Question about 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE

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Surging while driving

While driving the car will surge, the rpm will go from 2000 to 2300 then back again, new plugs new fuel filter, my next step is changing the tranny fluid.

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There is a broken or diconected vacuum pipe, you can listen for air leakage with engine running and hood open, push pipes and note difference, goodluck.

Posted on Aug 02, 2008

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Need to take to a shop with a GM tech 2 or higher scan tool. These tools can actually display various sensor readings and voltages in real time and can be used while driving the car to recreate the issue. These are super expensive scan tools so most shops don't have them. Call around or bite the bullet and have a dealer do it. The money you spend on a correct diagnosis will be saved by not throwing random parts at it based on guess work.

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scan it yet, a FULL OBD2 scan? why not?if not.
now is the time...


the 1.8L J18 engine, same as the older Sidekick sports used.
same engine , know it I do.
its the precursor to the J20, (j18 is under-stroked, j20 with many of the same parts. inside)
the back fire means explosion sound to rear end of tail pipe?
yes, that is rich raw fuel in the muffler. plus Air.
if there are exhaust cracks and then engine goes rich this can happen( a double failure)
if how ever BACK means, back to the Air cleaner, then that be different reasons, (timing)


engine now starts.?>
engine runs.? has full power, car drives ok.?
JUST?
SURGE,. you never said.

does engine get hot? 180F or more and holds (y/n)
ever get a full tuneup this decade,
most dont so i tell you, bad spark causes, misfire and raw fuel is wasted to the exhaust and sure can go boom.

surging usually means the ISC can not control idle
so it hunts, (a suzuki software engine on all 90s engines)
PCM errors, inside it. (dangerous too)
a modern car, if idle goes too high the ecu commands the ISC closed
and holds it there solid, (safe way , no hunting allowed now)]
so if this car surges, it's , lean engine.

some think flooding is surging.
and this is usually below 800 rpm,
almost stalls, then corrects, seems like a surge.

next time post rpm range of surge.?????

do not drive a surging engine, do not be like Toyota drivers. (over 800 rpm hot)

surge from 400 -800 rpm is class 1 surge.
surge from 800 to say 2000 RPM is class2, and very dangerous to some folks, (key off, get car fixed, tow it)

The ECU controls idle speeds. (hard coded servo controls)

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When you're idling or driving, there are short surges in power when the car just seems to take off. As you keep driving, it loses power to where you can only go 10 to 20 miles per hour. The next day we...


I would first check the fuel filter to see if it is clogged. If that is good, test the fuel pump to see if it is working properly. Next check the fuel injectors are not clogged.

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If the problem began before you changed the plugs that they are likely OK...Some engines "like" certain brand plugs better than others. You may have a weak ignition coil. Poor spark will generally show up at higher rpm's. Spark should be blue and have good "snap" to it and should easily bridge a 1/4" gap or better. If fuel was contaminated, it should show up at lower rpm's as well. System cleaners sometimes work but often are added far too late to do any good. (tank can hold up to a gallon of water without noticing it.) I use 3oz of acetone and one oz marvel oil per 10 gallons of fuel about once a month...cheaper and more effective than most cleaners. (and does not "melt" gaskets and seals as legend has it) The vehicle speed sensor can also give you problems but needs testing to determine if it's got any problems.
It's difficult to diagnose by remote control, but I hope you benefit form something here!

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