1999 olds 88 stalling

Asked by Dec 31, 2014 at 01:10 AM about the 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight 4 Dr LS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1999 olds 88. It idles very rough, RPM's go up and down quickly and
eventually the car dies. Car dies when I slow down or come to a stop. Also when I am
sitting at stop sign with my foot on the brake if feels like some one is pushing on the
gas like I am trying to do a big burnout. No check engine light on. I brought it to the
shop, 2 different ones and no codes were found. Sometimes when it dies it sounds like
it is backfiring. It always restarts but sometime it takes a while as if it was flooded.
Where should I begin to look for the issue?  I have no knowlege of cars and limited
income so do not want to just start replacing things.

4 Answers

I want to add...I bought this car from an older gentleman who was the original owner. I have all the service records and receipts from all the repairs done. The car has 223,000 miles on it and I have put on about 10,000 of those. This issue started about half way through those. The man I bought it from has passed away so I can not ask him if it has had this issue in the past. the exhaust does smell pretty rich when it idles, fuel is at about 22mpg.


Sounds like a bad IAC (Idle Air Control) valve. When was it last tuned up? It should be tuned up every 100,000 miles. The throttle plates may be dirty as well. Lastly, check your air filter. That should be changed every 30 months or 30,000 miles. Whichever comes first. HTH. -Jim


Is is right about the air valve and tune condition. These engines are known for intake manifold trouble, you may want to check with some of your friends, see if they have any knowledge or maybe they know of someone that is willing to help, dealing with car problems on limited income is tough and most shops anymore won't even look at a car for under a 100 bucks. Ask around who knows you might find a new friend that likes working on cars for food and beer, I know I use too when I was much younger.


I know the answer..... Its an electrical short that can (as mine now does) be heard tripping on and off erratically pretty much throughout the entire vehicle. Snapping and popping as it flips every other relay switch, fuse and pathway it can touch. Does the oil gauge flip high to low as well? Its a design flaw or defect from Buick that's in the steering ignition but grounds everywhere throughout the wiring in the Colum. doesn't do anything that sets any code and it changes every time you turn the key to on. If it doesn't start, turn the key back off and back on. listen for the fuel pump and normal sounds when you turn key on. if they sound right it might start. If it doesn't, do it again... and again.....

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