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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First I want to thank ghnl, spiderseries4, vintre, jcslocum and the others who helped me trouble shoot the problem.

You can find the details of the discussions here:

To summarize: the vehicle would run rich out of the blue. Sputtering, nearly stalling, the smell of unburned fuel...etc., at the suggestion of helpful members I inspected, clean or replaced various components to no avail.

In the end, the problem was this: and I'm no mechanic so bear with me....

Apparently within the mass air flow sensor component, there is a flap which behaves similar to a gate. This gate opens and closes based on the volume of air being delivered to the mass airflow component. A sensor, inside the mass airflow component, tells the fuel injection system how much fuel to deliver to the cylinders, thereby delivering the appropriate amount of fuel and air.

In my case, the gate would stick and therefore the sensor was sending an erroneous message to the fuel injection system. It was a essentially telling the fuel injection system that more fuel was needed, causing it to run rich.

What the shop did was cleaned and lubricated the flap, replaced an air filter and an O2 sensor. (The O2 sensor was their first guess but it was not the problem).

Now, again, I am not a mechanic and I may not have the technical sequences down but, as of now, the car is running perfectly.

I might be imagining things but the problem wasn't manifesting itself as much as the weather cooled.....maybe the weather fixed it and I shouldn't be so quick to call it fixed... In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy running around in our beautiful 60-70 degree weather!

Thanks again guys!
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