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Ask Dave Nova Your Own Question
Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Chevrolet Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 19452
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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2003 Chevy astro can awd passenger model I have a constant

Customer Question

2003 Chevy astro can awd passenger model
I have a constant sputter when accelerating and is like to know what I can check and how to go about doing so to correct problem ? I have a lift and I am very inclined mechanically and hand tools as el as basic obd scanner but no service engine light on so I'm sure obd will not serve me useful this time around
Just had plugs and wires and distributor cap and rotor replaced injectors are also new
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

Was the sputter present before the tuneup (plugs, wires, etc.)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I don't remember I can't remember why I brought truck in for service which led to tune up
If it wasn't why does it mean and if it was what does it mean
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

Just trying to get a good history on the vehicle before attempting a diagnosis. The symptoms you describe of a misfire under load is typically due to a fault in the ignition system. This can be due to a faulty spark plug or wire, or due to a spark plug wire that was routed too closely to a hot exhaust manifold. I would check these things first. With no codes in the computer, it will be a little harder to narrow down which cylinder has the bad part, but it can still be done.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thimese are the most likely causes ? Given all those users having been replaced ?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

Yes, based upon the symptoms these are the most likely causes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'd probably need my mechanic to either so it himself due to how difficult and tedious it is working on atrivvan plugs and wires due to engine being half in cab or maybe if you send me a diagram of where to look for above stated areas to check that would be great
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

The area that would need to be inspected requires removal of the engine cover from inside the vehicle. Copy and paste the link below for removal instructions. Once the cover is removed, the spark plug wires will be clearly visible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What will I be looking for in terms f signs of bad spark plug wire or harness or whatever I must inspect once cover off
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

Look for spark plug wires touching exhaust manifolds. Check the ends of the plug wires to make sure they are firmly installed to spark plugs and distributor cap. Fill a spray bottle with water and a tablespoon of salt, then spray the salt water solution over the plug wires with the engine running. If there is a bad spot in one of the wires, the salt water solution will cause the wire to arc to ground. The engine will misfire and you will see the arc (spark) from the bad area of the offending plug wire.

If the wires check out okay, remove the plug wire boot from each plug and check the white porcelain area of each plug for carbon tracking (looks like black cracks on the porcelain) Replace any of the plugs that show signs of carbon tracking.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just noticed due to cold weather that my van is not sputtering at all with ac off and cooler weather 50degrees fahrenheit feels like it still has a slight sputter tho. Do you still think i shoukd check the position of wires like them being too close to manifold or some type of heat fr engine ? Makes sense to me thag if wires over heat it would cause a missfire like symptom is this right my theory
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 1 year ago.

If the wires are too close to the exhaust, the insulation on the wires will break down and allow the spark plug wires to short to ground, causing a misfire. Turning the a/c off reduces the load on the engine and will reduce the tendency to misfire under load. This does still prove out the theory that you have an ignition system component causing the problem (plug, plug wire, distrubutor cap)