Question about 1996 Pontiac Firebird

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Service Engine Soon light keeps coming on

I have replaced the crank sensor,ignition module,plugs/plug wires,coils,and o2 sensor.The light came on flashing this time.Mechanic says the computer shows 'random misfiring' but it's running fine.He sugests I take it to an electrical man to check wiring and computer.What else could it be?

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  • Myra  Lax
    Myra Lax Feb 17, 2009

    I'm sure he's already done that.The mechanic I use has been in business many years.I bought the car used.The water pump was leaking when I bought it,replaced that,then the 'service engine soon' light came on and it was the o2 sensor,replaced that.The car broke down on me and I had it towed.The computer showed bad ignition module,replaced that,then then computer showed bad crank sensor,replaced that.The car ran fine for a day and then started missing really bad,back firing,lungeing,would barely run.Got it back to the shop.It showed 'random cylinder misfiring'He replaced the plugs which had never been replaced and found all 3 coils burned black so he replaced those.That was in October.It has been fine until yesterday when the light came back on.The computer showed the same result as before 'random cylinder misfiring'.He thinks something is not right in the brain of the car.He's left scratching his head.He has unpluged,re-adjusted lots of little things to see if anything made a difference but no good .The thing that puzzles us is,the car runs great!I scan my gauges constantly and keep up the maintainence on it.The light is flashing now where before it was steady on.Someone told me it could be the motherboard?

    I don't know.I just need help with it.I'm a single mom and that is the only way of transportation I have to go to work.I need it straightened out,fast! Any suggestions are welcome!

  • Myra  Lax
    Myra Lax Mar 04, 2009

    We've already replaced all those,lol.Thanks for your help though!

    Since the car sat all summer in the sun and was not driven and I had just put a few dollars gas in it (because I was in a hurry),my mechanic suggested I put a little more gas in it and add a bottle of rubbing alcohol.His thoughts were that there was moisture or condensation in the line or tank.I did that,drove it 10 miles and the light went off.It has stayed off this time.I took it back and he checked it again,same thing,'random cylinder misfire' so he cleared the history code as well.Keeping my fingers crossed here :).Thanks guys.If I have any more problems,I'll let you know.

  • Stephen Davids May 11, 2010

    have the technician reset the light and see if it turns back on



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  • 55 Answers

When the water pump leaks, it leaks right onto the Opti-Spark distributor. It will cause the same issues you are having. Replace the Opti along with the spark plus and wires.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009


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