1993 to 1998 Trouble Shooting Guide

Written by Robert Forney

 

If you are reading this article, you are most likely experiencing a problem with your car. I am writing this article in an attempt to help you diagnose any problems you may be having with your firebird or camaro. This article will cover all firebirds and Camaros from 1993 to 1998, both V6 and V8 alike. The first step to troubleshooting problems is to first have the computer scanned for stored codes. Or, if you SES light is illuminated, it means there is a trouble code already stored which may tell you why your car is acting up. Always start by having the computer scanned for stored codes. This is not going to be a traditional article, but rather it will just be broken down into different categories.

 

Engine Diagnosis:

Symptoms:

Cause/Possible Solutions:

Engine Will Not Rotate When Attempting to Start:
  1. Battery dead, terminals loose or corroded. Have the batter checked. Check battery cables to make sure they are secure and not corroded.
     
  2. Automatic Transmission not engaged in Park.
     
  3. Broken or loose wires in the circuit or broken switch.
     
  4. Starter motor pinion jammed in flywheel ring gear.
     
  5. Faulty starter solenoid
     
  6. Faulty starter motor.
     
  7. Faulty ignition switch
     
  8. Engine seized, try to turn the crankshaft with a breaker bar on the pulley belt.
Engine Rotates but Will Not Start:
  1. No fuel in tank
     
  2. Faulty battery causing the engine to rotate slowly.
     
  3. Faulty fuel pump.
     
  4. Clogged fuel filter
     
  5. Faulty fuel regulator
     
  6. Faulty distributor
     
  7. Water in fuel.
     
  8. Dirty or clogged injectors.
     
  9. Wet or damaged ignition components
     
  10. Worn or damaged spark plugs
     
  11. Faulty ignition circuit
     
  12. Loose or disconnected wires in the ignition system. Check coil wire.
  13. Faulty ignition coil
     
  14. Timing Chain failure
Starter Motor Operates Without Turning Engine:
  1. Starter pinion sticking. Remove the starter and inspect.
     
  2. Starter pinion or flywheel/driveplate teeth worn or broken. Remove the inspection cover on the left side of the engine and inspect.
Engine Hard to Start When Cold:
  1. Battery discharged or Low.
     
  2. Fuel not reaching the injectors, check fuel filter, pump, relay, and regulator.
     
  3. Defective spark plugs, car needs a tune up.
     
  4. Vacuum leaks at the intake manifold. Check manifold bolts to make sure they are tight, Spray carb cleaner around the manifold and listen to see if engine RPMs change. Check all the vacuum hoses attached to the manifold.
     
  5. Defective IAC
     
  6. Defective MAF
     
  7. Defective engine coolant sensor
     
  8. Defective MAP sensor
     
  9. Defective TPS sensor
     
  10. Faulty ignition coil.
     
  11. Improper spark gap
     
  12. incorrect valve timing
Engine Hard to Start When Hot:
  1. Air filter dirty, replace if needed.
     
  2. Bad engine ground connection, check the battery grounds.
     
  3. Fuel not reaching the injectors, check the fuel filter, pump, relay and regulator.
     
  4. Loose connections in the ignition system.
     
  5. Faulty ignition coil
     
  6. improper spark gap
     
  7. incorrect valve timing
Starter motor noisy or engages roughly:
  1. Pinion or flywheel/driveplate teeth worn or broken. Remove inspection plate and inspect.
     
  2. Starter motor mounting bolts loose or missing.
Engine starts but dies immediately:
  1. Loose or damages wiring in ignition.
     
  2. Vacuum leaks at the intake manifold. Check to make sure the manifold bolts are tight and all vacuum lines are secure. Spray carburetor cleaner around intake manifold and listen for a change in RPM.
     
  3. Faulty opti-spark
Engine Lopes while idling or idles erratically:
  1. Vacuum leaks. Check the intake manifold, intake elbow, and all vacuum lines running into the intake manifold.
     
