Engine tune-up and transmission fluid change

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  #1  
Old 11-22-03, 12:18 PM
goldbriks
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Engine tune-up and transmission fluid change

I have a problem. I am the owner of a 98 Chevrolet Venture that has almost 89,000 miles on it. It was sitting in my yard for almost 2 months. I started driving it again and 2 days into driving, it started to shake. The service engine soon began to flash off and on and it shut off. If I pump the gas when I turn it on the engine feels like its trying to get enough power and when I drive if I don't have my foot on the gas it begins to shake then cuts off. I know that I am due for a transmisson fluid change. My question is what could the reason be for this shanking and it shutting off? Do I need a tune-up and if so what do I need and what is the cost involved with this. Please help I have little money and no help.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-22-03, 12:54 PM
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Nobody's going to be able to tell you much until you have your computer scanned a find out what code was putting that check engine light on. It will have a code stored in memory. It could really be anything but the code will help narrow it down.
 
  #3  
Old 11-22-03, 12:57 PM
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Have it checked for codes.After parked for 2 months in your yard maybe the local field mice got hungry I don't know.Some auto parts do this for free as a service to their customers(check codes).Let us know what you come up with.A flashing service engine lamp means catalyst damaging failure(usually a misfire).The trans fluid change being needed is not the cause.Check the basics as posted above in read this before posting.
 
  #4  
Old 11-22-03, 01:26 PM
goldbriks
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Engine Tune-Up/Transmission Fluid Change

This is the situation. I took the 3.4 engine, 88,860 mile demon, I say demon because it has to be a demon that is trying to keep me from getting to church if I can't drive there when it is a long distance away. Anyway I took the demon to a shop. They ran an external diagnostic on it and on the form they have a service code N. I don't know what that means but they said my pluggs are messed up and need to be changed before they really know what the problem is but they believe it needs a tune-up because I have a V-6 and it's running on 4 as of right now that is all the information I have. I know I need to take the demon into a shop however, driving it is a big risk because it cut off before. It does not have a warranty at this point and towing is costly. So what do I do now?

HHHHHEEEEELLLLPPP!!!!!

I need to go to church.
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-03, 09:06 AM
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codes...

the codes should have been identified...they will tell which cylinder is misfiring...chances are that since it appears to have two dead cylinders that you may have had a coil failure...possibly due to waiting too long to get that tune work done. that said...take it to a competent service provider and get it diagnosed completely and ask for an estimate before any work is done. it's beyond anything you can do at this point...bite the bullet and fix it so you can get where you need to be...good luck
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-03, 10:20 AM
goldbriks
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Unhappy

O'kay for all who are reading this, I finally took my van in to a mechanic. He explained to me that 3 of my cylinders have a leak he did not get to run a diagnostic for me because of the cylinders he explained that the problem is in the motor which means that he has to take the engine apart to get to the motor. He then asked me if I had any problems before it was sitting. I explained to him that there were no prior problems, after all it has been sitting since September 26, 2003 and It just passed inspection in August so I don't understand why this is happening it makes no sense. Could this mechanic be trying to run a game on me? I don't know what to do. He told me he was going to start again on Monday to look at it and hopefully he is wrong. What should I do at this point? Is there anything I can say to him that may make a difference in the outcome? Somebody help me.

Thanks!!!!!!
 
  #7  
Old 12-13-03, 11:07 AM
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You should have requested the Diagnostics FIRST. Any good technician knows that if the check engine light is on then you check that First and foremost. If they arent willing or able to do that then you need to move on to another shop. The codes that the technician gets from the scanner will give him an absolute starting point. No need to tear into your engine if proper diagnostics have not been performed. Why do these guys want to do leak tests and compression tests and so on and so forth without hooking up a scanner first? You dont get dirty checking codes! On this vehicle it is not the easiest thing to do the diagnostics that you say they have already performed. So I am betting you have spent quite a bit on their diagnostic fees already and you dont even know what the codes are.
Get it checked and let us know what the codes are!
Billy
 
  #8  
Old 12-13-03, 02:51 PM
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Smile Water in the fuel?

Hi goldbriks

Many times when a car sits around & is not run for a few months water gets into the fuel tank & works it's way up the lines. It does not matter if it's carbrated or fuel injected.

