My 97 Grand Am GT just broke down... need help diagnosing problem.... [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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82-T/A
07-31-2005, 09:53 PM
Ok, so... I was coming back from dinner with my wife (it was her birthday).

The 97 Grand Am GT with 2.4 TwinCam and 4T60E was driving just fine....

As I was driving, the car made sort of a "hiccup" of sorts.... it did three of them, and the car started driving weird... it had like almost NO acceleration power at all... I had just enough power to keep me going at my current speed....

I was cruising about 50 miles an hour, and I was able to get to my exit (which turns onto another highway) as we were coming around the highway exit ramp, the car started to get worse and the RPMs were dropping.... the car rolled down the exit ramp onto the side of the road, made a little squeak and died.

Now, I can get the car to start... but the engine runs really bad. It idles around 800 rpms just barely.. and the motor shakes back and forth.

The exhaust piping is shaking up and down like crazy.

I smell gasoline coming from the exhaust.


Also, when I FIRST got those hiccups while I was on the highway, the check engine light came on and was FLASHING... (I've NEVER seen it do that before...)

Before this, my car didn't have any warning lights on. Car ran and drives perfectly fine except the drum brakes which just started making noise this morning.

Car is also completely filled up with gas.

:horse:


Now, MY guesses are:

1 - Fuel Pump might be failing? But would that explain the huge gas smell from the exhuast?

2 - Maybe one of my DIS coils has failed and one of the cyls isn't burning properly?

3 - Water in the gas? I totally doubt it. I only buy from this one Hess station and it's in a nice area.


I've got a spare engine, including a spare IDI cover.. so I'm thinking of swapping that over when I get home from work.

I'd like to hear from you guys what you think the problem is...


thanks!!!

:( :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying:

:gagreen:

82-T/A
07-31-2005, 10:38 PM
Update, I just went outside and swapped out the IDI with an old one I had from my other 97 Grand Am a couple years ago. I know it's 100% ok.

The car started and it ran "ok" for a second. But, when I gave it any significant amount of gas, it started to hesitate with almost no power. But for almost a minute, it felt like it was running pretty good (back to normal).

The guy on the tow truck thinks that maybe it's my fuel pump, or my fuel filter is clogged. He said "After shaking around on the truck, it'll probably start OK next time you try it."

Which is true....

Also, after first starting the car from swapping the IDIs... the check engine light no longer flashes, it just stays on now.


Any new ideas guys?


Thanks!

Infernall
08-01-2005, 10:29 AM
Change the fuel filter asap. It is likely the problem, and its cheaper than other alternatives.

jimraelee
08-01-2005, 03:19 PM
ok, lets get to basics... you said you smell fuel in the exhaust... have you pulled the plugs to see if they are soaked??? sounds like excess fuel to me not lack there of... check the plugs and let us know... if you do think its lacking in the fuel dept.... get afuel pres gauge and tap into the fule line ... you said it starts so that would indicate your getting some fuel, but maybe not enough pressure... also could be ignition issue if your not buring all the fuel... bad coil pack.. you said 4cyl right... quad 4... if so coil packs mount under the cover on top of the plug.. so testing of those for resistance might help.... but whats the IDI you mention.. ignition module?????

82-T/A
08-01-2005, 04:26 PM
ok, lets get to basics... you said you smell fuel in the exhaust... have you pulled the plugs to see if they are soaked??? sounds like excess fuel to me not lack there of... check the plugs and let us know... if you do think its lacking in the fuel dept.... get afuel pres gauge and tap into the fule line ... you said it starts so that would indicate your getting some fuel, but maybe not enough pressure... also could be ignition issue if your not buring all the fuel... bad coil pack.. you said 4cyl right... quad 4... if so coil packs mount under the cover on top of the plug.. so testing of those for resistance might help.... but whats the IDI you mention.. ignition module?????


Thanks for the advice.

Well, I just hooked up the scanner to my car's computer. It basically told me jack..

it gave me error code P0300 which basically means, "Multiple Cyl Misfires!"

So, more or less, it told me something I already knew.

The GOOD thing is that it was the ONLY error code, so I can rule out the vast majority of my sensors and whatnot.

The IDI is exactly what you mentioned. It's a big cluster of coil packs, the entire top part of the engine plus the ignition control module component.

I had one from my old car which I KNEW was good, so I swapped that on, and based on what I mentioned earlier, I WAS able to start it, and it idled perfectly fine.

I have heard that the car's computer will go into a "Shutdown / Protection" mode where it prevents you from flooring it. What I'm going to do is the following:

1 - Replace the fuel filter for good measure.
2 - Start the car and see if I can drive it around again.
3 - I ERASED the P0300 code with my new scanner, so that should also disable the car's performance lockout.

If the car's running fine after that, then I'll know that my coil pack went bad.



What do you guys think?

I probably won't be able to swap out the fuel filter until Wednesday night though... :\


Thanks!!

mcgrady
08-01-2005, 04:59 PM
Sounds to me like there is a problem with the fuel delivery system in that there is too much fuel getting into the engine. I can't see there being a problem with coils as it would be an extreme fluke to have both go bad at once.

I had a very similar problem with my 96 Sunfire GT and what it turned out to be was a faulty O2 sensor. Try disconnecting the O2 harness and see what happens. My sensor's readings went way out of whack and told the computer to dump fuel into the engine. The O2 did not give an error code in the computer either.

Replacing the fuel filter is always a good idea although it's not your problem if there is fuel in the exhaust.

82-T/A
08-01-2005, 05:37 PM
Sounds to me like there is a problem with the fuel delivery system in that there is too much fuel getting into the engine. I can't see there being a problem with coils as it would be an extreme fluke to have both go bad at once.

I had a very similar problem with my 96 Sunfire GT and what it turned out to be was a faulty O2 sensor. Try disconnecting the O2 harness and see what happens. My sensor's readings went way out of whack and told the computer to dump fuel into the engine. The O2 did not give an error code in the computer either.

Replacing the fuel filter is always a good idea although it's not your problem if there is fuel in the exhaust.


THanks for the advice... I have a spare O2 sensor also from my other Grand Am, I'll try swapping that out too and see if it corrects the problem.


Thanks!

brim
08-01-2005, 07:55 PM
fuel pressure regulator