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HelicopterOff Topics › Need to ask ? for a GM mechanic
03-11-2003 02:00 PM  14 years agoPost 1
Signman

rrApprentice

Bristol, Virginia

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Do we have any GM dealer mechanics on here? I have a question for you about my car. Not wanting to be worked on, just an honest answer. My local GM dealer says no but I think differently. The question is..............

Are there any settings that could be messed with that would cause a great running car to bogg down as you let off the gas pedal or barley give it gas? It's almost like the old cars that had a vacuum advance that was stuck or didn't work.

I took my car in to have a new set of platinum plugs put in it brfore we went on vacation last year. I always thought 5 years or 60,000 miles......whichever came first. My car only had 42,000 on it. All they were supposed to do was replace the plugs. Well, when I got it back, the invoice said replaced plugs and set to factory specs. What did they set? Whatever it was is causing my problem. The dealership refuses to do anything about it because it is "within specs" The car is sick. Doesn't run worth nothin'. This is a 1996 Monte Carlo Z34. 3.4 liter V6...215 or 225hp, I can't remember which. Can anyone tell me what I could have checked at another dealership that may be causing the problem?

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03-11-2003 02:22 PM  14 years agoPost 2
Zimmy

rrApprentice

Ontario Canada

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Hi, I am not a GM tech but have worked in the trade for 16 plus years and hold an Canadian Mechanics liscense and Automotive Electronics Certificate. I will try to answer your problem hopefully. It sounds like the tech has dropped or put a spark plug in too fast and bent over the ground electrode of the spark plug or even cracked the porcelin insulation at the top of the plug causing a no fire, low idle and very rough running. The other thing that might have happened is he plulled off a spark plug wire and destroyed the end connection that attaches to the rest of the wire. One more thing the wire might not be connected to one plug at all. Also does this engine have twin overhead cams, as the last one I worked on it was very difficult to install the rear spark plugs and the plug could get damaged easily upon installation. If you need any visual explanation go to the following web site it might help. http://www.howstuffworks.com and look in the engine section of how things work. Let us know how things work out, but I think the dealer should at least pull all the plugs and check them to see if they are ok!

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03-11-2003 03:22 PM  14 years agoPost 3
ESchmidt

rrApprentice

Salem, NH

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?s for you

What else did they do to your car? Did they just replace the spark plugs, or did they do a timing belt or anything else?

There are few to no mechanical settings to do to a 3.4 litre engine. Everything is computer controlled. The ignition timing and injector flow is all regulated by the PCM, so there really is nothing that they should have done but put in a set of plugs. I doubt that they would have gapped them wrong, or bent the ground strap on them...you would be seeing a Check Engine light with a stored missfire code.

It could just be a coincidence that something happened while your car was at their shop (it has happened to me before), or they may have left a vacuum line off, or a sensor unplugged. You may also have a vacuum leak at the intake manifold...I have seen this MANY times on the DOHC 3.4s.

Take it to another shop and see what they can come up with...but I would be willing to bet you, if they just put a set of plugs in, it wasn't anything they did. Also...something to keep in mind...the dealership doesn't always have the best, most experienced techs. Most of the dealers I've seen have a one or two VERY good techs and a lot of mediocre ones.

BTW I'm an ASE Certified Master Tech with 15 years of experience...that doesn't work at a dealership.

Eric

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03-11-2003 03:40 PM  14 years agoPost 4
Signman

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Bristol, Virginia

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Thanks guys for replying to this. Nothing else was supposed to be done to the car........just replace the plugs.
I've replaced the plugs again myself and they are gapped correctly and are not cracked. This is a twin overhead cam engine and it's very hard to replace the plugs in. You have to remove the plenium (whole top of engine) just to get to the rear plugs. I've replace all the plug wires, all six coils (ouch), TPS switch, looked for loose electrical and hose connections and just about everything else I could think of. Nothing else can be found. Do you think something may be going bad in the computer? The one that is on it is a replacement that was put on shortly after I purchased the car new in 1996. (Long story)

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03-11-2003 04:07 PM  14 years agoPost 5
Jim C

