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Old 10-05-2005, 04:58 PM   #1
Ready-to-Cry
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Question Please Help! 94 Grand Am Mystery Problem

Hello to all of you out there that have a clue. I am not among you, and really need some help. My 1994 Grand Am is trying to kill me, literally, and no one can seem to figure out why. 113,000 miles on the car, V6. I'm anal and love my little decked out chic-mobile, so she is well maintained. The problem, undiagnosed for over a year now, is that she has this intermittnet issue that never happens while hooked up to the computer, and a barrage of mechanics have either not been able to duplicate, or the select few who have actually had the experience can't figure out. She runs great, and then...it happens. I don't know what to call "it". The car will still be running, but totally does not respond to acceleration. The engine usually does not rev or anything, (there have been a few occaisions of revving but no delivery of power) and very rarely will she completely stall even though she's been in this unresponsive state for a 30 seconds to over a minute. Sometimes there will be minor surging, sometimes not. There have been 2 instances of bucking. Sometimes she'll kick back into normal while trying to accelerate, sometimes I have to get off the gas pedal for a few beats first, and other times I have to restart her. She always starts right back up, and usually will run fine - but there have been a couple of times that the re-start didn't make her quit acting up. The problem will occur without rhyme or reason. On the highway at any speed, at a stop, in traffic -- anytime at whim, with no warnings, no idiot lights. Loves to do this to me when crossing traffic or making a left (nice. real nice). I don't know what to do. I'm willing to start throwing parts at her (I love my car) but I don't know where to begin, as I am financially challenged and would like to possibly throw the RIGHT parts at her as early in the game as possible. She's been tuned up, new filters, new exhaust system, and vac hoses replaced. She ran great for a week, and now back to her fits. Where do I go from here? I would be really grateful if someone could figure this out for me. Thanks for reading my whine! I'm open for any and all thoughts and suggestions!

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Old 10-05-2005, 07:58 PM   #2
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There could be a clog in your fuel line, your injectors could be dirty, your fuel pump could be going bad, distributor could be going bad, cable linkage in the throttle, spark plugs etc...

Could also be an engine control chip problem...
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Old 10-06-2005, 02:06 AM   #3
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Grand Am with issues...

Thank you for the reply. The injectors were pulled a year ago, and the fuel pump was tested - I was told it was fine. So, if you were me, what would be the best guess from here, and is there away to check things out for the process of elimination? If not, what are the cheaper parts to start the whole feed-a-part and pray game?
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Old 10-06-2005, 02:43 AM   #4
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well, do you know how they tested the fuel pump? i would usually start with ignition testing but a bad fuel pump can be diagnosed in about a half hour properly, even if the car isnt running ruff, pump speed, pressure output, volume output, and waveform of the pump should be checked in order to deem it a good working pump, basically you need to find a shop or a tech that has the proper tools and knowledge, it may take some time but nothing is undiagnoseable,is thats even a word.i'll check some recalls for your car and see if anything pops up, what size motor do you have?
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Old 10-06-2005, 04:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready-to-Cry
Thank you for the reply. The injectors were pulled a year ago, and the fuel pump was tested - I was told it was fine. So, if you were me, what would be the best guess from here, and is there away to check things out for the process of elimination? If not, what are the cheaper parts to start the whole feed-a-part and pray game?
I'd get the potential problem parts completely tested by a certified mechanic before replacing them...otherwise you could just be paying money to replace a fully functional part.

As for the fuel pump issue, the above post gave some good advice as to which direction to proceed from there.

The potential list is: Fuel pump (if the inspection was not complete), ignition, distributor, fuel line clog, throttle linkage, or engine control chip...

It's also possible that maybe air isn't getting into the firing chamber...so your intake or the valves themselves may have a problem.

The most likely culprit to me is the fuel pump, so if you are not completely sure that they did a good inspection I would recommend letting them (or someone else) have another look at it.
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Old 10-06-2005, 01:50 PM   #6
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Grand Am with Issues...

She's got a 3.1 V-6. Spunky little car, when running right. The fuel pump was tested at GM garage, and I was told the pressure was okay. That's the extent of my knowledge on that one. I really appreciate all of you taking the time to help me out. It will be kinda cool for me to get her into the garage with a list, rather than my usual "me-female, car-not-right".
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:38 PM   #7
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Im not sure I understand what you are saying, but it sounds like "step on the gas and you dont go anywhere, but it surges and jumps, like it is trying to go, other times working fine" If the engine runs fine, its your transmission filter. I had a 1996 grand am, same problem. The filter was clogged right up. It worked about 40% of the time. Dangerous! But if your engine doesnt respond at all when you hit the gas pedal, then it sounds like throttle linkage.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:06 AM   #8
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I know whats wrong :)

I have the same car as you and had the same problem....it was hella annoying!!! anyhow i got mine fixed...i dont know exactly what was wrong down to the t, but i know that it was all electrical....something to do with cracked soldering. i assume the electrical was connected to the fuel system or accelerator or something, so ya might want to get you mechanic to check it out
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:32 PM   #9
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Angry The Saga Continues...

Okay, guys ---

My car has been in the shop for the last week and a half, and the mechanics still don't know what's wrong with her. I printed out this entire thread in hopes that it would help. True to form, my little beastly here has been running like a dream for them. Only one of the guys working on her actually had the "issue experience", but remains clueless as to what is causing it.

Just thought I'd give you all an update, and hope that someone out there has an additional idea or two...

Arg.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaman
I'd get the potential problem parts completely tested by a certified mechanic before replacing them...otherwise you could just be paying money to replace a fully functional part.

As for the fuel pump issue, the above post gave some good advice as to which direction to proceed from there.

The potential list is: Fuel pump (if the inspection was not complete), ignition, distributor, fuel line clog, throttle linkage, or engine control chip...

It's also possible that maybe air isn't getting into the firing chamber...so your intake or the valves themselves may have a problem.

The most likely culprit to me is the fuel pump, so if you are not completely sure that they did a good inspection I would recommend letting them (or someone else) have another look at it.

What else is in the fuel system besides the fuel pump? Filter? did anyone look at what teh OLD filter looked like? maybe something is settling on the fuel pickup, causing it to not draw fuel some of the time. If it were an older car, I'd call rust in the tank. But somehow I doubt it on a '94.

Maybe it's on the other end, such as a broken catalytic converter that occasionally has the parts turn internally to block airflow.
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:51 PM   #11
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Do you always get your gas from the same gas station?
If so try some other gas station my Grand AM did the same dam thing yours is doing that becase there was water in the tank try that for now! aslo check your coil pack where your plug wires plug in check for corrosion.
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:44 PM   #12
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This is not a fuel issue.

If the car bucks and surges, this sounds to be a classic case of a COIL PACK gone bad. Also, points to the coil pack because it is intermittent. Fuel issues would not be so intermittent.

Some other things to think about....

-Check engine light doesn't come on. Often the sensors don't pick up on problem coil packs until they are extremely bad.
-Does the car start normally when the engine is cold?
-At a stop the car idles normally, but hesitates when accellerator is applied. It may surge a bit when accellerating or buck.
-Car is hard to start when hot. After running the car awhile and you turn it off, does it seem harder to start up again than when it is cold?
-Is the problem noticeably worse in damp or wet weather?

Your problem, if it includes any or all of the symptoms I have listed, sounds like it's a coil pack.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:39 PM   #13
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Is your car named "Herbie" lol, sorry. I think the previous post might be more on the spot, my truck sometimes does that (but it realy could be anything). Check the distributer coils and have someone who knows somthing look at it. If you replace parts, just remember to check and adjust the timing after.
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