Car turns over but won't stay running


I have a 96 Chevy Lumina car… a couple of days ago, it just died on me going down the road and refused to stay running. It turns over until your blue in the face or the battery dies, which ever comes first, but just won’t stay running. The only thing I can tell right off is that the oil light is on. It’s full of oil, a new batch… I called around and people are telling me that I need a new motor…Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


The oil pressure warning light should be on. It should go off when the engine is running, but not until it is running. If the light was on before the motor quit running, that’s another issue.

Check for spark and make sure fuel is getting to the engine. Without both of those things the engine will not start.


[b]From your title, are you saying that the engine cranks over, starts, and then dies as soon as the ignition switch is allowed to return to the run position? If so, the problem could be with the ignition module.

Ignition modules function in two modes. The start and run modes. During the start mode, the ignition module allows full voltage to the coil(s). This ensures that a cold engine has full spark. Once the engine starts, and the ignition switch moves to the run position, the ignition module drops the voltage to the coil(s). This done because without reducing the voltage to the coil(s), the secondary ignition components woudn’t last very long.

If this describes what’s happening, and the engine just stalled, it could be that the run mode of the ignition module has failed.



The problem could also be a bad oil pressure sensor. These GMs use the oil pressure sensor as a safely for the fuel pump, and if the light is on, the ECM will shut the fuel pump off. When you turn the ignition on, the ECM will run the fuel pump for a couple of seconds to pressurize the system. Then, it will run the fuel pump as the engine is cranked. Once running, it will read the oil pressure sensor to maintain power the the fuel pump.


I agree with the ignition module diagnosis unless there is something missing in the story here in regards to being told you need a new motor and the vehicle having a “new batch of oil”.
This new oil did not occur after a lack of oil I would hope.


Lets see if I can answer all the things at once… the oil was new before all this and we had changed it as part of regular service, not from being out…

it will start, but chug along for a few seconds and then die… it was running fine before this happened… I was driving down the highway and it just died, no warning or chugging or anything, just died and then the starting problem occurred…

We were having trouble with the “security chip” in the key a few years ago and had that bypassed… we were having the ignition replaced a few times a year to keep up with the key(s)… so I’m not sure how that would have just started right out of the blue and before it wouldn’t even crank if it was the ignition…

When I called about it, as soon as I mentioned the oil light was on, thats when i was referred to a new engine, it was not on before this.


One posibility: RPM pick up sensor may have died.


You’re confusing the lock cylinder with the ignition switch. The lock cylinder is where you put the key and is also where the security system samples the key. The ignition switch is a separate device that is connected to the lock cylinder with a short rod. They would not have messed with the ignition switch when they swapped out lock cylinders. BUT, they may have messed up the linkage. Hard to imagine but stranger things have happened.

The oil light will always come on when the engine is first cranked and when it fails to start. That is a red herring and the people who told you that you need a new engine are clueless.