A very long and frustrating car problem.

Tiny
KENTREED
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 BUICK CENTURY
  • 3.1L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
About a month ago my car began to have a loss of power. In the beginning id stall between first and second gears for a few seconds, until I ultimately had to either ride around at 20 or so mph until the car decided to shift gears and drive correctly. After it would shift into second the first time the ride would be fine, and if the car sat more than an hour the process had to be repeated. Transmission problems were ruled out first, I took it to ammoco transmissions and they diagnosed my transmission and found no problem, he warned me I may have a bad crank, but I was advised to pursue other problems. Around the time the problem began my service engine light came on, immediately got it checked and my oxygen sensors were defective, the first was defective, second shooting error codes. Fast forward I got hooked up with this shade tree guy, he told me he'd replace the sensors and I should also get new spark plugs and wires. Did that were test driving the car and all we smell is carbon monoxide, he gets out, looks under the car and my catalytic converter was literally "orange hot." The tune up and oxygen sensors being replaced also caused a really nasty misfire (spark and plugs in correct order.) Also it was a thick white smoke puffing from the exhaust rather than a steady flow. Replaced converter, same problem, converter gets hot, exhaust still puffy but not white nor does is wreak of monoxide. Now he says the ONLY thing that can be causing this would be my coil packs. Ive called shops, got fourth and fifth opinions, people say I should have done the coil packs first in order to save money, but important part they say by series of deduction, they agree it can ONLY be my coils. What do you guys think? The coils makes sense to me considering idling my car was the best way to ensure I'm able to shift up and ride normally, was that me actually compensating for low output of the coils? From what I understand they make however much your battery has into enough electricity to run the engine? Was me idling charging my coil packs (or whatever?) If you guys need more info just ask, ill reply quickly this has been a persistent and costly problem and I STILL cant make it to work, help.
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 10:05 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Scan for codes and check fuel pressure with a gauge it may be low running lean and causing the orange converter. Then have coolant system pressure checked for head /intake gasket leak. Should be 52-59psi if lower than that replace fuel pump and filter. If coil/coils were bad it would still misfire but it cold be something else as misfires are an absolute pain to find the cause. Even for a pro
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 12:20 PM
Tiny
KENTREED
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Well as far as my fuel pump goes, I have no problem starting up or any of the earlier symptoms and also my spark plugs have been tested/replaced so its likely to be no harm there. Considering my series of problems, and replacements would you conclude that it is a faulty coil pack, or packs? Is it likely, or even possibly the cause, considering everything?
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 1:06 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Cold be a faulty coil pack but check for codes first as it should show up. You still shold check feul pressure as that can have a lot to do with this running. As well as the white smoke telling me it may be leaking coolant through one of the gaskets into cylinders. Quit trying the shotgun approach by replacing parts an dactually do some tests on this to give you a better idea of what is wrong with it. Also check vacuum at intake if 15" or below suspect plugged exhaust autoparts rent the gauge you just have to take it at the fuel rail.
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 1:17 PM

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