95 GA 4cylinder, HELP!!! [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 11:12 AM
Hello everyone. Its been a few years since I've been here. I have a question about my sister's 95 GA SE 4cyl with auto trans. She just recently has been having the car run very rough at idle and driving (hesitation / stalling) She also reported white smoke coming out of the tailpipe (thinking oil) and Smelling real bad. My father thought it was the CAT so he has replaced that with no avail. He than read up on the TPS and thought it was that. Of course not that ether.

I then thought it could be a bad EGR valve or I also read its may be a O2 Sensor as will. We are all in the dark here and I'm confused of want it could be. does anyone have any insight to what it could be that is causing this to happen. I've looked everywhere and really haven't found anything. Please HELP!!! thank you in andvance.

sleepyalero
08-26-2013, 11:23 AM
Iac, bad head gasket are my thoughts.

NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 12:19 PM
Iac, bad head gasket are my thoughts.

Ok. thank you for the input, I will let my father know. Hopefully it is the IAC and not the Head Gasket, that will not be fun at all.

sleepyalero
08-26-2013, 01:29 PM
Hopefully more will chime in and let yov know there sugestions.

But burning white smoke makes me thing head gasket.

Is there coolant in the oil? Or oil in your coolant?

[ChaosweaveR]
08-26-2013, 01:49 PM
Could be a bad head gasket. I'd check the condition of the coolant and the engine oil.

As for the rough idle, have you replaced the plugs recently? Could be a bad fuel injector. I'd run seafoam through the vacuum system to burn off all the carbon that's probably all built up in the top end of the engine.

NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 03:06 PM
Hopefully more will chime in and let yov know there sugestions.

But burning white smoke makes me thing head gasket.

Is there coolant in the oil? Or oil in your coolant?

I'm not sure. I have asked my father, he hasn't gotten back to me yet about it. I will let you know when I hear back.



;1224558']Could be a bad head gasket. I'd check the condition of the coolant and the engine oil.

As for the rough idle, have you replaced the plugs recently? Could be a bad fuel injector. I'd run seafoam through the vacuum system to burn off all the carbon that's probably all built up in the top end of the engine.

I know the spark plugs have been replaced not that long ago but with which brand I don't know. I also suggested the seafoam as well. Thanks for your input.

NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 06:26 PM
Ok just talked to my father. There is no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil, but he says he has to add about a total of 1/2 gallon a month or less to it. The IAC sensor was replaced a year ago. Could it possibly be a clogged and gummed up oil air separator? He says it is very full of brown black goo. Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question, I'm lost on this engine. If it was 3100 V6 I would be fine. Thank again guys.

sleepyalero
08-26-2013, 06:43 PM
The 4 cyl im lost on too. The 3400 i know more about then these... But sometimes i get lucky depending on the problems happening. lol

Add about a 1/2 gallon a month to what? The oil or the coolant?

Is the oil air seperator the pcv system? Ive never heard of something referred to like that.

NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 07:18 PM
Oh sorry. He ads about 1/2 a gallon or less of coolant month.

The oil air separator is the PCV system sort of speak. There is no actual PCV valve like on the 3400. The oil air separator is a black box that sits on the front of the engine by the power steering resivoir. If you google "GM 2.3 oil air separator" and go to images you can see it in some of those pictures.

sleepyalero
08-26-2013, 07:22 PM
Okay. If you park the car does it show spots of fluid leaking under it?

NJMalibuman
08-26-2013, 07:29 PM
No he has never seen any spots under the car. I asked him if he can see any coolant mixed with the oil and he said the oil is clean, no trace of any coolant at all. It almost like it is evaporating.

jhelton
08-27-2013, 02:33 AM
check radiator hoses,heater core hoses,water pump,but I think it's the head gasket. I do have the 2.3 quad4.

jhelton
08-27-2013, 02:55 AM
PM Matt95GT he may can help you.

sleepyalero
08-27-2013, 03:55 AM
Odd, im leaning towards head gasket, id do a compression test to find out imo.

I believe it should be no less then 100 psi with that motor.

NJMalibuman
08-27-2013, 08:26 AM
jhelton: Ok, thank you for the info. I will pass it along.

sleepyalero: Another rookie question here but how do you go about doing a compression test. Do we need to take it to a garage?

1995quad4se
08-27-2013, 07:11 PM
2.3L are some what known for head gaskets. I would lean towards that considering the coolant seems to disappear, you can blow a HG without involving both the oil and coolant.

