Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car won't stay running

My car would not stay running and the check engine light was on so I took it the local parts store to check it. Their meter told them it was a "multiple misfire and it might be a bad ignition control module. When they checked it and it failed, i bought a new one and installed it. The car started fine and ran for about 10 minutes. Just before it stops it sounds like it misfires as if you removed one or two spark plug wires. After a discussion with the parts store, they said I should recheck the ignition control module. The test of the module failed. What could cause the new module to fail so quickly?

We need more information on your car before we can go any farther. Year? Mileage? Engine? Repair/maintenance history? The more we know, the better we can help you.

It is a 1999 Olds 88LS with a 3.8 liter engine 163,000 miles. Since I’ve had the car, October 2008, I’ve changed the oil every 5,000 miles with a synthetic blend. I have not had to replace any parts until March 2010. I had an extreme vaccuum issue when I removed the oil cap and it was determined that I needed to replace the intake manifold, which took care of that problem. A short time later, I had to replace the alternator, and with the repeated problems with module, the old battery finally died and would no longer accept a charge, so i replaced it. I prefer to do as much maintenance myself as I can but I’m not getting any where with this latest problem.

When was the last time you replaced spark plugs and ignition cables? If the coils are having to produce higher voltage to initiate a spark the ignition module will be under more stress.

I replaced the spark plugs in June 2010 and the spark plug wires about 158,000 miles. By the way, I took a chance, June 2010, after a suggestion from the auto parts store, that a coil pack might be bad, but did not get a different reaction when I changed the 1st one, so I switched with the 2nd coil pack then the last, but I didn’t get a positive response when I tried to run the car.