Electrical problem? I'm stumped [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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angrysk8r
03-08-2008, 01:16 PM
The problems first started when it rained/snowed about a week ago. My car would start to stall or nearly die sometimes during normal driving. It would backfire a lot while doing so as well. This happened once before after a car wash but it fixed itself after 10 min of driving. This time however I don't seem to be as lucky. I'm pretty sure it's getting enough fuel because while it is dying it backfires a lot, it just isn't getting spark sometimes for some reason. Other times it drives fine, builds max boost fine, all the electronics work, and then all of a sudden it will start stalling and dying all over again. Sometimes I can't get it to start (cranks over, fuel pump primes, I hear it start to start and then it dies). It is very very inconsistent though, other times it will start and run just fine. One time, I started the car, the engine was running just fine, but the tach, speedo, fuel gauge, coolant temp gauge, and basically everything attached to the steering column wouldn't work (such as the wiper blades). I turned the car off, restarted it and everything started working again.

I'm fairly sure it isn't the battery/battery cables because even while the car is dying the electronics work just fine. I replaced the plug wires but that didn't seem to help at all. I have no idea what the problem could be, I'm gonna head to my friends house and we're gonna scan it w/ the powrtuner and see if there are any weird codes. Any ideas anyone?

lone_wolf025
03-08-2008, 01:39 PM
Check under your dash and make sure all the plugs are tight and check your coil packs. Intermittent electrical problems are always the hardest to diagnose...

angrysk8r
03-08-2008, 02:15 PM
everything seems tight and dry, is there an easy way to check the coil packs using a multimeter?

lone_wolf025
03-08-2008, 02:18 PM
You can use a spark tester. I believe autozone rents them, but don't quote me on that.

angrysk8r
03-08-2008, 02:20 PM
I know it's getting spark..or at least at idle, it idles very smooth and drives smooth until the symptoms start up again. I don't know what would cause it to be so inconsistent.

lone_wolf025
03-08-2008, 03:02 PM
The spark tester puts a heavy load on the coils. If the coils are bad you won't get good spark. I'd tell ya check all the obvious stuff first, even pull a couple random plugs if you're feeling stumped. I'd also tell ya if you're gonna get it scanned, have your buddy sit with you while you go for a drive and have him run a continuous scan especially while the backfires and stuff occur. Give you a better idea of what to look at that way.

angrysk8r
03-16-2008, 01:09 AM
Finally figured out what the hell it was. Some wires that plug into the side of the coilpacks had somehow made their way over to the exhaust manifold, of course where there wasn't any header wrap. Over time the insulation melted away and whenever the engine would rock back the wires would short out over the exhaust manifold. Fixed and working 100% now.