Youtube how to do a compression test and you will learn it is very easy to do. If you can change spark plugs you can do that.

sleepyalero
08-27-2013, 07:23 PM
All you need is a compression tester. But yes youtube how to do a comp test.

NJMalibuman
08-28-2013, 09:18 AM
Ok turns out its the Head Gasket, 9 out of 10. The White smoke has gotten worse. Know the problem arises is the cost to get it fixed is going the be the same or more than the car is worth, and sad thing about it is the car is in prefect shape with only about 90,000 mile on it.

Heck it would probably be cheaper to throw a 3100 v6 in it LOL. Is there anything out there that would work to fix the Head Gasket like that sealant, or would it just be better to fix it the right way.

jhelton
08-28-2013, 12:04 PM
it's best to fix it the right way the first time,otherwise you will be doing it again later down the road.my car only has 93,000 miles on it.as for the v6,a lot of work.

Matt95GT
08-28-2013, 01:08 PM
Rec'd your PM, replying here.

If a 2.3 is losing coolant, and it isn't an obvious external leak (split hose, cracked coolant outlet, etc) than it is usually one of these 3:
1. Heater core - OEM part has plastic side tanks known to fail. But... leaky heater core should be obvious - coolant smell from vents and drains via AC condensation spout @ firewall.
2. Worn water pump bearings. The water pump is driven by the timing chain (via spline drive. Not direct, like the LD9) so if the bearings go bad, the coolant can get into the timing chain housing and mix with the oil. This should also be fairly obviously - milkshake oil and external drips from the weep hole on the pump.
3. Head gasket.

The 2.3 does not have EGR.

As others have suggested, signs are pointing to head gasket, and I would do a compression test.

Could it possibly be a clogged and gummed up oil air separator? He says it is very full of brown black goo.

No. At worst, a clogged oil/air separator will result in pressure that causes excessive blow-by. This would cause blueish oil smoke and oil consumption. It would not affect coolant level.

If you want to clean it out, remove the separator box from the engine, and clean it out with a solvent. It is mostly empty inside - just a little baffle in the corner.

2.3L are some what known for head gaskets.

Early Quad 4's, yes. The later ones with the 456 heads are pretty reliable. Unfortunately a gasket failure can happen to any of them, but it was the early 2.3 that earned that reputation.

Ok turns out its the Head Gasket, 9 out of 10. The White smoke has gotten worse. Know the problem arises is the cost to get it fixed is going the be the same or more than the car is worth, and sad thing about it is the car is in prefect shape with only about 90,000 mile on it.

Heck it would probably be cheaper to throw a 3100 v6 in it LOL. Is there anything out there that would work to fix the Head Gasket like that sealant, or would it just be better to fix it the right way.

Weigh your options - it may cost more to repair than book value. On the other, that book value isn't likely to get you a replacement in equal condition, and will have an unknown history.

I wouldn't consider an engine swap - nothing is compatible between Quad 4 and 3100... different trans, harness, PCM, gauge cluster, etc.

NJMalibuman
08-28-2013, 03:18 PM
Yeah your right jhelton, Its to nice of a car to put a band aid on it.

Matt95GT: thank you for all this information. It is very much appreciated. I am going to pass this along to my father. and recommend he do the compression test to be sure. If it is not the Head Gasket he has 2 other leads now, but I also don't think it is the water pump because of seeing no external drips.

My father did end up cleaning the Oil Air separator out anyway just to do it, he figured why he was in there he might as well.

jhelton
08-29-2013, 12:55 PM
Keep us informed on what's going on. Hopefully you can get it fixed.

NJMalibuman
08-30-2013, 08:26 AM
I will kept you guys all updated. As of now its seems like it will be going to a shop to get repaired. We will see how things go and I'll make sure to let you know.

I know I've said it enough but thank you everyone for all your help.

NJMalibuman
09-13-2013, 09:28 AM
Alright guys I have an update on the car. My father sent it to the shop on Tuesday night and the mechanic called back last night with the diagnosis. It is ether the Head Gasket like stated here or its a Cracked Head, he found exhaust gases in the antifreeze. The rough estimate on repair right now is $1,300.

My father did do a compression test over the past weekend and the 3 of the 4 cylinders were at 180, and one was at 150. Will keep you posted as time goes on.