Question about 1997 Pontiac Sunfire

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Car won't go over 30mph, running sluggish, motor shakes. has new sparke plugs, plug wires, and fuel filter. comprehsion test was good, and when hooked up to a diagnostics machine it just reads "misfire" help????

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My car would get stuck in 2nd gear and not go faster then 30 to 45. I found out it is the output sensor on the transmission might check that out and see if it helps.

I have another problem that i can not figure out. My car has a really rough start sometimes and i can not figure out what it is. Can anyone help me with this?

Posted on Mar 10, 2011


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Poor fuel flow is one possible cause of poor performance. A clogged fuel filter is only one possible cause of that. You might have a weak fuel pump, although with the electric fuel pump on this car, that would either have the car running or not running at all, not running poorly. You might very well have a clogged fuel injector--gas is getting there, but an inappropriate amount is getting sprayed into the combustion chambers. You might also have a clogged fuel intake screen inside the gas tank--the fuel pump might not be able to **** up enough fuel.

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A final consideration is spark. If you have a weak spark, you won't get as strong an explosion in your cylinders, yielding less power and stumbling. Or, if the spark comes at the wrong time, you'll have the same problem. You can check for a strong spark by taking a spark plug--an old one, a new one, one that doesn't even match your car, and using it to test the spark coming off each of your spark plug wires. Attach the plug to a wire you disconnect, ground the tip of the wire against exposed metal on your engine, and look for a nice healthy blue-white spark. If you see a yellow or orange spark, that's not so good. That could indicate a weak ignition coil--or also old spark plug wires that are leaking voltage. Spark plug wires should probably be changed every 5-6 years; they're not a lifetime part of your car.

A final consideration I didn't list previously is that you may have a bad O2 or other sensor that measures and adjusts the air / fuel mixture. A bad sensor will force your car's computer to operate on a default profile designed to let you limp home. However, it won't perform particularly well.

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