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Camaro has no power


waaland's Avatar
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08-26-02, 12:01 PM   #1  
waaland
Camaro has no power

Vehicle: 1989 Chevrolet Camaro RS, 305 ci. with TBI and automatic transmission.

Problem: Vehicle has no pickup. Can reach 70 mph but must accelerate very slowly. Too much gas pedal results in slowing of engine. Mechanic thought problem with fuel pressure (bad fuel pump. When mechanic supplied his own fuel source (some sort of pressurized fuel delivery machine) car seemed to run fine when throttle was opened. When cars fuel system was reconnected, opening throttle results in a hesitation and a "bogged down" sound. If accelerator is backed off, enging will then slowly accelerate. To much throttle, too soon results in "bogged down" sound.

Repairs:
A) Car did not run at all:
1) Replaced Throttle Position sensor.
2) Removed catalitic converter (was clogged).
Car then ran but experienced the "no power problem"

B) For the "no power problem"
1) Replaced fuel pump and strainer (located in gas tank).
2) Replaced fuel filter.
3) Replaced fuel relay.
4) Mechanic checked that both fuel injectors functioning properly.

Check engine code of 54 began to show up and mechanic suggested possible problem with oil pressure switch.
5) Replaced oil and oil filter.
6) Replace oil pressure switch (was difinately bad - was leaking and oil pressure guage registered significantly higher pressure once replaced.

Car still has no pickup. Still boggs down if I try to accelerate too quickly. Makes no difference if engine is cold, warm, or hot.

What next?


Last edited by waaland; 08-27-02 at 12:07 PM.
 
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08-26-02, 02:19 PM   #2  
Have you checked fuel pressure with a reliable guage?Its possible the fuel pressure regulator is bad,but you need to check pressure to find out whats going on first.

 
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08-26-02, 02:41 PM   #3  
waaland
Have not yet had fuel pressure tested to my knowledge but I would have thought that when there was still a problem after the fuel pump replacement - which the shop thought was then the the fuel relay. That they would have checked this. Or at least checked the pressure after replacing the fuel relay and still having the problem. I had been billed $957.00 for replacement of:
starter (unrelated)
fuel pump
screen
fuel filter

When I brought the car back complaining that it still had the same problem, the then:
replaced fuel relay
checked injectors

I would have thought it common sense to check the pressure.


Last edited by waaland; 08-27-02 at 12:09 PM.
 
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08-26-02, 03:13 PM   #4  
How about timing?.

 
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08-27-02, 05:27 AM   #5  
waaland
Timing has been checked.

I am wondering about changing the engine coolant temperature sensor. This sensor had gone bad once before with similar symptoms. It may have gone bad again. At least it is simple to replace and it would rule out another possibility.

I was also thought it might be the fuel pressure regulator but would have to put it in the shop for that as it is part of the TBA unit$$$.


Last edited by waaland; 08-27-02 at 12:10 PM.
 
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08-27-02, 05:40 AM   #6  
waaland
I noticed a post by maitai11 that seemed to indicate that he was beginning to have the same problem as me although mine seems to be more advanced. It was reccomended that he check the "air charge sensors". Can anyone tell me more about these and where thay are located?

 
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08-27-02, 05:52 AM   #7  
Joe_F
Check the autolibrary link I have bookmarked below.

I still am with the camp on checking the fuel pressure.

 
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08-27-02, 07:59 AM   #8  
waaland
Further Information:

After speaking with the shop that did the fuel pump replacement I found out the following:

1) Fuel pressure WAS tested and was good.

2) They say the fuel pressure regulator was good.

3) When the problem persisted and they thought it was the fuel relay, it was replaced. When this did not correct the problem they then removed the new relay and put back the old one.

3) They did the same with the MAP sensor. When replacing it didn't correct the problem they put the old one back on.

I have since replaced the oil pressure switch (that was definately bad). Is it possible that since the oil pressure switch was bad, replacing the fuel relay would not have fixed the problem before but that now it would. And the same question goes for the MAP sensor.

