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In a bit of a bind!! Car turns off, then on again while running....


Active member
Jan 16, 2002
Austin, Texas

I am having a heck of a day. Driving to work this morning at about 30-40 mph the car just turned itself off then on again. This had happened twice before about a week ago. The last time the car turns completely off and turns back on again, all in about 1 second. This time it turned off about 10 times within a 15 minute time period. Another thing is that at idle the car just turns off. It somewhat feels like a spike in the electrical system (?). I can feel the car rev slightly then it turns off. Fuel is going through the car alright because it starts back up again really easy.

My guess is the coil, I have an Accel coil I have used for about 3 years with no problems. The first time this happened I thought it might have been the (electrical) ignition switch. But I have had problem with that before, but not like this. I really need some suggestions guys. Thanks!!
I had a car once that did that, turns out the wire to positive wires to the altenator were loose.

In my sictuation, the car went totally dead. No radio, lights etc....

Once tight, the thing ran like a dream.

If just the engine goes dead, I think you are probably on the right path with the coil. Loose wires, faulty coil...

good luck,

HEI ignition module

Alternator wires as Kritter says. HEI right ... Check coil to distributor cap connections, main battery ground to frame, ignition switch. But, also consider replacing ignition module inside distributor ... they're cheap & easy to replace.
Read this post

Help 1980 in trouble ( on page 2)

I don't know how to paste the direct link to the article

I did the search and went through all the pages, can't seem to find that post. Help.

Opened up the cap and rotor, they both had soot on it, and contacts on cap were dark. I am going to the whole electrical, will be replacing cap, rotor, module, coil and ignition switch. Will udpate. ahhhhh.

Another question, have you ever gotten so fed up with your vette that you just feel like selling it. I know, I know, blasphemy. But then you look back at those curves and its stance....its a love hate relationship. Just venting.....feel better. i love my vette.

I just had a very similar problem with a (sorry) VW commercial desiel pumping engine on an oxygen trailer. The whole trailer would go dead, work lights and all, then come back on repeatedly. Found voltage across a relay going from 12 to 3 volts and back. Replaced the relay , problem solved.

Is there a relay or breaker in the ignition system on these newer Corvettes?


I had the same thing happen to me a few years back. It turned out for me that my hidden kill switch had a bad solder connection. Reflowed the solder worked fine sense.

As a follow-up to the above prbelm:

I replaced the coil, cap, rotor and condenser. The condenser cover (which covers the wires coming our of the codensor) was completely fried. The cap points had signs of being burned. One thing I did not mention, because I though was not a factor was that the tach needle was very unstable. The needle looked like a metronome. It was constantly moving. This stopped with the new parts. I was thinking it was a filter or something that was causing static. It turned out it was a tall tell sign that the coil and its buddies were bad. The needle had done that before, but the car had never turned off like it did on Thursday. I will run the car like that next week. I did not change the ignition switch. I am trying to isolate the problem. I will however go down the list of suggestions everyone made to make sure everything else is okay.

Thanks, I hope this helps others. I will keep you posted.
Check the main battery cable going to the starter and the supporting wires coming off there. If this post is loose, a rattle or bump can cause it to loose contact and shut the car down, another bump and it powers back up. This happened to me once, and is very scary in the dark at 70mph on a narrow country road.

Went through the list of above mentioned "look for"'s. It turned out it was the distributor electronics. The car has been running fine with the new components. There is a noticable difference in idle and overall feel with the stock unit though. Will upgrade to Accel as soon as budget allows. Thanks for your input guys, I really appreciate it!!!

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