  2. Leaking EGR valve
     
  3. Plugged PCV valve
     
  4. Leaking head gasket, perform compression test
     
  5. Timing chain issue
     
  6. Camshaft lobes worn
     
  7. Valves burned
     
  8. Malfunctioning ignition system (opti spark, spark plugs, wires, etc)
     
  9. Dirty or clogged injectors
     
  10. Faulty IAC
Rough, unstable, or incorrect idle, stalling (engine runs unevenly at idle. If sever, the engine or vehicle may shake. Engine idle speed may vary in RPM. Either condition may be severe enough to stall the engine)
  1. Incorrect idle speed caused by faulty IAC, MAP, EGR, TPS.
     
  2. Incorrect ignition timing cause by problem with timing chain.
     
  3. Faulty EGR valve
     
  4. Faulty PCV valve
     
  5. Faulty TAC vacuum motor of valve
     
  6. Vacuum leaks at the intake manifold. Check to make sure the manifold bolts are tight and all vacuum lines are secure. Spray carburetor cleaner around intake manifold and listen for a change in RPM.
     
  7. Faulty opti-spark
     
  8. Improperly seated valves
     
  9. Faulty ignition coil or coils
     
  10. Restricted air vent or idle passages.
     
  11. Dirty air cleaner, replace if dirty.
     
  12. Loose PCM connections
     
  13. Faulty injectors
     
  14. Faulty oxygen sensors
     
  15. Faulty fuel system, check fuel regulator and fuel pressure.
Engine Misses at Idle Speed:
  1. Spark plugs faulty.
     
  2. Faulty or loose spark plug wires
     
  3. Faulty opti-spark
     
  4. Faulty ignition coil or coils.
     
  5. Faulty EGR valve
     
  6. Faulty IAC
     
  7. Clogged fuel filter
     
  8. Vacuum leaks at the intake manifold. Check to make sure the manifold bolts are tight and all vacuum lines are secure. Spray carburetor cleaner around intake manifold and listen for a change in RPM.
     
  9. Low or uneven compression. Perform compression test.
     
  10. Clogged or dirty fuel injectors. Run some fuel injector cleaner through the system.
     
  11. Also see rough idle above.
Excessively High Idle Speed:
  1. Sticking throttle linkages.
     
  2. Faulty IAC
     
  3. Faulty TPS
Engine Cuts Out, Misses at all speeds:

(steady pulsation or jerking that follows engine speed, ususally more pronounced as the engine load increases, not normally felt above 1500 RPM or 30 mph. The exhaust has a steady spitting sound at idle or low speed.

  1. Faulty spark plug(s)
     
  2. Faulty spark plug wires
     
  3. Faulty distributor or cap
     
  4. Faulty ignition coil or coils
     
  5. Faulty hydraulic tappet(s)
     
  6. Faulty valve springs
     
  7. Vacuum leaks at the intake manifold. Check to make sure the manifold bolts are tight and all vacuum lines are secure. Spray carburetor cleaner around intake manifold and listen for a change in RPM.
     
  8. Worn camshaft lobes
     
  9. Low Fuel Pressure
     
  10. Clogged fuel filter
     
  11. Blown cylinder head gasket
     
  12. Clogged catalyitic converter
     
  13. Dirty or clogged injectors
Faulty Acceleration:
  1. Incorrect ignition timing
     
  2. Faulty fuel pump or regulator.
     
  3. Faulty spark plugs
     
  4. Faulty spark plug wires
     
  5. Improperly seated valves
     
  6. Faulty ignition coil or coils
     
  7. Faulty TP, MAP, MAF, or 02 Sensor or other sensor problem.
Hesitation, Sag, or Stumble:

(momentary lack of response as the accelerator is pushed down. Can occur at all vehicle speeds. Usually more sever when first trying to make the vehicle move from a dead stop. May cause engine to stall if the problem is severe)

  1. Faulty Throttle Position Sensor
     
  2. Faulty MAP sensor
     
  3. Incorrect fuel pressure, Check fuel presure
     
  4. Contaminated Fuel
     
  5. Faulty EVAP system operation or component.
     
  6. Faulty Fuel injectors or clogged fuel injectors.
     
  7. Faulty spark plugs
     
  8. Faulty spark plug wires
     
  9. Faulty opti-spark
     
  10. Faulty ignition coil or coils
     
  11. Faulty EGR
     
  12. Faulty Generator output, check to make sure it's between 9 and 16 volts.
   

This document is under construction and I will be adding to it daily until it is finished. If you find errors,  please let me know.