I am thinking that the combination of more than on bad part would mask the problem. If the oil pressure switch is bad (which it was), replacing the fuel relay would not fix the problem. They then put the bad relay back on so when I replaced the oil pressure switch, it didn't fix the problem.

Could I be on the right track?

Replacing the oil pressure switch stoped the engine code 54 I was getting. What would you suggest is the next logical part to replace?


Last edited by waaland; 08-27-02 at 12:12 PM.
 
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08-27-02, 11:58 AM   #9  
I have found that the 305 camaros tend to be very slow in fact. The solution to your problem would be a 5.0 mustang. that should pep things up a little.

On the serious note, if you have a mechanic that can not fix the problem, you need to take it elsewhere. Don't put up with a crappy mechanic. You are paying good money and should not have to post here.

Fuel=Fuel, not Fule

 
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08-27-02, 05:28 PM   #10  
Joe_F
On some GM products, the fuel pump is tied into the oil pressure switch circuit..that might explain things.

I agree with others. Start with a shop that knows how to diagnose it .

As for Jeremy's 305 comment....well, depends . GM was putting 350's in F cars before Ford copied that idea with their 351 in limited models because Mustangs were seeing too many F body 350 taillights .

There's a reason Ford is still #2 and GM #1

 
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08-28-02, 10:36 AM   #11  
waaland
UPDATE:
Last night I installed a new fuel relay and a new coolant temperature sensor.

The following parts have now been replaced or checked:

1) Replaced Throttle Position sensor.
2) Removed catalitic converter (was clogged).
3) Replaced fuel pump and strainer (located in gas tank).
4) Replaced fuel filter.
5) Replaced fuel relay.
6) Replaced oil and oil filter.
7) Replaced oil pressure switch (was difinately bad ).
8) Replaced coolant temperature sensor
9) Mechanic checked that both fuel injectors are functioning properly.
10) Mechanic checked fuel pressure - said was good.
11) Mechanic said fuel pressure regulator was good.
12) Mechanic checked timing.

2 parts that have not been changed:

1) MAP sensor
2) O2 sensor (would/could the originaly completely clogged catalytic converter have caused the O2 sensor to go bad and would this cause the symptoms that I'm seeing?)

Could it be any of the following:
1) Bad coil
2) Bad distributor cap
3) Bad rotor

The car does not accelrate correctly when driving or in park/neutral so a load on the engine doesn't seem to make a difference.

Any ideas or suggestions on what to replace next?

O2 sensor is $21
MAP sensor is $52


Last edited by waaland; 08-28-02 at 11:52 AM.
 
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08-28-02, 11:49 AM   #12  
Antony W. Serio
2) O2 sensor (would/could the originaly completely clogged catalytic converter have caused the O2 sensor to go bad?)

More than likely the reverse. A toasted O2 sensor could have destroyed your cat. When was the last time you replaced the sensor?

 
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08-28-02, 11:56 AM   #13  
waaland
The O2 sensor has never been replaced.
Would a bad O2 sensor cause the symptoms that I'm seeing?

The inside of the cat converter caved in and resulted in a complete blockage about 6 months ago. I just cut it out and replaced it with a pipe.

 
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08-28-02, 12:45 PM   #14  
Antony W. Serio
"Would a bad O2 sensor cause the symptoms that I'm seeing? "

Yes. If the sensor is 13 years old, then it definitely needs to be swapped out. The sensor is usually replaced as a general maintenance item.

 
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08-28-02, 01:47 PM   #15  
Just a thought...Have you done a compression check?

 
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09-15-02, 10:54 AM   #16  
waaland
UPDATE:
I have now replaced th O2 sensor as well as the engine coolant temp sensor but still have the same problem. The trouble code I was receivimg (44) has stopped but I am I am now getting a trouble code of 53 displayed. Have checked the list in the library page specified but the codes stop around 48. Can anyone tell me what a 53 is and and further suggestions as far as the next step to take.
Also - my email address has been changed from [email protected] to [email protected] - how do I change my profile here to reflect the change.
Thanks,
Ted Waaland


Last edited by waaland; 09-15-02 at 05:15 PM.
 