The symptoms are hard starting, bad missing & stalling at stops with a poor idle.

This can be repaired with 4 ozs of grain alcohol not rubbing alcohol per 10 gallons of fuel.

You also asked:
Could this mechanic be trying to run a game on me?
What were the readings on the compression test? Have you delt with this Mechanic before, or know someone who has?

goldbriks asked:
Please help I have little money and no help.
I'm sure we all want to help you, but you will have to help us. A small inepensieve compression tester can be bought for under $20.00. Buy one take a test of all your cylinders with all plugs removed and the throttle full wide open.

Let us know what the readings are. If you buy the thread in compression tester, you can do this test by yourself. Testing not guesses are what we need in order to advise you.

Remember buying a couple of inepensieve test tools will look very cheap, compared to having an engine torn down & repaired. Especialy if it is not needed in the first place.

Will you help us to help you? Did you have any problems before you parked the car?
 
  #9  
Old 12-13-03, 06:13 PM
goldbriks
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Wink

Thanks you all for your suggestions. I will be investing in a compression tester. I must say however, Marturo what you described is exactly what happened once the van was being driven again and I did not have any problems before it had been sitting. I really appreciate everyone's help.
Look, I'm not a mechanic so if you can describe to me how to remove all my pluggs and have my throttle full wide open I would also appreciate this help.

Bear with me I'm new at this.

Thanks again
 
  #10  
Old 12-13-03, 08:22 PM
KurtDixon
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Throttle wide open=gas pedal to the floor.
As for plugs, not sure of the design/orientation of the engine, a pro will zip by and give you a run down.
 
  #11  
Old 12-13-03, 08:36 PM
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This engine is transverse mounted meaning the front of the engine is over the right wheel and the transmission is near the left wheel. The front (front of car, not engine) spark plugs will be pretty easy to get to. The ones in the rear are a bit of a bear. If you have small arms then its no problem. I have always had a hard time getting to the rear plugs on these things as I have pretty good sized forearms.
I really dont see that it is necessary for you to invest in this tool or do this test for any reason other than to confirm what the mechanic already told you as according to your previous posts this was already done and concluded that you had an internal engine problem. I can understand and certainly sympathize with you for wanting to know your vehicle and what is wrong with it. Find out the trouble codes BEFORE you go any farther. YOu may need to save that $20.00 to go towards something more important.
hope this is helpful to ya,
Billy
 
  #12  
Old 12-13-03, 09:03 PM
goldbriks
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Smile

Thanks everyone your suggestions are noted. As soon as I find out the codes I will post them so expect to find out on Monday.

Thanks again
God Bless

Goldbriks
 
  #13  
Old 12-13-03, 09:21 PM
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Smile Spark plug removal

Hi goldbriks

As Kurt has already said just press down your gas petal to the floor when cranking the engine for the test. To remove your Spark plugs you will need a spark plug socket & a 4" or 6" inch extention with a 3/8ths Ratchet.

If you have your owners manual it may under service or specifications tell the socket size or spark plug #. If you have a sears or lowe's near by they sometimes sell a Spark plug changing kit with a flex head ratchet & 2 sizes of Spark plug sockets + extentions.

Next best would be an Advance Auto, Pep Boys & ask for a socket ratchet & etention to remove your size Spark plugs. Also go ahead and pick up a new set of plugs, NGK brand is good.

Pick up a can of brake cleaner spray & if you can spray away any dirt or crud where the plug meets the head so it won't fall into your engine. Twist the spark plug caps back and forth & pull them off so you can see the plugs before you spray.

There will be a threaded size on your compression tester with an O ring to seal the tester from leaking in your size hole. WD-40 is good to coat & wash off the threads before you screw the tester into each of the spark plug holes. Keep those threads very clean.

Since this gauge is a hose with a threaded end, take your time & turn the gauge counter clockwise our like you are taking it out first. When you feel & hear a small click the threads may be lined up, & now you can start screwing it clockwise to tighten it into the hole.

If it feels like it will not thread or gets stuck back it out & respray it again with WD-40 again. I have never had to tighten the gauge in more than hand tight, good and hand tight clean threads help a lot.

