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Dan
Dan, Technician
Category: Pontiac
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Experience:  Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
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99 pontiac firebird: ran great..misfiring..fuel injectors..coil packs

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I have a base 99 pontiac firebird, when I first purchased it, it ran great, over time, it started misfiring. I replaced the spark plugs, spark plug wires, fuel injectors, and coil packs. I'm about to replace the cat as well. I feel like its been penny'n'diming me this whole time. Currently it won't start, I turn the key and the engine sounds like its trying to start, but won't stay on for more then a couple of seconds at first then after that not at all. It has been sitting out in the cold for awhile now. If anyone has any idea's what it might be, please contact me
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help get your problem resolved. Ask follow up questions, thanks.

 

Have you checked for spark or tried to start it with starting fluid?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would think there is spark considering all the plugs and wires were changed by cert. technicians. Also, this was about 4 months ago, and it actually ran worse once all the plugs and wires were changed, this was post- me changing out the coil packs which I did myself. Starting fluid?
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
Ok, some testing is going to need to be done.....Try to start it with starting fluid, if it runs on starting fluid then the problem is likely the pump or clogged fuel filter....If it still doesnt fire veirfy you have spark, if so then converter is likely clogged. Let me know if you have questions, you can reply at any time even after you accept if you have follow up questions. Thanks.
Dan, Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 21591
Experience: Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
Dan and 3 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If for any reason I don't have spark, what could be causing that? I've also heard from autozone/o'reillys employees that it could be the mass air flow sensor, but I know they are known for selling you anything they can, needed or not. Otherwise though, what it seems it could be would be between: Fuel pump, fuel filter, spark?, or Cat., first and foremost try starting fluid, correct?
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
If you have no spark the next thing would be to test the crankshaft position sensor, it puts out AC voltage while cranking, if not replace.......But yet, start by trying starting fluid....Depending on what you find let me know and we will figure it out...Let me know if you have questions, thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks a lot, I'll keep you updated on here. It may take some time as I'm waiting on some money to come my way, but if all goes to plan, it'll be within a week or two. I've also been told that it may be the timing chain. But if all else fails, I'll just let you know. I'm gonna start with installing the cat that I had bought awhile back, and then after that, the starting fluid.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
Timing chains arent too common.....But let me know what you find before buying new parts. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Couldn't edit the post in time, but I forgot to mention about the last time I drove the car. Driving back from work (not even a 10 minute commute) The car loss a lot of power, started dragging and wouldn't go past 3500 rpm's, the engine seized half way there, and I was able to start it again, still with the rev limit in place. Check engine light was flashing, and as I pulled into my parking spot, I had left it there for the past two months, only trying to start it 4-5 times but to no avail.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
What you are describing almost definitly sounds like the converter.....You can remove a oxygen sensor before the converter to see if this allows it to start, if so.....You know thats the problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, well, I tried the starting fluid and that didn't do much, before that though, I tried starting the car, and it hesitated then turned over fine for a couple of seconds. At that point the engine started sounding kinda bad, like as though I ran out of gas and then seized. Also, I cannot find any of the o2 sensors, I was under the car and couldn't find anything protruding from any of the exhaust. I was thinking fuel pump but I have no idea at this point... Any ideas?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-Fuel-Pump-Module-Assembly-MU230-E3368M-FG0154-67300-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQfitsZYearQ3a1999Q7cMakeQ3aPontiacQ7cModelQ3aFirebirdQQhashZitem53e5d71093QQitemZ360338362515QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

http://www.autopartsfair.com/pontiac-exterior_parts/firebird-1999-engine_drivetrain-v29747231.html

I also found these two and I'm trying to figure out the difference, both say that the pump will fit, except one is considerably cheaper and smaller looking

Just doing some advanced research in case it might be that
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
If the converter is completely clogged It could cause a no start even with starting fluid. The oxygen sensors are located on the exhaust manifolds. Let me know how it goes, thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If its completely clogged, and I try to start it, (first time) it stays on for literally 10 seconds before shutting itself off. I made the common mistake of try to pump some gas in, but there was no nothing getting into the engine. unless its a failsafe, I don't know why it would do that.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.

It could be in failsafe but if this was the case your security light would be flashing....I'd also remove the oxygen sensors on manifold to see if that helps....If its a security problem do the following procedure:

 

Bump key in start position for a second then leave in on position for 10 minutes, off for 5 seconds, on for 10 minutes, off for 5 seconds, on for 10 minutes, then start.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Heh hope my battery can handle it :P but okay, and where exactly on the manifold is it, I swear I searched up and down that car for ANY of them and honestly couldn't find a damn thing, I had a wrench in hand and everything... The car is lojacked, but I highly highly doubt it has to do with that... But okay, I'll try that. I'll report back in, 30? then.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
The exhaust manifolds are on the sides of the engine where the exhaust pipes connect to engine. If it was the fuel pump it should have fired with starting fluid. Let me know how it goes, thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, so feeling a bit better about this, I got the old cat taken out and had to resort to a straight pipe since greyhoundperformance.com sent me the wrong cat, but, ITS RUNNING... Very badly, but running nonetheless. Its still showing the p0300 code (random multiple misfire) and is now showing a o2 sensor code (cuz of the straight pipe I'm sure) I really wish I knew what to do with the p0300 code though, I've had that problem for months now. I changed out the coil packs, injectors, wires and plugs and took the cat out, hoping this might have changed that code around. It doesn't sound like its misfiring anymore, but its giving out the code, I may check fuses tomorrow (a whopping 34 degrees o.o) I'm also talking to greyhound to have them send me the right cat. which they say is the 99036HM magnaflow. I've found a guy that is willing to cut and weld it on for 40 bucks so its a very reasonable price no doubt. I had the 99076HM magnaflow before that. I can't visually see what else may be wrong though.<br /><br /><br />It also just stalled out on me while driving just now. I had to restart the engine and it started fine after that. Its been hesitant in starting, but starts regardless. It sounds kinda loud, but it isn't misfiring like it was before I replaced all the stuff in there.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.

So it seems to run good now? Does the check engine light ever flash? thanks.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeah, its flashing, and its putting up codes, It also stalled out on me once so far mid drive (from full stop to accelerate) but otherwise its at least running
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
Flashing usually means a bad coil from what I've seen...Check each wire for good spark and let me know, thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'll double check tomorrow, way too late right now. Thanks though, I'll let you know whats up
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
Sounds good, thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, well I checked the coil packs, one of them was bad, I had a warranty on it so I got another, and now all three are good. Still misfiring, but I'm going to check the wires to make sure I got them in the right place. Would the engine still run though if they weren't on in the right way?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Checked the wires and the damn dealership who put them in mixed the 3 and the 5 wire. Its running like a dream now and its now enjoyable to drive others in it ^.^ Thank you so much for all the help, the cat did need to be replaced regardless and thank you for the continued help there-on-after. I'll be able to get back home to chicago from minnesota and see my family and friends again. If there is anyway to rate this or if you want any kind of statement, please feel free to use this. You were the most helpful throughout this entire process, no matter how many people tried to steer me away from the actual problems at hand and try make a good buck off of me, listening to you had moved me to having a clean, great running car again.
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
I'm happy to hear all is good now....Thanks again and let me know if you need anything in the future, hopefully you will be free of car problems for awhile. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeah hopefully, just gotta maintain it as if it was my kid :P But yeah, from what I heard, these cars normally hold up a long time Thank you again
Expert:  Dan replied 3 years ago.
Yep, good engines so you should be good to go....Things can get complicated and sometimes expensive if things arent figured out right away. Happy I could help, thanks.

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Dan
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Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database