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09-19-02, 10:45 AM   #17  
waaland
Can anyone offer any further help here. I have no idea what to try next. Perhaps the MAP sensor... or am I wasting more money? So far I have spent around $1500.000 in the last 2 months and the car still isn't running right.

HELP

 
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09-19-02, 05:03 PM   #18  
Joe_F
1st order of business: Stop throwing parts at the car. You'll exceed its worth in a jiffy. Parts must be verified as bad (if they are not maintenance items) before replacing them.

Start with the basics.

1) Has the throttle body gasket been checked? Vacuum leaks? Loose throttle body?

2) Engine compression statistics?

3) If the converter was stuffed, there's one clue. Too much fuel through the exhaust. That could be anything from mechanical internal problems to a loose ground wire or dead sensor.

Start with autolibrary and TEST the sensors before damning them as bad. Your wallet will thank you .

Have you checked the pick up in the distributor? Additionally, the shop that did the work, what did you ask them to do? Did they fix the problem? Seems not. Go back there and ask that they do at no charge.

 
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09-19-02, 06:30 PM   #19  
one more thing you might check is to take to an exhaust shop and have back pressure test ran on it, occasionaly when a convertor becomes restricted and starts coming apart it can create a restriction farther back in the exhaust system such as at muffler. but you shouldnt be throwing parts at it, take it to a shop and have it diagnosed i would try a different shop.

 
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09-19-02, 09:55 PM   #20  
That's what it sounds like to me. You may still have an exhaust restriction. Some of that collapsed catalyst may have blown into your muffler and stopped it up too. Check your manifold vacuum. That may help you find the problem. I agree with Joe on the shotgunning it with parts. Thats an expensive way to find your problem. If your shop was paid to fix the problem and didn't...then demand satisfaction.


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God bless!

 
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09-20-02, 02:34 AM   #21  
I just scanned through all these postings abd may have missed this but...

Have you checked the distributor cap for (hairline) cracks??? Check it for carbon and/or dust around the contacts. Also check the conditions of your plugs. A faulty O2 sensor or clogged converter can cause hell on them.

 
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09-20-02, 10:13 AM   #22  
redneck
Code 53 means you already exceeded the value of the car with you parts swapping--time to cut your loses and unload this slug!

 
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09-20-02, 11:22 AM   #23  
Joe_F
While I agree with Redneck in the sense of throwing parts at the problem, parts are being thrown at the WRONG problem...because the problem is not known yet .

Must, must, must start with the basics and recheck it yourself if necessary....

If I brought in a car for a problem and something wasn't fixed, I would be asking for them to fix it right at no charge .

 
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10-11-02, 03:46 PM   #24  
waaland
I have spoken with the garage that did the work on my car and their response was that they only charged me for what they had fixed (fule pump and starter). Any further diagnostic work to resolve the problem would require an additional charge by the hour and they have no idea of how long it would take.
Since I am currently unemployed (layed off after 17 years), having someone else do additional work at this point is not an option.

Question:
When I replaced the converter with a straight pipe, there was a metal tube that ran from the converter back up to the engine somewhere. I had originally plugged the tube thinking it might cause a vacuum leak but now I am wondering if this could be the cause of my problem.
Can anyone tell me what this tube is for and what I should do with it?

By the way, I would like to thank you all for your help with this problem. Without the use of this car it would be almost impossible to find another job.

 
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10-11-02, 04:04 PM   #25  
davidf
davidf

Have mechanic check the ignition spark with an adjustable gap tool made for this purpose.He should be able to watch the spark firing and see if the spark is missfiring .The spark should be blue in color and not missing otherwise you may have an ignition problem.Tap coil and other ignition parts and see if missfiring goes away if this is your problem.

