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Old 10-17-2019, 03:58 PM   #1
Gunn
 
Drives: Chevrolet Camaro LT (V6)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
2011 V6 simply stalls while in motion

Hey everyone, I have been scouring this forum for weeks now, and the entire internet for that matter trying to figure out what my problem is. While there are numerous threads on the Camaro stalling while driving, there are pretty much no posts that detail their solutions! The original posters just let the thread die. So here I am asking again for help please!

My 17y.o. daughter has a 2011 Camaro LT V6 automatic that we purchased in March. Loves, loves, loves the car. All about the car. But now she is afraid to drive it. And I don't blame her one bit. It started out with a surging, or hesitation, or bucking during driving. Once or twice a trip a couple of months ago. It was like the car wanted to downshift when under a slight load (like going up a slight incline), but couldn't. Stepping harder on the gas would have it upshift and the problem would go away. I changed the transmission fluid, and did other normal maintenance like new plugs, air filter, etc. Problem seemed to go away.

Then one day she was in reverse leaving a parking spot, slowing rolling backward. It simply stalled. She started it right back up and that was that. Then a few weeks later it happened again. Then the surging/bucking came back. And it began happening often. The check engine light came on at some point, and there were a lot of codes, mostly dealing with a #2 misfire (a residual effect of stalling or bucking?). So I changed the coils. No more misfire codes. But still lots of stalling.

I have messed with it the last couple of days and have driven it. I can get it to stall very often. Last night in troubleshooting it, I stalled it maybe 10 times. 8 of those times were in reverse at very slow speed. Either idling, slowly accelerating, or decelerating will all do it.

There is nothing to let you know it's coming. It runs beautifully, and then just simply shuts off. When it happens, all of the lights stay on, the dash stays lit, the stereo stays powered on. However, in reverse, the reverse lights will go out. Brake and tail lights will stay on, just reverse lights extinguish.

I have also cleaned with MAF sensor with CRC cleaner, no change.

Checked the battery. 12.6 Volts across the terminals when the car is shut off. 765CCA advertised, tested at 914CCA. Connections were secure.

I have a bluetooth OBDII device and the Torque Pro app and have been charting various parameters (MAF, RPM, Fuel pressure, etc.) but have not found any reasons for the stall, yet.

We have also removed ALL keys from the key ring based on forum comments. Just the key (no fob, etc). No change.

When the car misses/hesitants/jerks/bucks, a faint "click-click" can be heard behind the driver side dash, to the left of the steering wheel. No idea what that is (a relay?).

Sometimes it may have something to do with the steering wheel moving when it stalls (like turning while idling)...but this is probably just because of the load increase on the engine. I doubt anything with the steering could cause a stall?!

So that's where I'm at. Can anyone recommend any ideas, any results from their dead posts, troubleshooting advise, etc? I promise I will update this post with the fix...once I figure it out!

My daughter hates driving anything else besides her beloved Camaro, and she is sad that she is not well. Anything you can help with would be greatly appreciated!

Tom

Last edited by Gunn; 10-18-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:33 AM   #2
Gunn
 
Drives: Chevrolet Camaro LT (V6)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
So last night, it happened again, this time much worse. My wife had driven the car and as she was pulling onto a main road, it stalled. In neutral she attempted to start it. It wouldn't start. She pulled off to the side as much as possible (no shoulder) and kept trying. She said 5-7 cranks of about 4-5 seconds each with no luck. Praying, she shut the whole thing off, removed the key and then tried again. It started. She took off.

Check engine light on this time, and after a short bit, the car went into limp mode reduced power and wouldn't let her go over 40mph. She took back roads home. Also Stabilitrack was disabled, and even the TPMS light on the dash illuminated, even though all tire pressures seemed fine.

I pulled the codes (11 of them, 5 repeated). The 6 unique ones:

P0341 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0366 camshaft position sensor
P0346 camshaft position sensor
P0391 camshaft position sensor
P0652 (not repeated) Sensor Reference Voltage B Circuit Low
P2138 Throttle/Pedal Pos Sensor Voltage Correlation DTC

Surely can't be all of these sensors failing. 3 of the 4 camshaft position sensors are noted. Maybe something in common?

Then I found this video:


Title has exact symptoms, discussion has nearly the same identical codes thrown.

Going to dive into it tonight and test the +5V reference at a camshaft position sensor and go from there....

Anyone have similar behavior?!!
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:35 AM   #3
Elite Engineering


 
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Hi Tom,


Your 2011 has the LLT V6, GM's first release of a V6 version of the 3.6L engine. Your not throwing any codes is a bit puzzling, but here are the most common causes:


Low engine oil!!!! Check weekly on the dipstick as there is NO low oil warning light on these!!!! Most of these engines use oil due to poor ring seating when new and carbon/varnish buildup in the ring lands cause rings to stick and not seal properly.


Timing chain stretch/wear. GM specified the cheap syn blend oils in these until recently, and all GDI engine experience many times the fuel dilution and abrasive particulate matter shed from intake valve deposits mixing with the engine oil resulting in premature wear issues. But this is almost always indicated with CEL's on cam position vs crankshaft, etc. This can occur in as little as 30k miles, and some get over 100k miles.


