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Macutak

Engine sputter in the top end @ 29 mph

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Macutak

My 2006 vlx is running great every time I take it out. But lately, on the trip to the marina and back, it cuts out when I try and go over 29 mph. I have a fuel filter that I checked and the flow seemed free ( it is 2 years old) and I installed a water separater before the filter and have not changed the filter for two years. I guess I should do both filters before I ask, but I was just curious if anyone has had this problem manifested only in the top end when the gas flow I presume is the greatest. It runs fine for wakeboarding and surfing. I have completely run out the gas and started fresh to make sure it was not old gas or bad gas. Still acts the same. I added an additive to clean the injectors that was recommended to me and that did not take care of it either. Looking for help before our second Lake Powell trip in August. Thanks.

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Bobby Light
My 2006 vlx is running great every time I take it out. But lately, on the trip to the marina and back, it cuts out when I try and go over 29 mph. I have a fuel filter that I checked and the flow seemed free ( it is 2 years old) and I installed a water separater before the filter and have not changed the filter for two years. I guess I should do both filters before I ask, but I was just curious if anyone has had this problem manifested only in the top end when the gas flow I presume is the greatest. It runs fine for wakeboarding and surfing. I have completely run out the gas and started fresh to make sure it was not old gas or bad gas. Still acts the same. I added an additive to clean the injectors that was recommended to me and that did not take care of it either. Looking for help before our second Lake Powell trip in August. Thanks.

I think you answered your own question. Change that fuel filter. Check your plugs as well, I'll bet they're burned on the ends. Change them out with these NGK's they burn a little hotter and will give you back that power you've been missing.

http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1042 (fuel filter)

http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=765 (spark plugs)

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electricjohn

It could also be a fuel pressure regulation problem.

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Ndawg12
My 2006 vlx is running great every time I take it out. But lately, on the trip to the marina and back, it cuts out when I try and go over 29 mph. I have a fuel filter that I checked and the flow seemed free ( it is 2 years old) and I installed a water separater before the filter and have not changed the filter for two years. I guess I should do both filters before I ask, but I was just curious if anyone has had this problem manifested only in the top end when the gas flow I presume is the greatest. It runs fine for wakeboarding and surfing. I have completely run out the gas and started fresh to make sure it was not old gas or bad gas. Still acts the same. I added an additive to clean the injectors that was recommended to me and that did not take care of it either. Looking for help before our second Lake Powell trip in August. Thanks.

I think you answered your own question. Change that fuel filter. Check your plugs as well, I'll bet they're burned on the ends. Change them out with these NGK's they burn a little hotter and will give you back that power you've been missing.

http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1042 (fuel filter)

http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=765 (spark plugs)

Wow, are those plugs the platinum ones that we need? That's half the price that I've seen anywhere!!

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Macutak

I have a set of those spark plugs that I have never installed. I will go ahead with the filter and water separater and see what that does and then try the spark plugs. I will let you know which one does the trick. Thanks for the Answers.

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Macutak

OK, I changed the water separater and when we turned it over in a bucket, it had lake Powell sand all in it. How? I have never fueled in a windstorm. Anyway, I thought it would fix it and we took her out today and found I still get a sputter and a check engine light, but now it is more up around 31 mph. I can get up to 40, but not without an eventual sputter and check engine signal. I hit E and it clears it and I go on my way. I get a couple sputters before the check engine comes on. So once again, I am back to troubleshooting. Any ideas? My son ran it down to empty and I heard that is not good for the fuel pump, but I thought a fuel pump stops completely when it fails. We spent the whole day on Willard Bay today and wakeboarded, surfed, and had a great time, but I did not push it once I learned it was still acting up. Any ideas?

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Bobby Light
OK, I changed the water separater and when we turned it over in a bucket, it had lake Powell sand all in it. How? I have never fueled in a windstorm. Anyway, I thought it would fix it and we took her out today and found I still get a sputter and a check engine light, but now it is more up around 31 mph. I can get up to 40, but not without an eventual sputter and check engine signal. I hit E and it clears it and I go on my way. I get a couple sputters before the check engine comes on. So once again, I am back to troubleshooting. Any ideas? My son ran it down to empty and I heard that is not good for the fuel pump, but I thought a fuel pump stops completely when it fails. We spent the whole day on Willard Bay today and wakeboarded, surfed, and had a great time, but I did not push it once I learned it was still acting up. Any ideas?

Change that inline fuel filter and spark plugs and I'll bet you your problem goes away.

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Baddog

If you had sand in the filter you may have had some go further down the line and that can be a challenge to resolve.