With all plug wires marked with masking tape & pen like 1, 2, 3, 4 so you dont lose their places when you put them back on. Sit in the car press the gas petal down to the floor & crank for 4 seconds like one thousand & 1 to one thousand & 4. Get out and read the gauge. It will have a PSI reading for pounds per square inch. Write it down until all are done. if any are lower by more than 15 pounds take another reading & keep those threads real clean & lubed with the WD-40. Make a note of any that were low & came back up on the 2nd test.

Lets look at this test & if the numbers look good we will discuss what we can do next. I know you may be tempted to put in some alcohol & drive the water demons from your car, but let's do it the right way first. I hope that this is just a water in fuel problem, but I also don't want you to harm your engine because we jumped the gun by not doing the test 1st.

Good luck on your task goldbriks, do your best job .

We will be waiting for the Numbers.

I am a slow typer & started my post before I saw billys68ss Post. This is Do it yourself Dot com & as allways you are who we try to help. Also it is always your choice of what you want to do.

I worked on Cars long before they had Computers & learned to test the systems using the various test equipment & not the Computers & codes. Water in the fuel or engine damage to a car sitting around, can both be found with Compression testers or Computers. I am the Machanic of Chrismas Past & we did keep America rolling down the Hyways as safely as we could.

If I were a Mechanic today I would more than likely be using the Computers also. In any case I do hope this is a simple inepensieve fix for you goldbriks.
 

Last edited by marturo; 12-13-03 at 09:37 PM.
  #14  
Old 12-16-03, 09:12 AM
goldbriks
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O'kay everyone here we go again. I spoke to the mechanic he told me they ran a diagnostic and it showed nothing. He explained that the diagnostic is electrical so the problem must be mechanical. He said there is no compression on 3 cylinders and it could be a broken valve or piston but the problem is defintely in the motor. He asked if the van had been overheated. I explained again that there had been no previous problems I even told him that It had just passed inspection he said that doesn't matter because the inspection is run on the emission (whatever that means) So again I have no codes and again I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?
 
  #15  
Old 12-16-03, 09:34 AM
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leakage test

to determine the source of "no compression" without tearing apart the engine, a leakage test should be performed. when this test is done, the technician will put compressed air into each individual cylinder and find out if it seals up well or not. if it doesn't then they should be able to tell where it's going...again, WITHOUT taking apart the engine. It's also possible that it's not a "broken valve or piston"...it could also have some lifters "pumped up" holding some valves open...this actually makes more sense to me since the vehicle was sitting for a period. are you diligent at having the oil changed? if not...old, nasty oil will leave behind deposits that could "stick" a lifter. I'm just not buying that it sat for a couple months and you drove it for two days and all of a sudden it got broken internal parts...it's possible, just seems VERY unlikely to me at this point. the testing that i've referred to should not cost that much...no more than 2 hours labor for leakage...this seems much more cost effective than "tearing apart the motor"...good luck...and hopefully he can do the leakage test...if not, perhaps it's time for a second opinion on the mechanical condition of your engine. ps...the electrical test he did was probably with an oscilloscope and is NOT definitive as to mechanical failures
 
  #16  
Old 12-16-03, 10:06 AM
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Sorry, I still dont buy the NO CODES hit. If the check engien light is on then there are most definately codes in there. Maybe this shop doesnt have access to a scanner. Sounds like they just want to tear into your engine. I dont understand that they went the distance to do these other tests, but not do on-board computer diagnostics. Which 3 cylinders? I have to agree with carguyinva that you most likely dont have the severe mechanical failure that they are describing to you. "A" broken valve or "A" broken piston is not going to make you lose compression on "3" cylinders.
Marturo.... I understand your desire to do the mechanical tests, I too have always been a fan of them. Much more accurate when diagnosing mechanical failure. I only in the last few years began doing electronic diagnostics and have found that the easiest way to find a problem (except on a Ford... LOL) is to use the vehicles computer.
Billy
 
  #17  
Old 12-16-03, 10:07 AM
goldbriks
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Unhappy

With the exception of the van being started to listen to music, there were no problems. It could not be driven because of a lapse of insurance and there were no plates. The mechanic did however say something about 3 cylinders leaking and oil changes were done every 3,000 miles. Everything was current as far as the upkeep of the vehicle and that is all. Again no previous problems I would tell you'll everything because I need help with this problem again any suggestions or solutions?

