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The engine runs while starting because the spark plugs are getting electricity from the battery via the ignition coil and distributor. When the key leaves the start position to go back to the normal "run" position, the spark plugs must get their energy from the alternator. I would start with the alternator (probably the most common part to go bad), you can test it or remove it and take it to Advance Auto or one of the parts places and they can test it. If it is bad then replace, else put it back on. If your problem isn't fixed at this point then you will want to have it towed to a shop or buy a 68 Cutlass/442 shop manual from Ebay or (if you want to learn how to fix this yourself). The next steps are a little more involved, checking the voltage regulator, alternator circuit, ignition switch etc. If it just started doing this one day, and you didnt do anything to it ;), then its probably 80-90% likely to be a bad alternator.

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2011-09-13 17:13:16
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Q: Why would a 1968 Olds 442 only run when the starter is being turned over and stall instantly once the key is no longer in the start position?
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