SHARE

Question: 1995 Chevy Impala

My 1995 Chevy Impala LT1 stalls at idle sometimes. I’ve had a scanner hooked up to it before that has gotten error codes indicating the right side (according to Haynes manual) or passenger side, I presume, O2 sensor needs replacing. Happened at 90,000 miles. Haven’t been able to remove it (frozen on) yet. Car still runs okay, but an independent O2 sensor (3rd) I installed in the “H”-pipe exhaust shows some leaning conditions at idle.

Ever heard of the possibility of cleaning up O2 sensors after removal? Could it be fuel injectors? How about cleaning these up after removal, like soaking them in something? Could it be the PCM? I just don’t trust the brain and scanner set-up. Had an ignition failure prior and was chasing all sorts of misinformation with it. Turned out to just be a bad aftermarket ignition wire.

Bill Ricker

Answer:

I’ve heard of cleaning O2 sensors, I just never heard of it working. Same for fuel injectors. The injectors need to be installed in the vehicle for any chance of a cleaning to work. It’s the pressurized cleaning solution that does the work, not just the solution by itself.

If the O2 sensor is indicating a lean condition, then the O2 sensor is working. If I had the actual DTC I could give you more information on it. It sounds to me like you’re killing the messenger because of the message. I would spend my time looking for the source of the lean condition, vacuum leaks or possibly a bad Coolant Temperature Sensor.

Like any other tool you need to understand how a scan tool works and how to interpret the data it’s giving you.

Question: 2000 Dodge Caravan

The serpentine belt on my 2000 Dodge Caravan recently broke while driving. I replaced the belt, but could not get it to restart. I tried jumping it, but it only gave a high-pitched squeal while trying to turn over. I took the starter to get checked just in case and that was fine, any other suggestions?

Thank you,

Craig Sander

Answer:

I honestly don’t see how a serpentine belt will keep an engine from starting. Since you took the starter out to have it tested is telling me the engine is not cranking. I don’t see what that would have to do with the belt.

Without being able to hear the noise I would have to guess it could be a bad flywheel and what you are hearing is the teeth of the starter grinding the teeth of the flywheel. It’s also possible the engine is seized. What you can do is put a socket and ratchet on the crankshaft bold and try to turn the engine by hand. If it turns then you probably have a bad flywheel.

If it turns then take the starter out and look at the flywheel. Use a marker to mark the flywheel and have someone turn the engine while you watch the flywheel. If you see any damaged teeth then the flywheel will need to be replaced.