 
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10-11-02, 04:15 PM   #26  
No plugging the air injection tube will not cause your problem.Removing your converter in this way is illegal and pollutes the air my young children need to breathe for many years.Now I will give you 2 simple ideas to try. Remove the air cleaner and retest.If this does not help buy 1 pair of needle nose vise grips and clamp off your fuel return line gently.I don't usually recommend this but I still don't have your fuel pressure reading.Retest your car with the line blocked off it's the smaller hose,don't crimp the metal line.If it runs good after blocking fuel return guess what you need?A fuel pressure regulator regardless of cost.

 
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10-11-02, 04:54 PM   #27  
waaland
First let me say that the engine is not misfiring... it runs smooth but has no pickup.

If the car is in neutral and I try to rev the engine it bogs down at about 2500 to 3000 rpm. If I then back off the pedel a bit and then do it again it will eventually go up to 4500 to 5000. Once it gets up to the higher level - I can rev it from idle without it bogging down.

After letting it idle again for a little while, the cycle will repeat itself.

Also - the garage that replaced my fuel pump told me that my fuel pressure was fine - but I will try your tip. Is the fuel return a rubber hose? Where/how would I find it on my TBI unit?

 
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10-11-02, 06:03 PM   #28  
really pinching off the return line can do more damage than good it will make your pump operate at maximum pressure and possibly damage it, and really wont tell you anything if the car ran better with it pinched off it doesnt necassarly mean the regulator is bad if the car is running lean for whatever reason bad injectors,map sensor, etc increasing the pressure beyond spec will cause it to run better, you have to perform a fuel pressure test that is your only option if pressure is low then you can pinch off the return for just a second to determine if it is a faulty regulator or faulty pump while you have the pressure guage installed.
did you ever have the exhaust checked for a restriction?just remove the straight pipe that you installed instead of replacing convertor and test drive it if it runs better thats your problem.

 
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10-11-02, 07:31 PM   #29  
Joe_F
I agree with BeJay. The pressure regulator is an upper metering body from GM ($$$) but the aftermarket companies sell the replacement diagphragm.

Original poster: You are throwing too much money and parts at this vehicle. Assume that the shop is wrong. Star with the basics first.

 
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10-11-02, 08:14 PM   #30  
Bejay and Joe, waaland has replaced or tried everything except fuel pressure as Joe and I asked and for exhaust restriction as Bejay said.You are not checking anything just replacing parts.Air filter?New symptoms?Maybe you need a new timing chain.How many miles on this beast?I think we are not getting an accurate description of the problem.Your original post said your car ran fine on a pressurized system at the mechanics shop.How is your air filter?

 
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10-12-02, 10:36 AM   #31  
waaland
This car has 214,000 miles on it. It is my only source of transportation at this point so I mut keep it going until I get another job and get back on my feet financially. The car ran great until the converter problem. That is the same time I got layed off. Then when the starter went, I couldn't afford to get it fixed so the car sat for about 2 months.
I got a job offer (a cantract position) that required me to relocate from SC to FL and the company advanced me $1500 to relocate. I needed to be in FL within 1 week so I had the car towed to the garage to have the starter replaced. They then told me I needed the fuel pump. When I picked up the car it still had the "no power" problem which the garage said would be fixed by the fuel pump replacement. I brought it back to them within an hour and they began to diagnose the problem as I have documented at the beginning of this post. They never figured it out and I was running out of time and money so I took the car as is to FL. I only worked 11 days in FL and the company decided to cancel the contract due to lack of funding so here I am back in SC once again looking for work and trying to solve the car problem with very limited funds.

I don't believe that exhaust restriction is the problem because even with open exaust (after cutting out the converter in a parking lot I drove it home before installing the straight pipe) it still had no power.

Air filter is brand new - also replaced the distributor rotor which had some carbon buildup on it.

Car did run fine on a pressurized system at the mechanics shop.

The only new symptom that I have noticed is that it does run a little better after it warms up.

I agree that I shouldn't believe everything that the shop has said so I want to try the pressure regulator test (by crimping the fuel return) that was suggested.

The map sensor is one of the few parts that has not been replaced. Is there a simple way to test this?

Any other tests that you could suggest would be appreciated however as I stated, I have very little money to spend right now.

Thanks again.

