2003 Savana - Stalling out


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Sep 22, 2016
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I have a 2003 GMC Savana 6.0 V8.

I started having this problem several years ago. The van will idle very low and then stall out. So, if I keep it alive long enough to get out of my driveway, I will stall out while pulling up to the stop sign at the end of the street. Driving two-footed to keep it alive is the work-around. There is NO check engine light.

The van acts normally after a while. But on days like today, it took several trips before "a while" came. Sometimes it's bad until we get on the freeway and is fine the rest of the day. When it stalls out, nothing works, no steering, no brakes, nothing. So, it's not good when my wife forgets to drive two-footed and she drifts through a traffic light while holding down the brakes as hard as she can.

What have I tried to fix this? Let me count the ways, Everything I have tried keeps it running between 1-2 months with no problem and then the problem comes back with a vengeance.

  • Replaced Fuel Filter (this was changed a year before the problem started, perhaps need to change again?)
  • Cleaned Mass Airflow Sensor (no change)
  • Cleaned Air intake manifold (it is super clean, helped for a week)
  • Replaced Idle Air Control electronic doo-hickey (Fixed it for about 4 months)
  • O2 Sensors are only about 1 year old
  • Wires and plugs were replaced 3 years ago and the wires were replaced again a year ago when I had problems with a coil pack.
  • A friend tested the fuel pressure and that was fine.
  • Started using Lucas Oil engine cleaner with every fill-up. (had much less problems but still randomly stalling)
  • Started using BP Gas only (with invigorate!) and I had no problems for a month. Then we put in another brand and immediately had problems so we went back to BP.
  • After going back to BP for three full-ups, the van had a very bad day today.

I am clueless as to what to look at next. This is becoming a big problem. I had a friend who spent over $2,000 with mechanics trying to solve this same problem.. his solution? He traded it in.


New member
Sep 2, 2018
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I'm new here (and no native speaker/writer).

I had this problem with an older G20 van
At some occations the car started to shudder on idle and if I was'nt compensating with the accelerator (two-footed), it would die and get really hard to start after stalling.
The easy fix on that was the engine temp sensor for the computer (you got two, one for the gauge and one for the comp.)
That happend as the temp sensor told the computer that the engine temp was -30 degrees and the engine management did overcompensated fuel, that killed it all.
Can be a faulty sensor, bad wiring, oxiding...

Our savanas does'nt have a EGR? as stuck open it can do the same (but I dont think there is one)