Diagnostic testing


Old 07-28-03, 12:36 PM
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Diagnostic testing

I want to hook my car up to a diagnostic computer to tell what if anything is wrong with it. A car dealer tried telling me I had an Intake Manifold leak.

Can anyone tell me how much the diagnostic testing normally runs? I have a 1997 Olds Cutlass.

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Old 07-28-03, 02:37 PM
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A diagnostic computer won't necessarily tell you if you have a vacuum leak.

A vacuum leak may set trouble codes in your car's PCM memory, but they won't directly indicate that you have a vacuum leak.

An unlit propane torch and a length of rubber hose or a can of carburetor cleaner will help you check for a vacuum leak. Simply apply propane or carburetor cleaner in the suspect area and listen for a change in engine RPM. If you hit upon a leaky gasket/hose/component, the engine RPM will change (typically it will increase).

Autozone will scan your car's PCM memory for free. Get the codes (if any are stored) and post them here before you buy any parts. We'll help you sort through the codes and what to do about them.
Old 07-28-03, 02:39 PM
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BTW, intake manifold gasket leaks are common on both the 3100 and 3400 engines. These gaskets are known to fail and leak coolant OR vacuum.

You may want to ask the dealer to specify exactly where the intake manifold is leaking.
Old 07-28-03, 02:46 PM
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Thank you for the tip. I will have to take the car to Autozone. I know a couple car nuts up here and they asked me three questions.

1. Does the car run loud?

2. Do you see any puddles under the car?

3. Is it hard to start?

My answer to all three of them were no, so they told me they would like to know how this guy knows the intake manifold is leaking.

I will post the codes when I get them.
Old 07-28-03, 02:46 PM
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I agree with Knuckles.
Old 07-28-03, 05:43 PM
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Obviously, I don't know what the dealer actually did to your car, but there is a machine the generates smoke, (No, not service writers! LOL!) It has a bunch of different size plastic plugs for plugging off areas of the engine, such as throttle body, tail pipe, oil filler cap, pcv valve grommet, ect.. You then find a vaccum port (such as the pcv hose, and turn on the machine..If there is a vaccum leak (or multiple ones) the smoke comes out these leaks..It only takes 10-15 minutes to do an average car..Very quick, very neat, and no mistaking where the smoke comes from. It's possible the dealer used something like this.

Just out of curiousity, what were the symptom of the car that made you take it in to get it looked at in the first place?

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