Engine cutout near airport


#1

my 87 olds ciera seems to lose power on 1 cylinder everytime i drive by the airport when i drive to work. once i’m a mile or more away its fine.



only here does it happen. now it has happened twice elsewhere. it died once on freeway. when i pulled over and restarted it, it acted perfect afterward.fuel pump and crank sensor and both coils have been replaced at an earlier time. the head is not cracked either; already replaced it.

still cheaper than $350 monthly payments when i do the repairs.






#2

Unless you drive by the Groom Lake airfield, I doubt it has anything to do with the airport.

Can you describe what happens exactly when you say it loses a cylinder? Also what engine does it have? This is useful to know, but will also help us gauge how severe a misfire you think it is. A missing cylinder in a V6 will be barely noticable, but will cause a 4-cylinder to run very poorly.

I’m guessing since airports are usually situated on high points, this part of your commute is uphill. I’m thinking it might be a heat issue, caused by your engine compartment getting warm from the uphill part of the drive. The ignition modules used on these cars are notorious for cutting out when they get hot, but there are other electronic parts that don’t work as well when hot. Also, did you change the fuel filter when you changed the pump? In this day of 10% ethanol blends, low fuel pressure can cause vaporlocking in a hot engine compartment.


#3

What do you think could be going on at the airport that causes your concern? Come on tell us… just what do you suspect? Call the airport,Call the FAA.Callthe FCC tell them of your suspicions.


#4

I don’t know if this is relevant or not but here goes. I used to work with a guy who is an auto tech of the highest caliber and he was telling me that when he live in Chicago they had a VW towed in that quit on the road. When he went out to the lot the car started and ran fine and they could not find anything obvious wrong so they gave the car back with a no-charge on it.

Basically over the next few weeks this vehicle was towed in 3 times for the same problem. Each time the car would then start and run fine out in the lot.
After the last tow the guy made a comment about the car always quit at the same spot on the highway, which was kind of weird.

The tech went with him out on the expressway to the spot and he noted there was a brand new radio tower right by the side of the road. They went inside, asked a few questions, and were told the station was off the air from midnight to 6 A.M.
The car owner had just changed jobs and it required him to go in earlier. It appeared that if he just happened to be by the tower at exactly 6 A.M. the engine computer would go stupid due to a power surge when the station came on-line at 6.

He changed his route a bit and suffered no more problems. I don’t know if this is even relevant in your case or not but maybe there’s some weird fault in your car that is being exacerbated by the GCA (ground control approach) radar at the airport. Just some food for thought anyway.

(And the guy who told me this is not a BS artist either)


#5

Was told the same story but the culprit was a C.B. radio the victim was a Type 3 fuel injected VW. Really if you suspect these transmitters are off frequency,or power is to high,your questions should go to the FCC or the airport. At least talk to them and see if others are complaining.My story took place in the early 70’s.Dont know if the OP wants the airport to stop doing something or he wants to spend money chasing this event down by working with the car. You could buy alot of aluminum foil.


#6

The VW I mentioned was a fuel injected Type 3. Since the FI system was quite a bit different than todays maybe it had something to do with design or even location since the Type 3 ECM was located inside of the rear quarter panel.
Personally, I’m of the opinion that the airport is probably not at fault here.
The OP states it has happened twice elsewhere so maybe the problem is a failing ignition module???


#7

The ECMs on very early electronic fuel injection systems (like the Type3) were not properly shielded from EMFs. Driving by radar towers or even high tension power lines often caused the engine to behave abnormally or even stall out. This problem was quickly discovered and hasn’t been an issue in cars for well over 30 years.