Question about 1995 Pontiac Sunfire

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Sputtering 98 sunfire

I have a 98 2.2liter sunfire. lately it has been sputtering at all speeds. brought it in and had it hooked up to a computer. the fuel pressure ragulator was changed. spark plugs were changed, fuel treatment and it still sputters and sometimes i have to push on the gas to get it to start

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********There's 4 things an engine needs, Air Spark Fuel and a brain to tell them when to do which. If everything seems fine, fuel injectors are fine (right resistance), have spark, and your air filter isn't black, then call a dealership, (DO NOT go there, just call) give them your VIN number and ask if the recall has been done yet on the PCM gasket and if there are any other free recalls that need to be done. This car and the cavalier had a bad gasket on the PCM casing, allowing water to get in and destroy the main computer. Screws everything up and puts most of these cars in the junkyard long before 200k miles. Simple fix though, new computer, new connectors. It's located underneath the passenger headlight, the stupidest place to put it, so puddles kill the car and make it so it will sputter and eventually die. EVEN IF THE DEALERSHIP SAYS IT'S BEEN DONE, VISUALLY CHECK THIS!!!!! After I paid a dealership to do $400 worth of "general electrical work" that still didn't fix the problem, I researched it myself and found that even though the recall had been done, the guy botched the job and water still got in. SPUTTERING AND THEN DEAD. Sound Familiar?

Air Spark Fuel and Brain

First make sure your Air filter is clean, and that it is able to **** air into the airbox. If leaves clog the air intake cause it's near the ground, no air, no combustion. Take off the cover to the air filter, check the air filter, if it's black at all, change it, tan-light brown can stay a little longer. Leave it on the top part of the air box and try starting the car, so that the air that gets sucked in goes through the filter but doesn't come from the air box, just the ambient air around the engine compartment. If it runs without being contained in the filter housing, then you either have critters, a critter nest, or you sucked up a bunch of leaves that are blocking the air flow. Compressed air, have fun with it. Getting air? Good, now is it getting spark.

What you want to do is check if there's spark at all 4 plugs. You can go to the auto parts store and pick up a spark plug tester that plugs into the wires and clips to the engine and allows you to see the spark, or you can do it the fun way. Remove one by one, clean em off with a rag and test them by pressing the threaded side of them (obviously don't touch the metal, use the wires to hold em) to the engine block for a ground. Have someone try to turn it over for just a second, if it turns twice, but you don't get a spark, verify it by doing it again. If they're not firing, replace plugs and wires, try starting it. Test the cam and crankshaft sensors and last the ignition coil-packs. If this is the 2.2, they're on the back of the engine and accessible from underneath.

If the plugs fire, great, now check the fuel. Get out of the car, take the gas cap off, and put your ear to the hole while someone turns the key on, without starting it, for 3 seconds then turns it off a couple times. If you can hear the whirring sound, good, if not, check the fuel pump, fuel filter, relays and fuses. Now the injectors.

Time for the voltage meter! Get a voltage meter that measures Ohms, (symbol of a horseshoe) which is the resistance through something. Unplug the injector, touch the two posts inside the injector with the ohmmeter, and see what it says for each one. If the injectors don't have the right resistance, they're bad and need to be replaced.

Here's the specs...
For 2.2L OHV engines:
1995 - 11.6 to 12.4 Ohms
96&97 - 11.8 to 12.6 Ohms
98 to 2000 - 1.95 to 2.3 Ohms
01 to 02 - 11 to 14 Ohms
For 2.2L OHC engines:
2002+ - 11 to 14 Ohms
For 2.3L (1995) and 2.4L OHC engines:
1995 (2.3L) - 1.95 to 2.15 Ohms
1996 to 98 - 1.95 to 2.3 Ohms
99 & 2000 - 11.4 to 12.6 Ohms
01 and 02 - 11 to 14 Ohms

If they give the right readings, test the connectors to the fuel injectors with a NOID Light, available to buy or rent from most auto parts stores to see if the injectors are getting the signal to fire. If they aren't, the NOID Light won't flash and there's a problem with your computer or the link to it. Visually check the PCM again and connectors for corrosion. Once again, there was a recall on the PCM housing that KILLS MOST OF THESE CARS. . Good Luck.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

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