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Q: Car starts & drives well, but quits after one mile

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My car starts fine and drives well, however it has a dangerous issue with shutting down after going only a short distance. It will rarely go over one mile before the engine completely shuts down, along with the electrical system. I had an experienced mechanic to check out the problem and he could not find a solution. I am considering whether or not it is a fuel problem, an electrical issue, or if it is electronic. I have decided not to drive this car until I solve what is causing this dangerous problem. What can you determine that is the cause of my car’s engine-quitting problem?

A: Hello there, thank you for asking about you...

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1987 Oldsmobile Toronado. There was actually a recall on your vehicle for stalling; it’s number 87T816E. Stalling was such a severe issue with this vehicle that GM decides to extend the warranty on all stalling related repairs to 100,000 miles. Oddly enough, they don’t say what the root cause of the stalling might be. I guess there were just too many potential causes to consider. The first thing that comes to mind is the crankshaft position sensor. The powertrain control module (PCM) relies on the crank sensor signal for ignition timing and fuel control. If the crank sensor goes off line, the engine will stall. Of course, there are many other potential causes for your problem. The vehicle will need to be inspected firsthand. My advice is to get a second opinion from a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, who can inspect why your car dies after a mile and replace the crankshaft position sensor if necessary.

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