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Car hesitates while driving down the road.

04-19-2008, 04:33 PM
I have a 2000 oldmobile Intrique, with the 3.5L northstar engine. While driving down the road the car will hesitate while the rpm's will decrese for a second and go back to where it was before, the speed odometer will jump up and go back down. the service will flash on and off. The car almost acts like it dies for a second but keeps on going. I have the codes checked and their are no codes in the computer. Any idea's of what is going on?

04-19-2008, 06:27 PM
The hesitation and flashing Service Vehicle Soon light indicate a fairly serious misfire condition. Could be plugs or a bad ignition coil.

04-20-2008, 05:59 AM
Perhaps a faulty ignition switch?

04-20-2008, 08:50 AM
Yeah, I had similar symptoms when my ignition switch was going cuckoo. The speedometer jumping around while driving is a pretty good clue.

If youve got time, you can try pulling it and cleaning it.
There are the instructions for removing the switch so you can clean the external contacts, which was all that was needed for me.

I think another user posted some instructions for taking the thing apart and cleaning the inside as well.

04-26-2008, 06:36 PM
I was SO glad (well not glad but relieved that it's not my imagination) to see this post!!

I have a 1999 3.8L Intrigue and for the last month it has been hesitating and then lurching on me. I am not any kind of automative maven so I don't know the correct terminology but at lower speeds, often around 2 RPMs, and coming off stops my car hesitates, feels like it's going to stall, then resumes acceleration. It may do this two or three times in a row and then it's fine. No service lights come on. It did stall twice in reverse in a parking lot but that's it.

I have a great mechanic but he kept the car for 3 days and could only replicate the problem once- slightly. And never while it was hooked up to sensors so he can't get codes. He said the best he could do at this point, with no info from the car, was to chemically clean the injection system. So he flushed it (?) with something in the oil tank and in the gas tank. I'm supposed to drive the car until the tank is almost empty before refilling.

The bad news is- no real change. It seemed better but today it hesitated badly in front of oncoming traffic. I'm beginning to hate the car and feel unsafe. Would you all concur this is the same type of problem? And what should I tell my mechanic?

Thank you in advance and sorry if I sound like too much of a car dope.....

panzer dragoon
04-26-2008, 07:15 PM
I will vote CKP sensor.

04-27-2008, 10:23 AM
What is a CKP sensor? And what does it do?

04-27-2008, 04:37 PM
It is a crankshaft position sensor and it senses crankshaft position. Probably senses when no. 1 piston is at TDC.

04-28-2008, 05:49 PM
Yeah the crankshaft position sensor is also likely. I dont like to say it without codes present though. Although, weve had cases of that in the past. So thats an option.

Im not sure how much a mechanic would charge for something like that, probably in the neighborhood of 100-200 dollars.

04-29-2008, 08:31 AM
Changing he CKP is really quite easy, its a 35 dollar part and it'll take you all of about 30 or so minutes to replace it. Just unbolt the starter, take it out and the sensor is right there.

04-30-2008, 07:49 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses- even though I kind of hi-jacked this thread! I hope the original poster got help as well.

It's not great news but yesterday the Service Engine Soon light came on so at least the mechanic can get codes and history and, hopefully, it will get fixed. Call it a girl thing but I don't like driving my car when I don't feel safe!

And if it is the CKP I'll ask my husband to fix it! :biggrin:

04-30-2008, 09:22 PM
symptoms sound similar to my car last summer...stuck TCC solenoid (torque converter clutch solenoid) causing hesitation/lurching at low speeds and often stalled coming to stops. I got mine working again with some tranny conditioner. Lubegard is the best. but something like that should come up on a code read-out.

05-01-2008, 01:41 PM
Well, this was none of the above. It was the mass air flow sensor. I'm not happy at all as I replaced the bleeping thing 18 months ago. Just long enough for the warranty to run out....:banghead:

05-02-2008, 05:45 PM
Thanks for everybody responding to my thread. I have replaced the spark plugs and air filter and it seemed to run better, but after a about 2 weeks it still does the same thing. Now, after the engine is warm the car starts hard, you have to give it alot of gas to get it started. Also I took it into a shop and there was no history in the computer at all even though the check engine light came on, but went off.

05-02-2008, 08:51 PM
The first time I had to replace the ckp the check engine light did go off for a little while, but my vote is still the ckp. after the CKP goes it sometimes makes the cam shaft sensor stop working as well.

01-22-2010, 03:37 PM
Do you have to use a harmonic balancer tool ?

01-23-2010, 12:01 AM
Do you have to use a harmonic balancer tool ?

Its not necessary to have one for replacing the crankshaft sensor on the 3.5, all you do is remove the starter and its right there. Youre right though that tool is necessary on the 3.8.

08-10-2012, 11:06 AM
I have almost same problem as cathd80 for a month. Service engine light on and off, usually on and just today low oil light came on but went off later. For many months have had an intermittent low water light.

08-14-2012, 03:39 PM
If you haven't already gladco, check your oil level and coolant. NOrmally if th elow oil light comes on, you are down at least a quart of oil and the Intrigues are known for burning oil.

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