Question about 1988 Chevrolet Camaro

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What could the problem be with a 1988 Chevrolet Camaro 2.6 V6 motor?

It is extremely sluggish. I have done everything I can think of to remedy this and nothing I have tried has worked. It had a short in the wiring down by the starter. That is when it seemed to have started.

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I used to have an 86 Camaro with a 2.8. Mines was also sluggish towards the end even though I had an exhaust and all new cables and plugs installed. Mine turned out to be the oil pump getting weak and the engine seized. The Chevy 2.8 are terrible engines and I personally would swap it out with a 3.8 if you wanted to stay at a 6 or an lt1/ls1 if you wanted an 8.

Posted on Apr 01, 2015

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Hi Evie;
I would check the driver's side dash to see if the "check engine" light came on; if so rent an OBD-I reader (specific to GM cars) from your local auto parts store.
Once you retrieve the trouble code, go to the following website to interpret the code fault:
2008 Acura MDX Sensor Location

The title of the above link is misleading; it will bring you to the "GM OBD1 Codes Retrieval For Pre 1996 GM Vehicles" page. It is a single page reading, dedicated to the GM OBD-I DTCs; please read it first before attempting to pull the codes.

From there, you'll be able to get a general idea of where or what to look at, in the diagnostic/troubleshoot process, instead of the guess and try method.

For future reference, you should detail more information as to what led up to the problem; or what is actually happening; and what repairs were attempted to correct the'll certainly lower, if not take the guess factor out of the troubleshooting process.

If you need more help, there are plenty of assistants to help. :)

Posted on Apr 01, 2015

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  • Evie Sullivan Apr 01, 2015

    I tried all of those things. The fan stays on all of the time. It ran great and when I shifted into 3rd it lost power. There was a short in the wire that goes to the starter and melted to the exhaust manifold. That is when the problem seemed to have started.

  •  John
    John Apr 02, 2015

    Hi Evie- Once again, I think you need to start at the OBD-I connector to see if you can pull any Diagnostic Troubleshoot Codes (DTCs). If you damaged the Engine Control Module (ECU) because of the electrical short when the starter lead wire melted to the exhaust manifold, then that's a clue that you have incurred problems with the electrical components. This may be the beginning source of the problem, and not necessarily a mechanical problem with the engine itself. A starter can draw anywhere between 60 to 250 amps, ANY amount of voltage or amperage sent to "ground", where no voltage or amperage should be sent through, will obliterate electrical components.

  •  John
    John Apr 02, 2015

    If you're lucky, you may have "blown" fuses or "fusible links" in the electrical circuitry. Check the fuses in the fuse box (driver's compartment) and the power ditribution panel (engine comparment) using an Ohm meter or continuity tester with tone alert; or with a light tester.

  •  John
    John Apr 02, 2015

    Purchase (online or at your local auto parts store) a service manual that includes wiring circuitry diagrams for the year, make, & model of your car- and test various electrical components in the engine circuitry. Visually inspect for other wires that may have melted too.


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