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Thread: Car stalls if I take my foot off the gas

  1. #1
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    Car stalls if I take my foot off the gas

    First off, I'm new, and I love this forum. It has info I couldn't find anywhere else on the web, or in my service manual.
    I've got a US 87 Accord DX, 5spd. It's stock. Today I was driving home, and I kept getting cut off, so I was driving a little agressive. A few runs up to about 5000 RPM, in 1st and 2nd gear.
    Halfway home, I'm coming to a stop at a light, and the engine dies. I restart it by giving it some gas while cranking, and then it dies again. But I quickly found out that as long as I kept my foot on the gas, the car ran fine, but as soon as I took my foot off, the revs dropped to 0, and it stalled. When it was running, it felt fine, maybe just a tad rough, but hardly noticeable
    I made it home, the last 5 miles, stalling everytime I had to stop.

    Any ideas what the problem is? I think it has to be a carb problem, but I'd like some tips how to fix it.
    I have a feeling that it has something to do with the choke, or some valve in the carb got stuck in the wrong position.

    Thanks.

    --Peter



  2. #2
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    have you ever gotten up to about 40mph, and then floor it?
    if so it could be the fuel pump out or bad fuel filter's.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

  3. #3
    SEi User 89accord_lxi_coupe's Avatar
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    ok, this is sounding a bit like what happend to my car a few weeks back. i would slow to stop and it died. it was good at running speed, but died when i came to a stop. i found out that it was a couple piston rings that had fried. oil was allowed up onto the piston head which subsequently caused the car to more smoke and make me pull over. it also was a valve cover gasket that had blown from inside out as well. basically i ended up getting a new engine. this could, i stress could, be what is happening to you, but get it checked by someone who you know won't bs you about it. if you can get autozone to do the free battery and alternator check on it to make sure they aren't causing it.
    Nolan
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    Well, I replaced the fuel filters within the last year.
    But if it was the fuel pump or the pistons, why would the car seem to run just fine when it is running? As long as I kept my foot on the gas, the car ran well, it felt smooth, and I didn't notice a loss of power or any other symptoms.

  5. #5

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    Rip off your aircleaner and take a look at the side of the carb that faces the drivers side. There is a sight glass for the fuel float. The fuel level should be dead on center. If its low or too high that might cause your stalling. You should first change the 2 fuel filters to make sure that the carb is getting enough gas, If that don't work it could be a vacuum problem. Make sure all the hoses are in good condition and all hooked up. Try tuning the carb as listed in the howto section of the board. Last resort try changing the fuel pump. Luckily its $50, witch is a hell of a lot cheaper than than the LXi pump.
    ------------------

  6. #6
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    well i had to do the same thing you are doing.

    i think i miss read it.
    my bad, let see try what k-roy suggested, then another thing is try raising the throttle level screw, it's like a black knob thingy on the pass. side of the carb.

    or either a vacuum line came loose.
    or either your venturi(s) are leaking, which can be from the float screw.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

  7. #7

    A20A1's Avatar
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    Do check for vacuum leaks, but here are a few other possibilities.

    If float screw is leaking... you'll see fuel fill up past the center mark on the float window... if so you need to replace the seals on the float valve... if not then do not adjust the float valve.

    If you find your booster venturies are loose: HOW-TO CHECK FOR LOOSE BOOSTER
    Then you need to tighten them

    Also I believe it could be a distributor or ignition problem, basic cap and rotor should be good and plugs and wires as well... If they are okay check for this: How-to Check the Stator Reluctor Air Gap

    ...
    ...
    ...

  8. #8
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    oh yea that too.

    but if you have "the carb. gods" watching over you try this.
    if the screw is over filled dissconect the fuel pump, start the engine till the gas run's out, restart it about 3 time's to make sure, and screw down the float screw down about 4 turn's.

    connect fuel pump wire, start it up (may take a few time's).
    let it run note the level of the gas bowl.
    if it's below the center then turn it a LITTLE, then wait about 10-20 second's to see if it raise.
    BUT if it over fills then start the step over. and if you have the screw ALL the way down, and it still over fill's, sorry homey ya gonna have to replace the seal's on the float screw's.

    i call this po boy's hook-up .
    and let me tell ya it worked everytime.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

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    Okay, I'm going to look into all your suggestions today, but I thought I'd provide you with some more info.
    After I got home, I let the car sit about 2 hours, and then I went back out and started it. It didn't quickly stall like before, but the revs dropped near zero, and the car shook, like you'd expect it to at nearly zero idle. I gave it a little gas to keep it alive, and then turned it off.

    This morning I went out and started my car, and it went into fast idle (2000-2500), and seemed fine. I tapped the gas, which set it idling around 1500 (it normally does this) then I just sat. After about a minute, the idle started to drop, and it got below 1000 and you could feel the car shake a little. It didn't stall, but after another minute, I just shut it off.

    So the problem only seems to show up once the car warms up.
    I've never worked on a carb before, but there is a first time for everything.

    --Peter
    Last edited by acranox; 08-12-2004 at 01:20 AM.

  10. #10

    A20A1's Avatar
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    Could be a choke or thermovalve problem,

    Just as the carb warms up... but when the idle is lower like 1000 - 1500 start to spray carb cleaner in small spurts around the base of the carb... do not spray into the aircleaner / inktake or it will give you a false reading...

    anywyas what you are looking for is shortly after you spray at the manifold the cars rpm's will rise slightly and then lower... this is only if there is a vacuum leak in the area that you sprayed the cleaner... if there is no lean then most likely the idle will stay the same...

