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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘88 Chrysler Lebaron, Mind of Its Own

Q: I own an '88 Chrysler Lebaron convertible turbo automatic with 124k miles. The engine was rebuilt, and a new turbo installed last year. It runs great, when it runs! The car will just stop running, even when driving. It’s like the car is not getting gas. When it starts to stall out, sometimes pumping the gas pedal will span out of it and it will run fine again for days or a couple of weeks. The fuel filter has been replaced and gas treatment added. After the car sits a while, sometimes this takes days, it will start again and run great for a while until it again, just stops. It makes no difference if you're driving 30 mph or 6Omph. Would a bad fuel pump present itself this way? I'm at a loss!

A: Generally, a failing fuel pump won’t be so random. Once a fuel pump starts failing it tends to be more persistent, not a couple of days or a week or 2 between failures. You should also know that the fuel pump in your vehicle is computer controlled. In the event that the computer should lose a signal that is critical to its operation it will shutdown the fuel injection, ignition and the fuel pump and it won’t matter how fast the vehicle is going the engine just shuts off. I suspect that your vehicle’s computer is responding to such a loss of information. The computer in your vehicle may have a clue to the problem stored in its memory. You can gain access to this information with a computer scan tool or by cycling the ignition switch off to on 3 times. At the end of the third cycle just leave the ignition on and watch the lights on the dash. The computer’s light will start flashing diagnostic codes. You can go on the web or to a library to get the code’s descriptions. But if I were looking at your vehicle I would be inclined to check the sensor in the distributor. The wiring to the sensor was known for breaking inside the insulator. Often times you could wiggle the wiring where it enters the distributor and get the computer to have a convulsion or even stall. If this happens, replacement is needed. With some help from the computer and a little investigation, you may be able to find the solution yourself.

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