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PA

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hehehe buy a viper.... just joking that sucks to hear man, i hate taking my vehicle to the shop never comes out running the same and then you have to take it back and get that fixed.,... shady charactars they are... just to make the $$..

jim

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03-11-2003 04:08 PM  14 years agoPost 6
ESchmidt

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Salem, NH

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It's possible that you could have a computer problem, but I would still look for a leaking intake gasket. Here's how to check....Take the black plastic cover off of the upper plenum. You should be able to see where the lower intake meets the cylinder heads. Get yourself some carburator cleaner, and with the engine running, spray along the the edges of the intake (where they meet the heads). If you notice and increase in RPM, you just found your leak. If you're smart enough to remove the upper plenum, the lower intake gaskets shouldn't be a problem for you to do yourself.

If that doesn't do it, find someone who owns a scanner, have them check for codes, and read the datastream. And look for erratic or way out of specification readings. This is the best way to tell if you have a computer problem. Usually a bad PCM will cause an intermittent drivablity problem...not a constant problem as you are describing.

You could also have a fuel pressure, volume or quality issue. I would check fuel pressure and volume too. Put a sample of fuel in a glass jar and let it sit for a while and see if anything separates out of it.

Your best bet is to find a shop that specializes in drivability problems, and let them go after the problem.

Eric

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03-11-2003 04:12 PM  14 years agoPost 7
Jim C

rrVeteran

PA

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oh oh oh oh oh oh oh what about a bad/clogged fuel injector??? just a thought

jim

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03-11-2003 04:19 PM  14 years agoPost 8
ESchmidt

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Salem, NH

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budc

Comments like that are why people distrust mechanics.

Like I said...I've been doing this for 15 years and never have I done or sold anything that wasn't needed. Sure, I've broken things while doing a job, but the customer is made aware of it and I take care of the problem. Hell, yesterday one of my techs broke a water pump on a Jeep while doing an exhaust manifold. I informed the customer that it had happened and we would be replacing the water pump for her at no charge. There is way too much honest business out there to have to be dishonest.

People don't take care of their cars....that's why they break. (not directed at you signman)

Eric

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03-11-2003 04:20 PM  14 years agoPost 9
Mrcowboy65

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Folsom, Ca

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fuel filter..........

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03-11-2003 04:28 PM  14 years agoPost 10
Jim C

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PA

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sorry, but i have not had good luck with dealerships/ mechanics. i take my dakota to the local mechanic and get work done on it.. and only charges for the parts. but just saying if i can do it myself or if my dad knows whats wrong (mechanic 15 yrs) we work on it together.. and yes mistakes do happen im not saying everyone (or you for that matter) are crooks.. (see first line) and sorry if you took that the wrong way. not how i meant it.. but i cant stop wondering why the parts are way more expensive then if you go to a auto parts store for the same part... but still charge 30 bucks an hour(guess only) for labor.. i may have missed something along the way.. but in a strange way i respect them cuz i would rather not try to fix any thing on any vehicle.. i just dont like it but if i can save some dollars i will.

(and yes i take care of my stuff you can eat off of any part of the vehicle)
jim

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03-11-2003 04:46 PM  14 years agoPost 11
ESchmidt

rrApprentice

Salem, NH

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budc

No harm...just a sensitive subject for me. I get accused of being a crook at least once a month. People come into a mechanics shop expecting to get screwed. And it is very hard to get them to change their outlook. Cars break...it's a fact....I didn't break it, I'm only here to make sure that it gets repaired right...the first time.

I know a lot of people who haven't had good luck with dealerships That why we, the aftermarket mechanics, are here.

As far ar parts pricing, believe it or not, you do get what you pay for when it comes to most items. There are some component brands I refuse to use, even though the profit margin is better, because I know that they have a higher failure rating than some of the other, more expensive parts. If I think I'm going to have to warranty a part...I won't use it...nobody is happy when they have to take the car back to the shop for the same problem. Everyone loses...I lose tech time ($60/hr) that could be used doing a job that will make some money and the customer loses their time to do something other than sitting in my waiting area waiting for their car to be repaired AGAIN.

