Q: Van won't start unless pushing on the gas pedal repeatedly

asked by on November 15, 2017

A few days ago, I was driving home. I came to a stop and when I began to accelerate to go, my vehicle shut off. I pulled over & tried to start the vehicle again but it took a few tries & a lot of pressing on the gas for it to start. I was able to get it home & put it on the code reader, & got codes that pointed to the crankshaft sensor as well as the camshaft sensor. Our camshaft sensor had gone bad a couple months before and was replaced BTW. My husband replaced the crankshaft sensor, but when he did that, the TCS & Slip lights along with the Check Engine lights all came on & now it won't start unless really pressing on the gas giving it a lot of gas, and even then it wants to stall out when driving. Also, the RPM needle jumps or drops by itself while idling.

My car has 143864 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hi Michelle. Thanks for contacting us tonight. It’s quite possible that you have a few, independent issues going on with your Quest. First off, when you have to continually press the gas pedal in order for the engine to start, it means one of two things - either the engine is not getting the right amount of air/fuel ratio or it’s unable to ignite that mixture of fuel and air. Although the crankshaft and cam position sensor does impact ignition timing and can cause these issues, it’s more common that the electrical harness connecting to these sensors is the actual cause of the problem. This might be why after replacing the sensor, the same issues continued (and if I’m understanding you correct - got worse). However, all those additional warning lights you’ve listed does raise a red flag - that perhaps an issue with the ECU exists - or the idle control valve, mass air flow sensor or other fuel system issues exist. As you can see - there are MULTIPLE possibilities here, so it’s probably best to have a professional mechanic come to your location to complete an on-site inspection, so they can get a personal view of the symptoms, all stored error codes and determine what is the best course of action.

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