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Fuel disruption

Last Wednesday my car died as I parked in my driveway. I tried to restart it and although the engine turned over fine, it wouldn’t catch and it sounded as though no fuel was getting through. I tried it intermittently for 15 minutes and then called AAA. Of course when they arrived it started perfectly. I didn’t use it on Thursday but went shopping on Friday. On the way home it stalled at the lights of a busy intersection - I live in LA.

This time I had AAA tow me to my mechanic. Of course when I got there the car started. The car is 16 years old, manual, 110,000 miles and in great condition. It has never had a new fuel pump and my mechanic recommended I replace it. This seemed like a reasonable suggestion even though it cost $400. I picked the car up today, drove it home then later in the afternoon went to the bank. I made one other stop and was on my way home when it stalled again and wouldn’t start!!! This time I just waited 40 minutes, and of course it started fine.

Do you have any suggestions, without being overly rude (!) as to what I could suggest my mechanic look at next? Recapping, the car starts fine when it is cold. It starts fine when it is warm, as evidenced when I have had to run a couple of errands and parked for 10 minutes at a time. But it has stalled 3 times when coming to a halt when it is hot.

Thank you,

I think that at this point you should be thinking ignition disruption rather than fuel disruption. You may be having a problem with “heat soaked” ignition components - when things like an ignition coil get older they can cease to function well when hot (electrical resistance gets too high). So the car heats up - won’t run - cools down - runs fine.

Someone should be checking for spark the next time it stalls and won’t restart.

Why do you say that the engine stalled as though it, “no fuel was getting through”? Did it stumble, or run rough, before it stalled? If not, the problem is probably somewhere in the spark control system. Have your mechanic check that —HOT!

Thank you.

Thank you.