Intake valve coking. This requires removing the intake manifold and cleaning the backsides manually. If you search here there are a couple great threads on doing this. Caution! do NOT use a engine running solvent based cleaning on these!!! The damage to the pistons and cylinder walls from loosening the hard crystalline deposits is not good. Those are safe on older port injection engines, but NOT today's GDI engines. This first shows up as soon as 20-30k miles if full synthetic oil is not used, and do not run the super thin viscosity oils. ONLY a full synthetic and Amsoil 5w50 is out favorite but any good 5w40 or better will give the protection needed. Our E2-X catchcan system prevents up to 85% of this and also keeps the engine oil cleaner far longer as this oil analysis shows:


And this is also important:


On the passenger side valve cover at the rear of it is a hard plastic line that connects to the top center of the intake manifold. There is a tab to push and it will disconnect from the PCV fixed orifice barb. This needs to be modified to the size of the 2013 and up design. Grasp the base with a pliers and twist while pulling straight up. You will most likely see it totally clogged. Drill the bottom 2 holes to 5/64" and the top one hole to 1/8". Clean and re seat back into the valve cover.


And as always, reach out to our Engineering and Technical support team of Engineers for any questions on GDI engines and more:


Tech@EliteEngineeringUSA.com
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
Gunn
 
Drives: Chevrolet Camaro LT (V6)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
Thanks for the reply. I did indeed check the engine oil and had to add about a 1/4 quart of so from the last time it was changed (by me). I am using Mobil full synthetic 5W-30.

btw, I thought this engine is the same one used in, for example, the 2009 GMC Acadia, which is also a 3.6l. Is that not a V6, or a different engine?

I am worried about the timing chain issues, as our car has 127k on it. But I don't think that's the problem...

And thanks for the PCV orifice issue; I had just recently come across that in all of my reading. I will definitely check that out.

So after a weekend of more testing, after the event on Friday I used by OBD2 scanner to look at the Freeze Frame data from the engine codes that were there from Friday's event. The data was recorded two seconds after engine start, but everything looked OK except for a "Accelerator Pedal Position C" and "Accelerator Pedal Position D" being way off from one another. That seems odd.

I started it up on Saturday and it started and idled fine. All of the lights pertaining to PTMS and Stabilitrack and traction control as reported above were gone. I cleared the codes from the CEL and took it for a test drive. I was able to get it to stall 3-4 times in just a few minutes, again mostly in reverse. So then I set out to test the +5V reference voltage on the camshaft position sensors as the video above showed.

The two outer wires on the cam sensor are the voltage wires (the light green being +). I was getting +4.99V with the engine on but not running. I then proceeded to grab and wiggle the wiring harness that the video specified. Couldn't get it to budge from +4.99V. I really pushed and pulled, trying to get my hands on any wiring bundle I could all around and moved it back and forth. No change.

And then I took it for a test drive again with my Torque app recording data from the bluetooth OBD2 reader. This time I could NOT get it to stall in reverse in the driveway. So I took it for a drive which would either (a) stall it, or (b) cause it to stumble/jerk/buck. Couldn't get either to happen! It ran great. I would have 100% had it stall multiple times any day previous. I parked it overnight.

On Sunday, took it for another drive while recording data. Drove about 30 minutes. Did NOT happen once!

So I let my daughter drive it to school this morning. After she got there I called her. It ran beautifully! Again, it would have definitely had problems at this point.

So while I was leaning an electrical problem all along, I am even more confident now. And I am guessing there may be a short or something in that wiring harness running over the passenger side rear of the engine. And I do know it will probably come back...

I think this because each time I got it to buck/jerk/hesitate, as I mentioned I would also hear a click-click behind the instrument panel. Like a mechanical relay or something. Weird I know, but makes me think electrical instead of say, transmission, etc.

Anyone have any comments based on this latest info? Anyone else have issues with the wiring harness or ground connections on top of the engine, etc.?

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:32 AM   #5
Gunn
 
Drives: Chevrolet Camaro LT (V6)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
Update, as of today the car is still running perfectly and it's been driven quite a bit. I'm pretty darn confident that something in that engine harness (or ground) was/is the problem and I fixed it (temporarily) by wiggling the wire harness around so much. That was -all- I did that day between it stalling, and now running perfectly.

If it does occur again, I'll try the same technique and dig deeper into the harness. If that fixes it, I may look into replacing that harness (~$240.00) if I can't find the specific problem.

Tom
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:07 PM   #6
Gunn
 
Drives: Chevrolet Camaro LT (V6)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
Update: Over the past week or so, the car slowly began to exhibit the same symptoms all over again. First one abrupt hesitation while underway (usually in a right-hand curve with small acceleration!), then another. Then, it stalled while in reverse. All the same things.

Check engine light also came, then went off, then on again. Code pending and confirmed were P0037 "HO2S Bank 1 Sensor 2". Maybe the wiring to this device is the prime suspect...? I looked around this sensor, but no obvious signs of wire laying on the exhaust, etc. While I was in there, I gently grabbed the main engine harness at the largest collection of wires, behind the engine on the passenger side. I wiggled it slowly, nothing more forceful like before. I didn't want to disturb anything before I could more closely inspect that O2 sensor, etc. I didn't find any issues, so gave up for the day.

That was on Saturday. It's now Wednesday and the car has run beautifully since! It HAS to be something in that harness at the junction of a mess of wires.

It's going to be a bear to untape all that and see what's up. I'm considering replacing the entire engine harness...~$235.00 for a new one. I assume it would take me all flippin' day to replace it though... But in the meantime, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, unless someone else can tell me if this has happened to them (I know you're out there!) and can tell me what fixed it.

Tom
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:46 PM   #7
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You could try putting the harness connectors on and off 3 times, then apply die electric grease to the terminals and see if that works.
It worked on an SSE Bonneville I had.
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