Granted, there are A LOT of places that are just looking at the bottom line. I've seen A LOT of shops go out of business too.

Eric

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03-11-2003 04:54 PM  14 years agoPost 12
Jim C

rrVeteran

PA

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again sorry to offend .. i understand you get what you pay for but if you go to the autoparts store you can get the same part the dealer would use for less... thats what i dont understand... is it cuz the store sells alot or what.. just courious

jim

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03-11-2003 05:05 PM  14 years agoPost 13
ESchmidt

rrApprentice

Salem, NH

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Dealerships

The dealers are actually getting a lot better at this. There are some parts now that I can get from them for less money than I can from the parts stores. They were quite greedy for a while, but I think a lot of people realized the same thing you did and quit buying stuff from them. Now they are starting to lower prices on quite a few things....check them on brake parts for example. I can buy most brake rotors from the local Chrysler dealer for less than I can from most of the aftermarket suppliers...and they're better quality. They're still out of line on a lot of things, but they're getting better.

Eric

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03-11-2003 06:08 PM  14 years agoPost 14
Signman

rrApprentice

Bristol, Virginia

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helifreak, I respect any mechanic that will tackel a job on todays autos. They weren't built to be worked on! Everything is almost inaccessible. That's why I don't like to work on them anymore. I know what you are talking about in your business. I own a business on the side and run into some of the same things. $h*# happens that you have no control over and covering up mistakes will eventually drive that business in the ground. This is what I like about this forum. Everybody has an opinion and I like that. That gives me options and even lifts my spirits a bit to see that everyone is trying to help me. I take this opportunity to thank everyone that has given a suggestion. I will get to the bottom of this eventually.

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03-12-2003 06:10 AM  14 years agoPost 15
Jim C

rrVeteran

PA

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helifreak sorry bout the delay had to go to work for 12 hrs today but thats good to hear that they are getting better!! thanks for the info!!


jim

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03-14-2003 04:26 AM  14 years agoPost 16
flipped2left

rrKey Veteran

indianapolis,in.

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i agree with helifreak it sounds like a leak of some sort,you might also check the connections on the e.g.r. valve or the m.a.p. sensor.i would suggest a system reset... to perform a system reset disconnect the negative terminal from the battery for about 5 mins then reconnect then see what it does! i used to work at a used car lot and i walked out 'cause they wanted me to bypass a lot of things and cheat the customers,i don't work on too many now but if i had a heated garage i'd be back at it! ken

Smile! people will wonder what you're up to!!

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03-14-2003 07:47 AM  14 years agoPost 17
rcheliflyer

rrKey Veteran

calif., usa

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I'm a GM tech and currently work at a dealership, from what you have said there is not enough info to diagnose the problem, that motor
3.4 dohc is prone to the intake leak mentioned but usually at a higher
milage then 42k, but then it's 7 yrs old and that may be a factor since
this gasket is a composite material.
What I would suggest is to stop messing with it and take it to another
GM dealer, have it checked/diagnosed and repaired then draw your conclusions.
The set to factory spec thing is something generic that many auto repair
places put on the workorder, and may or may not mean anything depending on what was done.
Take it in to a good dealer, talk to the service manager about the probs you are having, he will help you, and get it fixed right.

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03-14-2003 12:42 PM  14 years agoPost 18
Signman

rrApprentice

Bristol, Virginia

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rcheliflyer, I understand what you are saying, but that plenium gasket has been changed each time the thing has been off. I am going to take it to another dealership and have it checked out. Thanks for everyone's replies to this. I'll let you guys know what I find out.

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03-14-2003 11:58 PM  14 years agoPost 19
rcheliflyer

rrKey Veteran

calif., usa

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Glad to hear you are taking it in, the gasket I was refering to is for the lower intake where it seals to the heads, not the upper plenum.
If this is the DOHC 3.4 then the intake has an upper and lower section.
The lower section has the vacuum leak problem that is mentioned
in earlier posts.

Hope you get her fixed without too many more probs.

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