Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Vapor Lock?

  1. #1
    DonTom
    Guest

    Vapor Lock?

    In NV, in Clark and Washoe County, cars need to get smogged every year. At least it's fast and cheap, unlike CA.

    Anyway, our 1997 Sebring Convertible (2.5 L V6) is our least used car. Perhaps we put on 1,000 miles per year (or less) on the average. It has a NV plate and I got the notice for my registration, which was waiting in the mailbox in Reno. We have not been at our Reno home for about a month before, so the registration bill was waiting in the mailbox, and it expires in a few days.

    So we had no choice but to drive the car and get it smogged. But first we stopped for lunch. It ran fine until just after lunch, perhaps a half hour later. Outside temperature was near 90F. When we started the car after lunch, it ran VERY rough. It felt like it was running on five (or less ) cylinders before we even put the car in gear. Then we drove it, and for the first mile it was very rough, but after that mile it ran perfectly, just as if nothing ever happened. I was very concerned because we were on the way to get a smoke test and it wasn't going to pass like that. I was expecting the check engine light to come on any second, but it never did. It ran fine on the second half of the way to get a smog test.

    Well, it passed the smog test, but any guesses what might have been wrong? Can vapor lock problems last a full minute of driving and then be okay? What else could have been the problem? I have not seen vapor lock in any vehicle I have owned in the last 20 years or so, and when it used to happen, it was only difficult to start and then be fine. This Sebring started right up but was very rough for at least a full minute of driving. Was this likely to be vapor lock or could it have been something else?

    The car has been used for another 50 miles or so after that and as smooth as can be.

    Any guesses on what was going on?

    -Don-







  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,917

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    Morning!

    Vapor lock is less common these days (thanks to well-designed EFI) and I doubt this is the problem. My guess would be a problem with an injector some problem related to infrequent use, such as water or other contaminant in the fuel, etc.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC, USA
    Posts
    3,628

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    Since it gets driven so infrequently, I would guess stale gasoline.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  4. #4
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    "Since it gets driven so infrequently, I would guess stale gasoline."

    But just for a minute or so after being restarted after a 15 mile drive and half hour wait? And no trace of the problem before and after?

    But bad gasoline was my second guess, and perhaps just a coincidence that it happened exactly right then.

    -Don-


  5. #5
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    My first guess would be a bad spark plug or a dirty injector.

  6. #6
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    "My first guess would be a bad spark plug or a dirty injector."

    The more I think about it, I agree, because it did seem a cylinder or two were not firing and the rest were okay. Also, I wonder about an intermittent ignition coil. IIRC, the Sebring uses three coils for the six cylinders, which would mean two cylinders were not firing, which might have been the case.

    I have not yet checked for anything under the hood. I will drive it the next time we're in Reno and see if it ever happens again.

    -Don-

  7. #7
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    The coil may be the best guess yet. You have perfectly described their failure mode...heat soak, non-firing, then resuming when they are cooled a little.

  8. #8
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    We drove the Sebring a lot in the last few days. No sign of any problem. And it has been hot.

    -Don-

  9. #9
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Vapor Lock?

    Still been driving the Sebring every time we're in Reno. The car has been perfect, so whatever was wrong seems to not be happening any more. And we've had plenty of hot days.

    I am beginning to wonder if it was some bad gasoline (no, Eric, not because it's old!)

    -Don-

Similar Threads

  1. Anit-lock brakes?
    By eesquared in forum Powder Puffs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-06-2011, 08:40 AM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-01-2007, 02:34 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •