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Q: Engine stalls when accelerating from idle

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I had a check engine light, fuel gauge wasn't functional, and it was stalling out at intersections when trying to accelerate from idle. If the vehicle is parked and in neutral, pressing the accelerator lightly causes a violent shake and stall. The exhaust also appears (and smells) like it's burning very rich.

I replaced the EGR solenoid and the check engine light turned off. I replaced the fuel pump and sending unit assembly. Fuel pressure is good and gauge is now functional again. I replaced the O2 sensor for good measure.

I verified vacuum is being delivered to the fuel pressure regulator. The throttle position sensor is working within tolerance. Listened to fuel injectors and they all seem to be working.

I noticed that fuel pressure is normal at idle, however when you accelerate (and it stalls), it spikes to the engine-off/ignition pressure.

VERY slowly revving the engine up allows it to accelerate without stall. Maybe a clogged regulator that is slow to respond?

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there - excellent work, I commend you on...

Hi there - excellent work, I commend you on your diagnostic skills! Yes, based on your description and testing, I would agree that the fuel pressure regulator is the most likely candidate for this problem. Bear in mind that a weak fuel pump could behave similarly - not able to supply the needed volume at pressure. If the pump is able to maintain correct pressure as you slowly rev the engine, then the fuel pressure regulator component is your failing component - based on your other symptoms. Well done! If you would like assistance, I would recommend a fuel pressure regulator replacement by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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