2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Synchros shot? Weird noises while shifting? Not sure what needs to be replaced?
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2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:20 am

For the past several months I have noticed the engine will seem to cut out for a split second every now and then. It might not happen for a few days or so, but then one day it might happen 5 or 6 times in a few miles. It feels like the engine quits for a split second as the truck will jerkily slow for an instant. Shop drove it around with some diagnostic device hooked up and it didn't do it. Mostly notice on freeway and I think generally after engine is somewhat warmed up.

As far as I know the truck, which has over 150,000 miles has original plugs, wires, coil pack(s) (don't think it has a distributor), crank and/or cam position sensors, computer brain module, etc. We bought the truck around 78,000 miles and the owner did not indicate having done anything beyond oil changes, and the only electric components we have replaced on it is battery and alternator. So I am thinking that one of the several electronic components may be the culprit. Since the entire engine seems to cut out, it probably is not the plugs or wires. What could it be? Coil pack(s) I think there are two coil packs, so would both be bad or if one goes bad that would be two cylinders cutting out which might make it feel like whole engine is cutting out. Well, on a 4 cylinder I guess one cylinder cutting out might do that too? Is this something the brain might do (what does GM call it ECU, PCM, ...).
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by IMBoring25 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:06 am

My personal experience with an ECU failure (in a C4 Corvette) was refusal to re-start hot. I'm sure given the complexity of the unit there are other possible failure modes.

I would not rule out fuel pump.

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by Rope-Pusher » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:06 am

I wunce had an issue with throttle position sensor that gave me goofyness when the engine was warm. It's like the fool infection didn't have enough info to squirt in the appropriate amount of fuel. If I tipped in it would cut out, but then catch again if I backed out of the throttle.

I don't know if you can get to see what codes its throwing, but that may point you in a direction other than joining the "Replacement Part of the Week Club"
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:29 pm

Ah yes, fuel pump. They did change out the fuel filter in January. Said it was pretty clogged. Running like that can be hard of the fuel pump bearings I guess, but that is a different response than the cut out, so I think.

What I am trying to do is if it cuts out, step on the accelerator to see if it revives. Problem is the cut out is so brief there is no way to tell. If I could pull a steep hill for a mile I might be able to see if it cuts out under heavy load, but then if it does not, nothing is proved but that maybe it didn't happen during that run.

Notice it most on freeway which suggests that it does cut out under load. Or I don't notice it on the street because of varying speeds and gears, and/or that I just don't do much surface street driving. Maybe take it out to Hines Drive (40 mph and no stops for several miles at a crack) and cruise 40 mph in OD. The truck will pull OD from 40 with light pedal application to increase speed. On Hines Drive I could run 40 mph in 5th (OD), 4th and even 3rd to see how much it cuts out in each scenario.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by IMBoring25 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm

In addition to the symptom being among the possible consequences, that's not far from the age and mileage when the fuel pump in my old GMT400 conked out.

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Wed May 13, 2020 10:22 pm

So I got new plugs and wires installed (this apparently had never been done in 153,000 miles). Took a drive about 10 miles today and it still bucks. Fuel filter is new as I mentioned before, and they did test the fuel pressure and it was good. Next up: Throttle position sensor? Crank sensor?
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by Rope-Pusher » Thu May 14, 2020 8:15 pm

ClutchFork wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:22 pm
So I got new plugs and wires installed (this apparently had never been done in 153,000 miles). Took a drive about 10 miles today and it still bucks. Fuel filter is new as I mentioned before, and they did test the fuel pressure and it was good. Next up: Throttle position sensor? Crank sensor?
Is the Money light on?
Is it throwing any codes?
I saw some S10 forum entries and solutions that worked for some were replacing the fuel pump relay, jiggling wiring to underhood sensors until you made it stumble and then cleaning/replacing that connector, or making sure that the engine has a good ground strap.
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Fri May 15, 2020 12:35 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 8:15 pm
ClutchFork wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:22 pm
So I got new plugs and wires installed (this apparently had never been done in 153,000 miles). Took a drive about 10 miles today and it still bucks. Fuel filter is new as I mentioned before, and they did test the fuel pressure and it was good. Next up: Throttle position sensor? Crank sensor?
Is the Money light on?
Is it throwing any codes?
I saw some S10 forum entries and solutions that worked for some were replacing the fuel pump relay, jiggling wiring to underhood sensors until you made it stumble and then cleaning/replacing that connector, or making sure that the engine has a good ground strap.
Thanks for the good ideas. They looked for codes before and found none. Money light? I am gong to interpret that as a shop where they will keep throwing parts at it, but this shop won't do that. These guys are honest. Well, the fuel pump relay and wiring issues are all considerations. Ground strap should be easy to check and clean up.

My puzzlement is that it only seems to do it at steady speed. So, perhaps it doe it at other speeds but I don't notice because 1) if slowing down/coasting you may not feel it since it is not under load, and 2) if my foot is into it some, it may power through it and not make a noticeable buck? #2 seems less plausible.