Thanks again
GOD Bless

Goldbriks
 
  #18  
Old 12-16-03, 11:07 AM
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i agree with billy...

...that a scan would be of some benefit...it should at least pinpoint which cylinders are the culprits...or possibly a random misfire...the bottom line is that the so called mechanic hasn't done his job thouroughly enough...if all he wants to do is take the engine apart to search for the problem...RUN...don't walk...to a competent technician as i'm not sure he is qualified to perform this level of diagnostics
 
  #19  
Old 12-16-03, 03:30 PM
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If your'e van has a flashing service engine soon light and no codes I'd bet GM would buy it back for emission related faults the PCM can't identify.I say it can't happen,you have codes if they can't read them you are at the wrong place.I agree run don't walk to another shop.You have to have at least a p0300 cylinder misfire detected.
 
  #20  
Old 12-16-03, 04:24 PM
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3 dead Cylinders from sitting. Not.

Mechanic on scene says:
He said there is no compression on 3 cylinders and it could be a broken valve or piston but the problem is defintely in the motor.

Or this: I spoke to the mechanic he told me they ran a diagnostic and it showed nothing.

This whole ordeal is becoming an oymoron!

How can you do a Diag, without putting your eyes, or Computer sensors on enough to give the customer a difinitive answer?

Billy said: I only in the last few years began doing electronic diagnostics and have found that the easiest way to find a problem.

I can understand that & I would have used a Computer & loved having codes in the Days, but I don't think this Mechanic has done an A through Z Diagnostic. If he (goldbriks) had not been starting the engine occasionally, I may even think he had a few valves stuck open by stem rust.

I think this is the same engine set up a friends Mother had & I agreeded to change the plugs. The front 3 were a breeze but the back 3, well the hardest plug cane from the factory. The other 2 were from 3 changes back & all were gone long before I changed them.

I used a sheet of 1/2 plywood on fender covers to lay on my belly to change them out. I'm sure there are many cars running this way out there due to lazy Mechanics not changing them all out.

How much & can the codes be pulled out by goldbriks, with an inepensieve code retriever? I have seen Some type meters next to the Dwell/Voltage meters in Auto Zone. Keep in mind Goldbriks is not a Mechanic & every penny counts, his choices are very limited.

With a Mechanic testing who knows what. I don't see how goldbriks can prove or disprove anything, without some type of test equipment. How much does a dealer charge per hour today? Some how we need to at least try to help goldbriks do it himself. At least what he is able to do himself.

goldbriks one thing you could is to go to the public Library & go through the automotive manuals in the refrence section. Look up you car and also the Troubleshooting sections. Copy it & write down all the problems that sound like yours & the fixes.

Everyone in this thread finds it hard to believe your engine just sat & went bad. Some how you must narrow down what could cause 3 cylinders to go sour just by sitting in the back yard.

That is if it realy has 3 cylinders with mechanical problems. I find that hard to believe & would not take it back to who you are using.
 
  #21  
Old 12-17-03, 02:41 PM
goldbriks
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Red face

You know I'm just tired of all of this, the latest report from the mechanic is that cylinders #2 and 4 are not firing he said there are so many codes that it is crazy. No number codes again... but he told me that it's reading bad mass air flow meter and bad map sensor to name a couple he said that my pluggs and wires are shot so he wants to replace them so he can get a clear reading. Bottom line to all of this is that he believes it is pointing to either a bad valve or motor. Another mechanic told him that he believes 1 valve in the front and 1 on the back are fried. Again trust me it was sitting for about 2 months no previous problems.

Now what?

Helpless in New York
God Bless

Goldbriks
 
  #22  
Old 12-17-03, 03:49 PM
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Did you take it back to the same place?Or is it still there?Get your car out of there now.
 
  #23  
Old 12-17-03, 03:57 PM
goldbriks
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Unhappy

Same place I spoke to him just this evening I didn't authorize him to do anything so I guess at this point I'm just responsible for the so called diagnostic right?
 
  #24  
Old 12-17-03, 04:01 PM
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A 2nd look

The first post.

