'92 Grand Am on again off again problem

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  #1  
Old 07-09-02, 06:24 AM
rgrogan
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'92 Grand Am on again off again problem

I have a '92 Pontiac Grand Am, 4 cyl, fuel injected, 150k miles, with a very annoying problem. Hoping someone here can help. Car runs very good for a month or several months, then for no apparent reason begins to cut out, and back fire. Sounds like the injectors are going to pop thru the hood. Within a mile or so, the car will have lost all power, will idle but will not run under load. We then have car towed back home. If allowed to sit for several days, it will run great for another few weeks or months. This problem usually happens when it is a hot day but not always. This has been an ongoing problem for several years. None of the mechanics we have taken it to can find a problem; some will not even look at it because of past experience with other cars of same make, model and engine. My conscience will not allow me to trade it or sell it to another individual, knowing it has this problem.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-09-02, 06:51 AM
Joe_F
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Need to know some of the service history of the vehicle, the engine size and more detail of the problem (how/when it happens).

If it's a Quad 4 (2.3 liter), you're on borrowed time at 150k. Head gasket woes and engine troubles are around the corner. Pitch it for something better while it's running half way decent.

My .02.
 
  #3  
Old 07-09-02, 07:29 AM
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I unloaded my daughter's 92 GA last winter. What a dog that car was. I agree w/ Joe about the headgasket. I had mine replaced at 29K miles. It ran ok for a year, then we had a lot of trouble with overheating and running rough. A computer diagnostic check found a bad ERG valve and a bad O2 sensor. After replacing that, it ran fairly well.

I bet you have an emmission problem like the ones I noted, or the headgasket is leaking. As the engine warms up, the gasket could leak more or less, dumping water into the oil.

Have you noticed the coolant level dropping? Have you noticed white gunk on the dip stick?

I could share many more tales about this car, but there is not enough space! I'll never buy another GM product after my experiences with this piece of junk.
 
  #4  
Old 07-09-02, 08:02 AM
rgrogan
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It is a Quad 4. Head gasket, timing belt, water pump replaced one year ago, supposedly to fix the afore mentioned problem. Problem occurs at any time. Has happened at hiway speeds(55-60) and in town (25-35). Weather has been hot or just a warm day. Never occurs in cool weather. Usually happens when fuel gage reads below half full, but not always. Will go from running great one minute to cutting out and bucking the next. Starts out just missing a beat, then increases until there is no power left at all, usually within a mile or two. Towards the end it starts making a very loud metal on metal slapping sound under the hood. It will continue to idle very smoothly but will not run under load. Let sit for 2 to 3 days and it will run great again. The last couple of times the emergency brake light and the ABS light came on just before it started to cut out.
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-02, 09:05 AM
Joe_F
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My cousin got stuck with one of these as well. She didn't consult me first...sure enough blown head gasket. She wound up losing her 3000 deposit, the vehicle and defaulting on the loan. She got a Bronco II to replace it and THAT was troublesome too .

Start by checking the basics, such as fuel pressure and ignition output/function. Use my post "The Basics" and the autolibrary.org link I have below.

As you've seen from others, this vehicle is on borrowed time. Quad 4s are very troublesome and the problems return even after you fix them, unfortunately. My .02 cents is fix it and pitch it for good.
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-02, 09:19 AM
rgrogan
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Thanks for the responses. Yesterdays failure and resultant towing was the last straw, short of a "miracle" answer here today. Sad thing is, this is a beautiful little car, flawless body and interior. That's the only reason I have spent so much(1k +) trying to repair it. Oh well, anyone need a Grand Am parts car?

I think I will try and find a good ol' VW bug. Built like a tank, easy to work on, and good mileage, too.
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-02, 09:24 AM
Joe_F
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Again, depends on the problem. If the basics are ruled out and the problem is mechanical/internal in nature, I would surely pitch it, you've been down that road before.

Unfortunately, the Quad 4 was going to be a radical engine (they are VERY fast) but fell very short of GM's expectations for being a reliable engine. It's a shame that the noisy 2.5 used in previous GM's will outlast it for longevity in the long haul.

An old VW bug is cute, but it's a PITA getting heat in the winter time and they rot to death .
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-02, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Mass.
Posts: 333
Talking

Coincidently, my daughter replaced her GA with a "new" Beetle. I'm very impressed with the quality of construction and engineering. The driving position is rather odd, tough to get used to. This the first European car we've owned. Although they still look cute, they are radically different (and better!) from the old bugs. I think they are built on the Golf platform. Since they began production of the new Beetles in '98, you may be able to fine a good used one, as we did.
 
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