Another thing. I read somewhere that a bad engine ground strap can cause excessive bearing wear as the electricity uses the drive train as a path to ground and the electrical activity working on dissimilar metals in bearing / journal interfaces causes pitting and deposition. So best to check that ground strap.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by Rope-Pusher » Fri May 15, 2020 4:08 pm

A friend at work told me one time of a strange smell inside the car - the grease on the clutch pedal bushing was sizzling because the clutch release system was acting as the ground for the powertrain.

The money light is the "Chicken Gin" light on the instrument cluster. Click-n-Clack used to say that unless you want to make payments on your mechanics new boat, you should fix it with a piece of black vinyl electrical tape.

Seriously, sometimes it's OK to take some cheap shots at a problem. Adding a ground strap or replacing a fuel pump relay are both probably relatively easy and cheap. Same goes for jiggling the wiring and fixing bad wires or connections.

After all that stuff, I guess I'd maybe take a shot at the throttle position sensor.

Is this something that will leave you stranded on the side of the highway, a peace of mind issue, or more of an irritation?
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Sat May 16, 2020 2:39 pm

I have the black tape on the "check engine light" (love that "Chicken Gin") since I bought the truck from ClutchDisk. I had it on my Ranger pickup, and think on my F150 before that. Greatest repair tool in the kit. AFAIK, the Chicken Gin light is a USEPA scare tactic to induce people to get pollution equipment repaired. The average uninformed consumer sort of freaks if the Chicken Gin light comes on and wheels over to the Stealership ASAP before their precious car has some terrible result.

I was too lazy and time pressed to crawl under the truck but did put the ohm meter on the truck and got 0.01 at the 20k setting between the negative terminal of the battery and the valve cover, so I don't think electrical leakage is a problem. I may have a small vacuum leak as under heavy accel the defrost will go to vent then switch back when I let off.

So far this problem is a minor to medium irritation, but no idea if someday it could leave me at the side of the road, and that is no relief either because typically after towing it to a shop, it will fire right up. Been through it several times before on Ferds where the culprit usually was the Ignition module.

Ironically, the bucking would be less irritating with a slushbox because the juice would take up much of the buck shock. However, I ain't going there if they gave me a gold watch to go with it!

BTW here is my shop, it is 1 in a million for honesty and compentency!
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by Rope-Pusher » Sat May 16, 2020 2:57 pm

Well there's your problem. Your truck aint a Red Ford.

If it's related to getting warm, I've had a Generous Motors ignition module act up when it warmed up.....but that was on a '74 Potniac Grand Safari wagon we called all 5078 Lbs and 130" of Wheelbase "The Great White Whale"
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Sat May 16, 2020 4:30 pm

Rope-Pusher wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:57 pm
Well there's your problem. Your truck aint a Red Ford.

If it's related to getting warm, I've had a Generous Motors ignition module act up when it warmed up.....but that was on a '74 Potniac Grand Safari wagon we called all 5078 Lbs and 130" of Wheelbase "The Great White Whale"
Ignition module in 1974? I thought they were all breaker points back in those days. So your Great White Whale must have been a very early electronic ignition full of bugs and likely was intended to make the car run after the engine was retrofitted with makeshift pollution control devices.

Also, from an earlier post, wiggling wires of sensors and connectors under hood may not work as the cut out happens at road speed.
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by watkins » Mon May 18, 2020 10:08 am

ClutchFork wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:39 pm
I have the black tape on the "check engine light" (love that "Chicken Gin") since I bought the truck from ClutchDisk. I had it on my Ranger pickup, and think on my F150 before that. Greatest repair tool in the kit. AFAIK, the Chicken Gin light is a USEPA scare tactic to induce people to get pollution equipment repaired.
So your CEL has been on but you haven't bothered to check the codes? May as well throw money in a fire at that point. The whole OBD system exists for a reason, and it's incredibly stupid not to use the information that may be available for you.

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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by ClutchFork » Mon May 18, 2020 6:38 pm

watkins wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:08 am
ClutchFork wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:39 pm
I have the black tape on the "check engine light" (love that "Chicken Gin") since I bought the truck from ClutchDisk. I had it on my Ranger pickup, and think on my F150 before that. Greatest repair tool in the kit. AFAIK, the Chicken Gin light is a USEPA scare tactic to induce people to get pollution equipment repaired.
So your CEL has been on but you haven't bothered to check the codes? May as well throw money in a fire at that point. The whole OBD system exists for a reason, and it's incredibly stupid not to use the information that may be available for you.
Don't need a CEL. If the vehicle is not running right the shop will pull the codes. Often they don't get any meaningful codes, just the one that keeps the light on which I think was a leaky evap assembly some pollution thing that they said might be a lot of time/cost to figure out--not worth it to turn the light out, so tape it off. The did not get any codes when I took it in for the bucking either.
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Re: 2001 S10 2.2L engine cuts out on freeway

Post by Rope-Pusher » Mon May 18, 2020 8:57 pm

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42yGK7pvgVc[/youtube]

"Buck Buck" ain't got nothin' ta do with Chickens!
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