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Dave Hopkins
Dave Hopkins, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1397
Experience:  Fully certified in all phases of automotive repair as recognized and certified by Ford Motor Company and Hyundai Motor Company.
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Engine suddenly running rough. Pulled code P0303. CEL on and

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Engine suddenly running rough. Pulled code P0303. CEL on and flashing. Strong smell of fuel. Don't want to run the engine for too long for fear of fire. Engine is a GM 3.1 L 6cyl. (VIN M) in a '96 Oldsmobile Achieva
JA: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?
Customer: it stays on for a second then blinks continuously
JA: Are you fixing your Achieva yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Haven't done anything yet. Want to know where to begin.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: It misfired while going up a steep hill. Before that it ran perfectly. No coolant or oil leaks detected. Could it be the coil pack?
Hello and welcome to JA....the continuous flashing of the check engine light indicates a missfire that is occurring...the p303 indicates that cylinder #3 is where the missfire is happening. How many miles are on your vehicle and when was the last time the spark plugs were replaced?
Are you still in need of assistance?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There are 124,000 miles on the vehicle. Spark plugs changed last November at 116,000 miles when lower intake manifold gasket replaced. Fuel injectors also replaced at that time and the car ran like new. I just want to know if there is something I can do myself before I take it back to the professionals.

the most likely problem is a shorted coil...you can certainly fix that yourself if you wanted to.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
OK, thanks. I'll start there.

your Achieva is also equipped with spark plug wires...if they are original replace them also...and replace the spark plug for the cylinder that is misfiring...always replace the spark plug when a cylinder misfires, as it will foul out.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok, the coil and the spark plug wires are original equipment. They were never changed. As for the spark plug, defects can happen, I know. Thanks for the advice. If I run into any more problems, I will take it back to the professionals. It is my daughter's car and she will need it for her first year of college.
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