I own a 89 4cyl. 2.3 lite. Im not a mechanic, i like my car, but it dies on me often when i put the automatic transmission in gear. I dont work on cars much but my mechanic tuned it up and adjusted the timing belt a little. Does anyone have any suggestions. It died on me twice in heavy traffic. Its unsafe. Even though it dies alot, it starts back up every time and eventually gets me back home. I have put alot of money into maintanence of the car, and repairs, and upgrades. I have no intentions of restoring it. I just want to fix the problem of it dying and it will be a nice car to drive. Suggestions?
Welcome. The symptoms you describe (if the car runs smoothly/well up until it dies) suggests low fuel volume. Change the fuel filter and then check the fuel pressure if you are able to borrow a fuel pressure gauge from an auto parts store. If the auto parts store cannot tell you what the pressure should be, most libraries have a set of auto repair manuals in their reference section...take a few dollars change and make copies of the pages you need. Happy hunting!
There are a lot of things that can cause a dying problem. The very first thing you should do is pull codes and see what comes up. If you do not know how to do this, you can search this site for calling codes using a paperclip. The procedure is the same for your car as it is for the 5 L cars.
if I were just to guess at your problem, I would lean towards a faulty idle air control. Sometimes you can clean them but often they do you just need to be replaced. If The car is fairly neglected then it is never a bad idea to do a regular tuneup with spark plugs and new plug wires. Also I would consider cleaning the throttle body to make sure it is not causing the throttle plate to bind.