    Just keep spraying vacuum lines and anything below the air cleaner checking for leaks... the smaller the area you cover with the spray the easier it will be to pinpoint the leak.

    you can also see if the rpm drops... because it doesn't always raise, but usually it raises, but try not to confuse between the cleaner droping the idle and the carb problem doing it on it't own.

  11. #11

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    you have two problems, and both of them don't relate to fuel. trust me on that one.
    first, you could have some vacuum leak somewhere. check all the vacuum hoses and make sure they are ok.
    second, as mike (a20a1) stated, it could be your ventury boosters. if they get loose, the car will have ruff idle and sometimes won't even idle.
    good luck
    Alex.

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    The venturi boosters appear to be secure. I couldn't see any play in them.

    I removed the air cleaner assembly, and started the car, with an assistant keeping the car alive with light pressure on the gas pedal.
    I can hear a hissing coming from around the carb, but does the carb itself make a hissing noise since it's sucking in air?

    I couldn't track the hissing to a specific point. I tried spraying carb cleaner on the hoses, with intermittent results.
    I also broke one of the vacuum lines on the carb when I removed it to check its condition. I'll have to replace that.

    Does a place like Autozone sell rolls of tubing that I can use to cut to fit and replace the lines?

    --Peter

  13. #13
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    Well, I've been working on the car for hours. I don't know nearly enough about the carb unfortunately.
    The level in the float appears to be okay.
    I can hear a hissing noise coming from the primary venturi. If I put my hand over the venturi to partially restrict the airflow, the engine seems to run better.
    Is there anything that sucks or sprays air directly into the venturi? Or is the hissing just the way the carb is supposed to sound?

    I'm just about ready to take this to a shop, since I'd like to have it fixed so I can go to work tomorrow.

    --Peter
    Last edited by acranox; 08-12-2004 at 06:37 AM.

  14. #14
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    i know how ya feel.
    the hissing is gas being sucked through the venturi.
    when yopu looked in the first barrel, did you see drops of fuel or nothing.

    when you said that you sprayed carb cleaner on the vac. hose, you only got intermittent result's, what does that mean?

    also check around the cruise control module, that a vacuum line is a contsant one too.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

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    While the engine was warming up I could see lots of gas going down the venturi, and once it was warmed up, you could just see a light mist.

    I couldn't find any vacuum leak anywhere.
    I gave up. I set the throttle stop screw so that it basically holds the throttle slightly open, so the car doesn't seem to stall. It should be good enough to get it to a shop, and I'll let them worry about it. I just hope it's not expensive.
    The car was working fine up until yesterday, and even still, when it is running it feels solid, although a little rougher than it used to be.


    --Peter

  16. #16
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    okay when you set the trottle stop screw what was the rpm's?
    and if it's fine don't take it to a shop.
    with the main venturi, that's normal when you push the gas it spray's out more.
    and it's fine if you see a mist of gas, as long it's not drop's your fine.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

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    I've got the RPMs at around 1000, which is where it used to be. But it runs rougher like this.
    There is still some underlying problem here. And I bet fuel economy will be pretty bad in this setup.
    Maybe I'll give it another try over the weekend.

  18. #18
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    does the engine shake alot, and when you go the to muffler does it make a popping sound?
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

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    the engine shakes a lot in certain RPM ranges, under certain throttle positions. It can be nice and smooth, or it can be bucking really hard. I do think the exhaust is a little louder, not quite popping, but definitely not a smooth flow of air.

    I also checked the "slow mixture cut-off solenoid" and it seems to be working.

    I've been searching the forums extensively and seen lots of people who have a problem with the car stalling when they release the gas, with a huge range of solutions, and several threads show no solution. This truly is frustrating.
    I wonder if the mixture is too rich or too lean.

    Should the choke close when the throttle is fully depressed? Does it do that only when it's cold, or when it's hot as well?

    Thanks everyone for their help. Maybe eventually we can solve it.

    --Peter

  20. #20
    2.0Si User accordlxi2.0's Avatar
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    well on carb's no that's why it has a throttle stop screw, and a choke.
    to close the system, but keep the rpm's at a certain level.

    well what about the spark plus wire's and the distributor cap and rotor.
    ****** 1994 nissan maxima SE ******

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    the distributor cap and rotor are less than a year old, and the plugs and wires are about 6 months old. I'll still check them out, but it doesn't make sense to me.

  22. #22

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    Thats why you should go outside after the car has warmed up to check if the choke is fully open or not...

    When you check the booster venturies... just to be safe you should remove the top portion of the carb... if you only check the venturies by removing the brass/gold colored screen you may miss something...

    Anyways remove the air box lid, remove the screen holding down the aircleaner then remove the air cleaner... well there are some botls on the valve cover that need to be removed... anyways after the air cleaner is off start loosening all the screws on the top portion of the carb, then lift the top slightly... you don't have to remove the top hat, just rest it back on the carb.. but now is your chance to try and play around with the booster venturies to make sure they are not loose. Sometimes with the top hat installed the venturies don't move as much, but are already loose and are not feeding fuel properly.
    Last edited by A20A1; 08-13-2004 at 12:35 AM.

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