've done!!! Great tip!
You don't have one to take off. EGR was only on '01 & '02 PTs, and since you have a 'vert, that is later than '02.
I thyink you're thinking PCV - which can also louse things up...
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Old 11 Jun 2011, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

well after driving the pt for a week to work i think the idle problem has sorted itself out, but the sputtering problem at 1800rpm at speeds at around 80kph is still there. what about the auto transmission causing the symptoms? maybe the fluid is too low/high causing the convertor to act strange. what about doing a flush,? i don't think its been done before. a bit of a stretch i know but i really don't feel like throwing a new fuel pump module in it just to see if that fixes it.
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Old 12 Jun 2011, 03:21 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

decided to take the iac off the throttle body this morning. very hard to get the torx screws out, i needed a 90deg torx allen wrench, still took me 15min.
i was surprised on how carboned up the valve was even thou i cleaned the tb twice in the last 2 weeks, but then i relized that the needle seat is spring loaded sealed inside the tb. cleaned the valve and the housing it sits in. reinstalled, tried to fire up the engine but it took about a dozen times before it caught.had to floor the pedal. idled even smoother so that was nice. took it for a spin and could only feel the jerking very slight this time at the same rpm. (1800-1900). the trans fluid is bang on were it is supposed to be and it looks in god condition. now im wondering if the trans mount or motor mounts are worn out causing some kind of movement making it feel like a miss fire/fuel problem?
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Old 16 Jun 2011, 08:48 pm
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Default Re: sputtering/surging issue

ive been driving the pt for the last 4-5 days and everything seems really good.
the idle is very smooth now and the issues at hwy speed are not showing up.
im going to say it was a gummed up iac valve that was sticking in the tb.
now i just need a buyer.
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