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Saturn SL3 Stalling

My girlfriend has a 94 Saturn SL3, Every so often the darn thing stalls out on her, and being the male, it has fallen on me to figure it out. As I don’t know what I am talking about, I turn to you.

The car stalls from time to time when she slows down the car either coming to a stop or when she is making a slow turn. If she keeps her foot halfway on the gas while she brakes, it pulls out of the stall.

After it dies the lights still work, radio still plays, but it needs a jump or it wont even pretend to turn over.

We have had two mechanics drive the thing around, but neither of them have “been able to replicate the issue” and thus I fall to you.

Can you help?

Why does it need a jump to re-start? Does the starter sound like it’s under a heavy load? With the jumper cables attached, how does the engine crank then? Have you had the battery tested? How old is the battery?

If the battery and starter are in good health, the problem may be the lockup torque converter is staying locked at speeds below 35 mph, where it should be disengaging. As she has time to put her foot on the gas and brake to keep it going, she could try putting the transmission into neutral to see if that will prevent stalling. A transmission shop would be best for this problem.

I wonder if the belt to the alternator is slipping at times. If the current belt is really old and she’s keeping the car for a while, it might be worth replacing it to see what happens, since it’s good preventative maintenance anyway.

It wouldn’t hurt to make sure the terminals on the battery cable are clean. Also check for any corrosion under the insulation near the end if you can.

A charging system test is usually pretty cheap. That might be worthwhile.

On second thought, the lock up torque converter staying engaged wouldn’t affect start. A defective A/C compressor and clutch could put a heavy drag on an engine. You could try cranking it with the A/C drive belt removed.

Mechanics checked the fuel filter, said it was clogged all to hell. Also ran a test on the battery and said it had a dead cell.
Cost me $209 to have them replace both. We have been stress testing the car all day, trying to make it fail, but it seems fine.
Thanks for the help.

Guesswork being what it is; disconnect the battery when it stalls and reconnect. If the car starts right up, it may be that you rebooted the computer. Then change the computer. When that doesn’t work, you will know that your guess is as good as mine, or maybe even better. If it doesn’t stay fixed. I hope it was as easy as the fuel filter. At least they fixed a problem.

Glad you came back with the fix. It’s almost like the old joke, “My answer is correct, you just have the wrong question!”. I hope it stays fixed. If there are any more “answers” you’d like, you know where we are.