I have a problem. I am the owner of a 98 Chevrolet Venture that has almost 89,000 miles on it. It was sitting in my yard for almost 2 months. I started driving it again and 2 days into driving, it started to shake. The service engine soon began to flash off and on and it shut off. If I pump the gas when I turn it on the engine feels like its trying to get enough power and when I drive if I don't have my foot on the gas it begins to shake then cuts off. I know that I am due for a transmisson fluid change. My question is what could the reason be for this shanking and it shutting off? Do I need a tune-up and if so what do I need and what is the cost involved with this. Please help I have little money and no help.
__________________________________________________

What should have been a simple, check the trouble codes & fix has turned into a fine guessing game. I have had the pleasure to work with some of the finest Mechanics in the World. The one thing a Mechanic can not do, is take guesses based on no or bad testing procedures.

It sounds like water in the fuel then we have a Mechanic say it's inside the engine. We cannot just keep guessing & to be compleatly honest, DIY is for people who have the means or the will, to try something they may have never done before, & succeed. With the help of those who work, or have a working knowledge of the subjects.

I'm sorry goldbriks but life is not fair & the Mechanic that will fix your car will have to take the time, & have the knowledge to do the testing to find the problem/problems. Perhaps you could try and find a shop who has that Machenic, & if you get lucky they will fix your car & let you make payments.

You have had enough guesses & from here on out if someone who knows their trade, does not do the right tests you will get a lot more tired & frustrated my friend.
 
  #25  
Old 12-17-03, 04:04 PM
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Goldbriks or whatever, You are obviously a sucker if you still have your car there. Listen to everyone, go down there, tell him he doesn't know what the F he is talking about. Get it out of there NOW! Take it to a dealer at this point at least you'll get a good diagnostic.
 
  #26  
Old 12-17-03, 04:12 PM
goldbriks
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Cool

Sucker.... i don't think so Wise....absolutely Wise enough to know to keep it somewhere indoors untill I can get all of the information needed from all of you guys before I do anything else. Granted he has tried to take me for a ride in my vehicle but I refused to get picked-up by a potential problem. I will pick my vehicle up first thing tomorrow morning. And off to someone else I will go.
 
  #27  
Old 12-17-03, 04:21 PM
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Please don't start to resort to name calling or fighting or the post will be edited or deleted.This is a clean family type atmosphere in here and will stay that way.
 
  #28  
Old 12-17-03, 04:40 PM
goldbriks
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Cool

Noted. After I take the van in to have an exorcisim from a mechanic my mother goes (she's their regular customer) I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find out the real deal and I'll let you all know the outcome. Thanks again for all of your help I truly appreciate it (that is your help) and this site. GOD forbid if I ever have a problem again... GOD willing I will be able to DO IT MYSELF. Thanks again for everyone's help.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL

Goldbriks
 
  #29  
Old 12-17-03, 06:30 PM
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You said:
Sucker.... i don't think so Wise....absolutely Wise enough to know to keep it somewhere indoors untill I can get all of the information needed from all of you guys before I do anything else. Granted he has tried to take me for a ride in my vehicle but I refused to get picked-up by a potential problem. I will pick my vehicle up first thing tomorrow morning. And off to someone else I will go.
___________________________________________________

I realy hope you don't mean that goldbriks. If someone hurts your feelings they are the real loser not you. Machanics come in all flavors, & I know many more tried here @ DIY to help you with a dificult job.

If you have used us as suckers, I hope you remember in whose name you did it in. That of course would be between you and your maker. I'm sorry things did not turn out the way you wanted them to & unless you have no hands or feet, you too can learn to do more for yourself.

Best of luck to you Goldbriks.
 
  #30  
Old 12-18-03, 10:23 AM
goldbriks
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Smile

Marturo forgive me, the term sucker was used in response to what someone else called me. That was just an explanition on me not being a sucker but wise and hopeful. I believe it was taken out of context but at any rate, thank you and everyone else again for your help.


GOD BLESS

Goldbriks

Dec 19

Hi this is the situation pluggs and wires were changed and the van is now running better but there is a misfire. NU Mechanic is going to check the fuel injection system to determine if this is indeed the the issue and if so will make the necessary repairs. What do you think the cost is going to be for this couple or few hundred roundabouts are fine. Let me know what your take is.

Thank you all

GOD Bless

Goldbriks
 

Last edited by goldbriks; 12-19-03 at 12:02 PM.
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