Mechanics

NEED TROUBLESHOOTING HELP

1998 Chevrolet Lumina • 6 cylinder 2WD Automatic • 240,000 miles

1998 Chevy Lumina 3.1liter V6. Car passed smog 4 days ago. Last couple days the car would stall occasionally when coming to a stop. Wife said it felt like it was bogging down going uphill on the freeway. Last night it died. I tried to start it andit made strange gurgling noises and shook violently. Today it would crank but not fire. Checked vacuum lines, fuses wiriing etc found nothing. Swapped fuel filter. Same problem. I turned on the ignition when I had the input hose to the filter off and it pumped fuel so fuel pump seems ok. Any ideas what next?
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Kingster1999
February 9, 2011.




You need to use a gage and check fuel pressure. I've seen pumps make some pressure but not enough. Some of the national brand autostores used to loan out a fuel pressure gage.

Also, with engine cranking, visually check for spark at the spark plugs. You can use a known good spark plug or spark tester, don't pull plug from engine. A spark tester doesn't cost much. Pull a spark plug wire from plug. Stick tester in plug boot. Ground metal part of tester to metal part of engine, engine cranking, watch for spark.

JDL
Feb 9, 2011.
I checked the spark, seems like it is okay. Put a wire into the plug wire and held it next to the frame (OLD SCHOOL METHOD). Spark seems adequate. So I guess I am looking at a clog in the fuel line? I am trying to locate a fuel gauge. If that tests good what would be the next step?

Tiny
Kingster1999
Feb 9, 2011.
You can use a noid lite and check for injector pulse.

JDL
Feb 9, 2011.
Is there an easy way to see if fuel is actually getting up to the fuel rails? I live in and apt and working on cars is frowned upon.

Tiny
Kingster1999
Feb 10, 2011.
If you live in an area where you can't work on your car, that makes it tough. With key on, no crank, can you hear the pump run? Use a fuel pressure gage, the only way I know, to make sure fuel pressure is correct?

JDL
Feb 10, 2011.
Thanks for your help on this. I got to the point I could not go any farther and took it to a shop. They told me the cylinders all read various amounts of pressure from 100 down to zero. Told me it needs a new engine. Then mentioned he could do the test to put oil in the cylinders and see if it changes the readings. How can he say if its a blown engine without doing that test? Car just past smog three days prior. Does that sound like a blown engine to you that fast or maybe more of a head gasket. The head gasket was changed a year ago.
I feel like they are trying to rip me off here.

Tiny
Kingster1999
Feb 18, 2011.
Over the internet, It's hard for me to tell anything. Using a little oil in the cylinders can help rings to seal, momentarily. If the compression readings comes up, should mean bad rings. Does it use oil?

JDL
Feb 18, 2011.
There is a small oil pan leak thats all. I just don't see how they could say the engines blown if they didn't add some oil to the rings and recheck the compression. Leak test I think they called it. Sounds to me like they just wanted to replace the engine. They said they had a used one with 88000 miles and would change it out for 1850.00 out the door. Sounds really high for a motor with close to a 100000 miles.
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Tiny
Kingster1999
Feb 19, 2011.
Most of that price is probably labor. Check some of your local salvage yards, see what they ask for on engine price?

JDL
Feb 19, 2011.

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