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Old 10-06-2008, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Car shuts off when you make hard left turn.

Okay guys, I know this sounds strange but my problem is this My car is a 1997 Firebird. 3.8 Liter V6 Car idles fine, runs fine going down the road. However, if you make a left hand turn with any speed at all, the car stumbles and the motor dies. I put the car in neutral and it starts right back up. As long as you are driving straight or making a right hand turn there is no problem. Only when you turn left. I am totally baffled. It started this yesterday everytime I turned left. This morning when I left out, it didn't do it. This evening while I was on my way home, back at it again, everytime I turned left at a light and left into my driveway it went dead. Sorry, it sounds absurd I am sure but it is happening. Anybody know of anything that would cause this. I have looked for everything and have found nothing.

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Old 10-06-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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oh boy not sure on this one. Try filling your tank full of gas and see. May be a pick up problem with the fuel pump.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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Car stumbles...is there some kind of problem with/in the fuel tank where it starves for fuel when you turn left?
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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I once had a dodge neon that cut off on hard lefts. The wiring harness was cut and shorting out when turning, I zip tied it away from where it could ground out and all was good!
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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Drove the car again about 30 minutes ago and now the check engine light is on. It is setting a code according to the manual that reads "Catalyst system effiency below threshold". Anybody know what this code means. Sounds like a catalytic converter problem but not sure. Not sure if this would cause my problem or not with the stumbling and motor dying when turning left. Any ideas, feel free to suggest. I am at my wits end with this one. Even the tech I talked to at the GM dealer is stumped after he drove the car.

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Old 10-06-2008, 11:27 PM   #6
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JMAC, yes P0420 is just a bad cat, that won't make the car have that funky *** problem.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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It's gotta be a ground or electrical problem somewhere
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
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It's gotta be a ground or electrical problem somewhere
Yeah.

Are you sure a wire or maybe even the battery cable is not grounding out when you turn?
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:53 AM   #9
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Don't know about a '97 but on my '99 the battery hold down part broke so battery could move around.Maybe it's shorting to ground on a sharp corner?Look for any burn marks or discoloring anywhere near where red post might touch if it moved.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. Not sure if the problem is fixed but will know in due time. It seems the problem more readily showed up after the car had been driven for about 20 miles. I looked last nite while it was dark and noticed that a couple of plugs wires you could see the actual spark going through the wires. Although, when you touch the wires it didn't shock you. I assume this is just the spark inside the wires however the wires are a dark gray color. It seemed odd you could see the actual spark light up the wire but like I said when you touched them they didn't shock you. Also, this morning I did notice one electrical wire that was touching the heat shield on the motor exahaust manifold so I pulled it away and wired tied it to keep from touching. It has been raining since then and I haven't driven the car real far. However this morning, after doing this, I did get in the car and drive it a bit. I just turned the steering wheel to the left and kept going ina chard circle. It did fine, however like I said, it usually doesn't act up until it has been driven for like twenty miles or so. I am hoping for the best and will let you know. Thanks again.

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Old 10-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #11
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Replace those plug wires. They are arcing ( or carbon tracking ) and thats bad.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:38 PM   #12
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Thanks for the heads up on the wires. I will replace them. I figured even though they didn't shock you to the touch that it couldn't be good to be able to see the light from the spark going through them. Think maybe that could cause my problem I am having????

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:27 PM   #13
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They didn't shock you because you probably weren't touching something else on the car like bare metal chassis or the engine block. Those things are high voltage tho, so I don't suggest you try to get shocked by it

Yes that is a problem. You should be able to open the hood in the dark with the motor running and see nothing. If you see any arcing, at all, you've got issues. Your wires are definitely toast.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:21 PM   #14
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Wanted to give an update in case it might help somebody else. My mechanic finally figured out what was wrong with the car. IT was a combination of having a water leak at the plastic elbow in front of the intake manifold and the crankshaft sensor. The water was leaking down the front of the motor and settling in where the crankshaft sensor is located. When turning left the water that was settling would go over and hit the sensor and make it act up. So we belive anyway. LOL The sensor finally went completely bad and the car wouldn't run once it was started up. Replaced the crankshaft sensor and fixed the plastic elbow from leaking and now car runs better than it has in a while. Thanks for all the help and the wisdom.

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99Ws6302 View Post
I once had a dodge neon that cut off on hard lefts. The wiring harness was cut and shorting out when turning, I zip tied it away from where it could ground out and all was good!
Thats exactly what I was going to say......there is probably a loose wire somewhere thats grounding out when you make the turn.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:24 PM   #16
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my mitsubishi had a problem like that, the battery cables would ground on the chassis on acceleration. kinda sucked.

even though you got the problem fixed, it still is gonna be a smart idea to replace those spark plug wires.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRallyeZ View Post
even though you got the problem fixed, it still is gonna be a smart idea to replace those spark plug wires.
+1

Thanks for posting the update, always helpful when people post back with the fix for their problem.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:33 PM   #18
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Oh yea, I meant to add that I did replace the wires. I had done that before we found out the sensor was the problem. I think that really helped in how well the car runs now. Thanks for the heads up and all the info.

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Old 10-31-2008, 01:01 AM   #19
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glad you got it figured out...what sensor was it ?
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:04 AM   #20
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He's speaking of the Crank Position Sensor. Had the same problem after installing long tubes. We routed the wires for the CPS around the starter to where there was tension on it, preventing it from seating in the plug recipticle properly. Re-routed alongside the starter instead of "around" it, and she ran fine.
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