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Thread: issues with 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2020

    Default issues with 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

    Ok, so here is the problem I'm facing. my '88 cutlass ciera with 3.8L engine is acting up. It sputters and stumbles when driving, sometimes dying completely. It always restarts. Sometimes when you start it the engine immediately dies unless you goose the gas. I suspected the fuel pump at first, upon checking fuel pressure I'm seeing around 30psi on idle, it does dip a few psi when giving it gas but never below 26 to 28. engine off it sits around 35. tested fuel pressure regulator and its is functioning correctly.

    I got a service engine light today and pulled the code. Code was 34 which when I searched for it came up as a MAP sensor code. to my knowledge there doesn't seem to be a MAP sensor just the MAF sensor inline with the intake. Is that correct? Maybe I just found the wrong definition. I cleaned the MAF and tested it. it seems to be working correctly, its only a couple years old itself.

    What am I missing? I don't know where to look next. I don't even know if the fuel pressure readings I got are correct as when I searched for the specs I keep finding conflicting information. Does anyone know if those readings are in spec?

  2. #2

    Pontiac6ksteawd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Brighton, CO
    GMC Envoy XUV, Pontiac Aztek GT


    With the engine running, and at full operating temp, take the back end of a screwdriver, and tap it firmly against the flat blade side of the MAF. If the engine stumbles, or shuts off, your MAF is bad.
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    West Jefferson, OH


    Fuel pressure should be 40-45 psi at all times, depending on engine vacuum. 45 psi with the vacuum removed from the pressure regulator. You can pinch off the return fuel hose to look for for a significant increase in fuel pressure. If there is, the regulator is faulty. If not, the pump is failing or the filter is plugged up.

    I've seen false MAF codes due to a lack of power from low fuel pressure. When the throttle angle doesn't jive with engine rpm and airflow through the MAF, it can confuse the ecm.

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

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