 
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10-12-02, 12:32 PM   #32  
Joe_F
Yes you can test the MAP sensor. Typically you pump it up with a hand vacuum pump and check the voltage output with a scantool.

I suggest that before going any further, you spend 25 bucks for an Alldata.com subscription. It is good for a year and gives you access to all the factory wiring diagrams, procedures, and bulletins/test information. Good investment.

Alternatively, you can use autolibrary.org, but typically the Alldata or the factory manual is better.

Again, you will spend collosal greenbacks changing parts shotgun...even if funds are short, this is not the way to do it.

Believe it or not, I had three cars in 1994 when I started my current job and my source of transit to work was the bus, ferry and NYC transit ! Always have a backup plan and don't rush.

 
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10-12-02, 03:23 PM   #33  
TECHMAN
Try two things that willnot cost a dime. I have hear of the fuel pressure being o.k. so try and check the EGR valve by unpluging the vac. line from the valve. If valve is bad it will open to soon and bogg down eng. And try to unplug the (SET TIMING CONNECTER) if pickup in dist is bad it will not preform under load are high rpm. THis will cost nothing and take only a few min. Good Luck. Let us hear back from you.------Dave-------

 
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10-13-02, 08:22 AM   #34  
waaland
Thanks for the suggestions.

I removed the vac. line from the EGR valve and it had no effect at all... not better and not worse. You said if the valve was bad it would open too soon and bogg down the engine.

Question1: Since this is the problem that I already have then could wouldn't I expect there to be no change with the above test? Could the valve be stuck open thus causing the engine to bog down all the time?
NOTE: EGR valve has never been replaced.

Question2: How can I tell anything by unplugging the SET TIMING CONNECTOR since the engine already is bogging down?

 
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10-13-02, 08:52 AM   #35  
Joe_F
What he's also alluding to is with 214k on the clock and seemingly an original timing chain, there is likely to be slack in the chain. This will affect things. Essentially the timing is changing when it shouldn't.

If you take the EGR valve out of the picture by plugging the line and you still have the problem, nothing wrong with the valve.

 
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10-13-02, 10:27 AM   #36  
waaland
If you take the EGR valve out of the picture by plugging
the line and you still have the problem, nothing wrong
with the valve.

Is this true regardless of if it is a positive backpressure or negitive backpressure valve?

-----------------------------
Essentially the timing is changing when it shouldn't.

It almost seems that the opposite is true - the timing isn't changing when it should. Is this possible? If so what might cause this?

 
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10-13-02, 01:41 PM   #37  
Joe_F
Most GM OEM valves are negative backpressure. Not sure of the relevance of your question....if you plug the line, it's out of the picture. You stated that it made no change. EGR valve is not the problem here.

You're missing my point on the timing. If there is stretch in the chain, it jumps around throwing everything off. If nothing else, down the road, this vehicle WILL need a timing chain. Most GM OEM chains and gears are good for 100k or so and then require replacement.

You're missing something basic here that is causing you grief. You must answer the following basics for yourself before you spend twice what you've spent now and twice what it's worth .

1) Verify through a compression check that we are dealing with a sound motor. If the engine's compression is out of range, stop here. The engine needs a rebuild and no cobbling together is going to fix that.

2) If the motor is mechanically sound, check your timing as suggested. What you basically do is remove the computer from the picture (disconnecting the plug) and check "base" timing. Think of it like an old car. If during the check of base timing, you see the marks moving around a lot when you shine the timing light, here is part or all of your problem. That means there is slack in the chain and it, along with the cam and crank gears will need replacement.

3) Barring #1 and #2 being ok, check the fuel pressure with a reliable hand held gauge. In fact, you can do this step before #2 above. If the vehicle fails the fuel pressure check, look for a pinhole in the fuel pressure regulator diaphragm. Any parts store should carry a replacement.

Without these as starting points, you'll needlessly spend more money and waste more time trying to figure it out.

Use autolibrary.org, my posts and links below and as I recommended in a last post, an Alldata.com subscription if you cannot afford the OEM service manual to guide you on test procedures.

 
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