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WakeGirl
OK, I changed the water separater and when we turned it over in a bucket, it had lake Powell sand all in it. How? I have never fueled in a windstorm. Anyway, I thought it would fix it and we took her out today and found I still get a sputter and a check engine light, but now it is more up around 31 mph. I can get up to 40, but not without an eventual sputter and check engine signal. I hit E and it clears it and I go on my way. I get a couple sputters before the check engine comes on. So once again, I am back to troubleshooting. Any ideas? My son ran it down to empty and I heard that is not good for the fuel pump, but I thought a fuel pump stops completely when it fails. We spent the whole day on Willard Bay today and wakeboarded, surfed, and had a great time, but I did not push it once I learned it was still acting up. Any ideas?

No, not necessarily. Have you heard noise from it? Fuel pump failures are common enough & can exhibit many of the problems that you've got. Do you have a way to check fuel pressure? That will be a start.

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Macutak

My Mechanic taught me how to put a paperclip in the conection for the computer hookup to a GM car and when you turn the key, you get a flashing light that blinks out code numbers that match to the problem you are having. Its a cheap version of paying to hook up to the computer at the dealers shop. I just wondered if there was a similar hookup on a Malibu. I see unused plugs off of the wiring harness here and there and have wondered if one of them could reveal the secret codes. Probably just tell me what I already know, that I have fuel starvation issues. I will move on to the inline filter I bought and change my spark plugs before I move on to the more difficult fuel pressure issues. Thanks. I will let you know.

Edited by Macutak

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WakeGirl

Yeah probably a good place to start. FYI, when you have it running, listen for squeal or any noise from the fuel pump that doesn't sound normal. If you find that that's the case (particularly if it's squealing) then that's very probably your culprit.

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Macutak

OK, guys. I now have changed the inline fuel filter and it is still doing it but more like when I go past 35mph. I have the new spark plugs and was doping everything one at a time so I would know for sure which one was the fix. Next will be the spark plugs. I do hear a high whine, but it seems that it always does that and I just assumed it was my boats way of singing when it was happy. So I guess I will take a spare fuel pump down with me to Lake Powell. Any ideas on whether that fuel pump ought to come from the dealer or whether it can be purchased online? I am not a OEM purist for the most part. Only when the part really does not last as long.

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XTI04

Check the inlet side of the pump, there is a screen that gets dirty and will end up starving the fuel pump. Remove the screen with a small screwdriver and hose it out with some brake cleaner and give it a try.

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nuttyskier2002
OK, I changed the water separater and when we turned it over in a bucket, it had lake Powell sand all in it. How? I have never fueled in a windstorm. Anyway, I thought it would fix it and we took her out today and found I still get a sputter and a check engine light, but now it is more up around 31 mph. I can get up to 40, but not without an eventual sputter and check engine signal. I hit E and it clears it and I go on my way. I get a couple sputters before the check engine comes on. So once again, I am back to troubleshooting. Any ideas? My son ran it down to empty and I heard that is not good for the fuel pump, but I thought a fuel pump stops completely when it fails. We spent the whole day on Willard Bay today and wakeboarded, surfed, and had a great time, but I did not push it once I learned it was still acting up. Any ideas?

No, not necessarily. Have you heard noise from it? Fuel pump failures are common enough & can exhibit many of the problems that you've got. Do you have a way to check fuel pressure? That will be a start.

WakeGirl is right on. Pumps don't always manifest themselves by just quiting all of a sudden. Many times they lose pressure and you won't know there's an issue until the demand for fuel increases. You can purchase a fuel pressure test gauge from Mac Tools or Snap On to test the pressure and fuel delivery. If you still have this issue after replacing plugs and all your filters,... I'd make this my next step. The test kit comes with various adapters and can be used on many vehicles (not just boats).

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Macutak

Just thought I would close this up for those who care to know. I never had to install the new fuel pump. I started putting some sea foam through the gas tank and it finally cleared up. I was clued in when I went to put some gas in and saw some water drops in the filler neck. It turns out the Gas Cap I replaced used to have a rubber seal which I forgot to get and I have been surfing and leaking a little bit a water in every time the waves splash up when we have it on a 15 degree tilt by sitting someone on the board rack. (This makes an awesome wake by the way). So if your search pulls up this thread...put in the sea foam before you start buying fuel pumps and such. $6.99 a bottle at Checker Auto on sale and so I bought a case. Notworthy.gif

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NorCaliBu

If you had so much water in your tank that you could see it, you may want to check the fuel filter / water separator again. Yes.gif A ~$10 filter element is cheap insurance.

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Ndawg12
Just thought I would close this up for those who care to know. I never had to install the new fuel pump. I started putting some sea foam through the gas tank and it finally cleared up. I was clued in when I went to put some gas in and saw some water drops in the filler neck. It turns out the Gas Cap I replaced used to have a rubber seal which I forgot to get and I have been surfing and leaking a little bit a water in every time the waves splash up when we have it on a 15 degree tilt by sitting someone on the board rack. (This makes an awesome wake by the way). So if your search pulls up this thread...put in the sea foam before you start buying fuel pumps and such. $6.99 a bottle at Checker Auto on sale and so I bought a case. Notworthy.gif

Oops!! :Doh: glad you got it figured out. Thumbup.gif

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