Q: Starting issues

asked by on

So I was driving my car when it just died. It wouldn't start and black smoke came out as well as a gas type smell. I eventually got the car to start but it was sputtering and the Rpm gauge bounces up and down. It died again not 2 minutes later. We got it home and let it sit I started it earlier and it fired like nothing happened I then reved and the engine started to act like it was losing power and sputtering again then Rpms dropped and just died. Can you think of why it did this?

My car has 96100 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The first thing that comes to mind is the ignition control module, ICM. It is located under the ignition coils. It receives data from the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. It relays this information to the engine computer, PCM. It is a computer, or module in itself. Circuit boards in parts like this usually fail when they are hot. It will not command the coils to spark, and the engine speed information will not be correct. This explains the jumping tachometer. If they are allowed to cool off, they can start to function again, but as you experienced, it was short lived.

The crankshaft position sensor could also cause this. It is a less common failure. It can produce a poor signal to the ICM. This will cause spark, and the fuel injector pulse to be erratic. The PCM will usually set a trouble code for this, but the only way to know for certain is the graph the output of the sensor using a lab scope. If you would like this repaired, consider YourMechanic. We can come to your home to perform a diagnostic on your starting issue and make any repairs that are needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Starting issues

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What is the average cost for a valve and piston rod replacement job. I thought it was the lifter but now they say its valve.

The cost depends on the amount of damage and is quite literally impossible to even guess at without physically removing the parts and determing exactly what parts have to be replaced. It is not just a simple matter of taking...

Q: Fuel leaking out of car

The fuel lines and filter would have to be checked to see what is causing your leak. I recommend you do not attempt to drive the vehicle till having it looked at and fixed. The leak may pose a fire...

Q: The motor shakes

Hi. The engine could be shaking because it has a misfire, bad fuel injectors, broken engine mount or bad internal parts in the engine. The vdc light is on because the Pcm is detecting a fault in the engine. The...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.