Car not running 100%


Old 12-11-04, 08:08 AM
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Car not running 100%

1992 Pontiac Grand AM
4 cyl, 2.3 liter, D type Engine
80,000 miles, Automatic

The other day when going to work, I ran into a problem with my car. It had been sitting in the cold weather for about a week, so when I started it, the engine was running real rough. I didn't think anything of it at the time, I just figured it needed some time to warm up.

As I began driving, it got progressively worse. When going down the highway, I would slam the pedal to the floor and the engine would rev up real high but the car would not respond 100% and only go up to about 55mph. As I slowed down, it would keep stalling unless I kept giving it gas.

Throughout the whole time, I kept hearing a little bit of rattling which sounded like it was coming from underneath the car. I was able to make it back home, but now the car won't start. I may have killed the battery by trying to start it too many times. Any ideas???
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Old 12-11-04, 12:28 PM
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something else

one more thing that I forgot to add. When I stepped on the gas, the engine made a distinctive sound. The best I can explain it is that it sounded like a helicopter. You could almost hear it struggling to kick exhaust out the back.
Old 12-12-04, 06:07 AM
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I had a similar problem with a 98 Ram. It turned out to be the cadylac converter. A piece of the cone had broken off and was plugging the exhaust.
Old 12-12-04, 02:40 PM
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bubbas1...thanks for the advice. I think you may be right because I was reading through some other forums on the internet and found a few people with grand ams that reported the same thing. I'll check it out and post what I find.
Old 12-17-04, 02:34 PM
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Engine shaking

I was able to get the car started again today. Once it started, it seemed to run very rough. The exhaust seemed to be coming out fine except it kept sputtering since the engine was struggling to stay running. At idle, the engine was shaking all over the place. It ran fine for about 5 minutes until I gave it a little gas. Once I did, it revved up...sounded like a gokart engine. But then as it came back down to idle it would stall.

Today I checked for blockages in the exhaust and was not able to find any. Any ideas? thanks.
Old 12-17-04, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
You are going to have to pull the coil housing off the engine to check for arcing at the insulators.If you find any miniature burn holes in them you should replace the housing and the insulators.If you still have a propblem after that you may have a faulty coil killing 2 of the 4 cylinders.You would need to buy a coil and replace one of the 2 in the housing.If the problem continues swap the known good coil for the other coil and retest.I usually put both coils in because they are the same age/mileage to avoid repeat failures on those engines.You may also have an ignition module causing the problem.I suspect you have a misfire from your desription.
Old 12-27-04, 09:57 AM
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I removed the housing and coils. I took a good look at the housing and it looked OK to my knowledge although I wasn't sure what you meant by looking for minature burn holes, or arcing at the insulators. I didn't see any burn marks or abnormal markings anywhere. When at the auto parts store this morning, I was reluctant to buy a new housing until I know that it's bad (it costs $60). I did buy a new coil though ($30), and tested it in the car with one of the old coils. It didn't seem to work and when I retested it with the other coil, it didn't work either. I'm not sure what to do next.

The car runs at idle right now, although very rough. It stays running in idle or when giving it gas, but then stalls when it slows back down. Sometimes I can keep it going if I gradually ease my foot off the pedal and play with it when I hear the engine start to die.

I noticed something else interesting today. While it was idling, I started to pull some of the little vacuum hoses off of the front of the engine. One of the hoses that I pulled ran to a sensor on top. When I pulled it off, the engine would respond by running normal for a second or two, and then go back to running rough again. I noticed that the hoses are extremely cracked. Could escaping air from the hoses be a possible cause of the problem? If not, what would you suggest to try next.
Old 12-27-04, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: nc
Posts: 616
If you have a vacuum leak, that could be the cause (out of about 100 other things). It might be an egr hose. Inspect all vacuum hoses and replace any in question. That should have been the 1st thing to check. Also, is the check engine light on?
Old 12-27-04, 05:32 PM
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I agree, I will replace the vacuum hoses when I get a chance to see if it helps. The check engine light is not on when the car is running, but it does stay on when I have the key turned halfway. When the key is turned halfway, the battery light and temperature lights are also on, but nothing is on when the car is running.

Also, when I place the key in the ignition, the car makes that electronic ding ding ding sound like if you left your lights on before getting out. It goes off 9 times really fast. When I turn the key half way, it sounds off for another 7 dings that are a little slower. Is this an error message trying to tell me something?

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