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'88 Chev S10 quits or will not restart for several hours

My '88 Chevrolet S10 with a four cylinder engine will drive for around 12 miles and then will quit and refuse to restart for several hours. Also it can be driven a short distance but not be able to restart after being parked, not for several hours. More exactly the engine will roar to life while the starter motor is engaged, but then cuts out in the ignition on position. If this were an even older vehicle I would suspect an intermittent heat sensitive coil resistor and would jumper it to test if it were the culprit. Has anyone else had this sort of thing happen, and did a new coil fix it?

If the engine will start up ok in START position and then then cut off in the RUN position you should check for a problem with the ignition switch or the wiring from it in the RUN position.

What you describe is a classic symtom of a failed ignition module.

Ignition modules function in two modes. These are the start and the run modes. When starting the engine the module allows full battery voltage to the coil. This is done to make sure a cold engine with a rich fuel mixture starts. Once the engine starts and the ignition switch moves to the run position, the ignition module goes into the run mode. The module then drops the voltage to the coil so the coil and other secondary ignition components don’t burn up from too high of voltage. This works the same as a ballast resistor/wire that was used on older ignition systems.

Take the ignition module out of the disributor and bring it to a parts store that can test them. And after twenty minutes of testing the ignition module I’ll bet it shows up as being defective.


IYes, it is almost certain to be the module. And if the parts house tester indicates the module is OK have them quickly retest several times as it will likely heat up and fail.