'88 88 quit after braking - Oldsmobile Forum - Oldsmobile Enthusiasts Forums


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Old 08-18-2017, 11:48 AM
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Default '88 88 quit after braking

I have a very clean 1988 88 with a 3.8L. I rarely drive it. I went to start it after it had been sitting in a garage for a year and it started right up as usual. I recharged the air so that was cranking nice and cold and I decided to drive it around the driveway (I have a large driveway.) to test the brakes, steering, etc. I wanted to test a hard stop before parking it. I was going less than 5 mph and I stopped it quick. The engine killed and I haven't been able to start it since. I have never had a problem starting it before and I have never had it quit on me.

I got "12" for an error code which means no problem was recorded. I recharged the battery to make sure I have plenty of volts. The engine cranks vigorously.

I doubt that I am getting a spark. I removed the horn from the air cleaner and sprayed ether into it until it poured out of the air cleaner--not even a hiccup when I cranked it.

I disconnected the crank sensor. The plug and pins look brand new. (The entire engine is very clean.) It still wouldn't start after reconnecting it.

I want to check the distributor connector, but I have never removed one on a 3.8. It has a sticky clear "syrup" all over it and the plug doesn't want to come off. I don't want to damage it. I don't see any clips so any tips would be welcome.

I don't think it's the key switch because that wouldn't explain why it died. (Some cars won't get spark while cranking because the key switch won't connect the ignition circuit while cranking.)

The g-force from braking could have jarred something or the anti-lock system did something or.....?
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:52 AM
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Update: I verified no spark. I also figured out how to remove the coil input connector. The clear goo obscured the bolt holding it. A 9/32" socket got it off easily and with all that goo sealing it it was no suprise that it was perfectly clean inside.

Maybe a dead PCM? Could be anything.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:06 PM
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Could there be a bad/blown fuse link or something else electrical related? Know nothing bout the 1988 model year and just taking a wild guess. Do you have a service manual? Does it have an ignition trouble shooting guide? Perhaps the service manual may be accessed online?

Do let us know what you find.
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