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Car dies when making right turn

My elderly father-in-law owns a late 90’s model Chevrolet which has just developed a most alarming problem. On occasion, when he is making a right hand turn, the car will just totally die in the middle of the road! It is an intermittent problem, and unfortunately their mechanic has not been able to duplicate the problem and so feels there is nothing to fix.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem could be?



He may need a new ignition switch.
It drove OUR mechanic nuts, until Tom & Ray answered a question about this problem, on air.Yep! Every time we turned right (in our '87 Park Ave) the darn thing would just die on us!
Not too bad in in town, but scary when we were trying to merge from the PA Turnpike to the 301!
It didn’t cost much to replace the ignition switch, at our local garage.
Worth a shot.

Does the idle speed ever go really fast?

Has the fuel filter been changed lately, or ever? Thats the first place Id start, as it should be done anyway. Then test the fuel pressure and volume. Turning right could be sloshing the gas away from the pump, reducing pressure, and if the pressure is marginal anyway from a plugged filter, it could cause those symptoms.

I had the same thing happen to an 88 Blazer. Right turns would shut the truck off. It turned out to be the ingnition switch getting shut off by the broken tilt steering column. I replaced the entire steering column with a junk yard one.

Their mechanic just replaced the fuel filter (since it was the original) and they picked up the car yesterday and on the way home it died 5 times! Now it just seems to conk out whenever it feels like it whether you’re making a right turn or not. They managed to get it back to the mechanic who is taking another look at it. I’m going to suggest the ignition switch…

Thanks everyone!

Weird as it may sound… I had a Mazda once that had very similar symptoms. After several disconcerting episodes and much trouble shooting. As it turns out, the battery had an intermittent internal short. During a right turn only, sometimes centrifugal force would cause the plates to move enough to short and kill the voltage to the electronic ignition.I had it checked for free at a parts supply house and it checked bad. When I replaced the battery with a new one, the trouble stopped.
Good Luck

I told my father-in-law about the ignition switch/steering column replacement and when they told their mechanic she said she didn’t want to do that because she wasn’t sure that was the problem and it would be very costly for them. She said it would be over $200 to replace the ignition switch and more if they wanted her to do investigating in the steering column. She implied it was very difficult electrical work that would take a long time and the labor would be very costly.

My father-in-law lives in Philly right around the PA Turnpike/301 intersection; who/where is the mechanic you went to?

I’m going to get them to have their battery checked, which someone else suggested…

Thanks again,

This is just an additional wild guess, but perhaps the car has an inertia sensor that’s malfunctioning.

Does his mechanic have a life insurance policy on your father-in-law?
“EXPENSIVE” at $200 ??? Frog, no! This is bogus, b* total carp.
Your father-in-law needs a new mechanic!
Sorry…our mechanic is up in upstate NY, 4 hours away from your father-in law…The ignition switch was ~ $50(pull the old ignition switch out-like changing spark plugs,put a new one in) & labor was another ~ $50…Had to get new keys made-another $2.
Something’s not right, here…
Besides! Do you want your father-in-law driving a car that could conk out on the Turnpike/301 interchange? Messy &it would tie up traffic for HOURS!

Turn the battery around-- if it’s a battery short then it will start dying on left turns.

Does this happen when the gas gauge reads a quarter tank or lower?

Pontiac Bonnevilles had this problem in the early 90’s. Seems the gas tank lacked baffles which allowed gas to slosh around away from the the fuel pump’s pickup tube on right hand turns. The only real solution was to keep at least the gas tank half full.

This can be also caused by a bad oil pressure switch and in some cars when you go around the corner the oil moves to one side of the oil pan moving away from the pick up tube then oil pressure goes down and the engine stalls, otherwise running good. when this oil pressure switch is starting to fail or has completely failed it cause these symptom. but it could be a number of other things like lack of baffles in the gas tank, a bad front control module. etc.

Well, I hope after 11 years they solved the problem.

Late 90’s Chevy of undisclosed mileage or model. Probably been scrapped and crushed by now. So for all intents and purposes, problem solved.