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Check Engine Light

This is a discussion on Check Engine Light within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a 1999 camaro z28, drove the car out here (SoCA) from Norfolk VA, moved with the military. The ...

  1. #1
    USS Camaro SailorZ28's Avatar
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    I have a 1999 camaro z28, drove the car out here (SoCA) from Norfolk VA, moved with the military. The car made it all the way out here (although not without having to replace a tire). I have the car out here for a few weeks, and I'm just driving around town, getting on it a little bit, but nothing crazy.

    I pull up to a stop light and the check engine light comes on. The rpm's drop down to around 500 and then go back up to normal. There is a strange smell, hard to describe, not oil but something else, metallic sort of. Well the car runs like complete crap now, sorta sounds like it's down a cylinder (and there is a real bad tick on the passenger side of the motor). Now I had a bunch of work done to the car prior to the move, including new injectors and spark plugs. I'm wondering what is going on? The car doesn't smoke, so I find it hard to believe it's something mechanical. Any thoughts? The apartment people out here are getting pissed because the car has been sitting for a few months lol. I need to get it fixed so I can sell it.

    I just want to get a rough idea before I take it to a shop so they don't try to rip me off.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    First step is get the car scanned for the SES light. Baby it down to auto zone or some place that'll do it free.

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    USS Camaro SailorZ28's Avatar
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    Well what's weird is that when I first start it up it seems to run fine, then a few seconds later it starts ticking, and then missing. I really hope it's something simple! I'll see what places around here can do it for free. I'll keep you guys posted.

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    Member keliente's Avatar
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    Get it scanned ASAP and it'd be a good idea to stop driving it.

    Ticking & feeling like it's running crappy is most likely a misfire...probably mechanical - misfiring because of a bent/broken pushrod, valvespring, collapsed lifter, or worse case scenario, a valve issue. The scanner should help you locate the cylinder it is missing on, then you can pull the valve cover on that side & inspect.

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    Genital Salesmen WEZONIT's Avatar
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    Like keliente said. Get it scanned ASAP. It's free at Auto Zone, and you wont have to keep wondering what it is.

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    USS Camaro SailorZ28's Avatar
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    The car only has 60k miles on it, I'd be disgusted and shocked if it was a mechanical problem. I might have a chance to take it in this weekend, once I have the code(s) I'll update this post and you guys can help me with possible solutions.

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member 35thAnniZ28's Avatar
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    dood theres been cars here that had 30,000 and had valve issues....

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    Member keliente's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorZ28 View Post
    The car only has 60k miles on it, I'd be disgusted and shocked if it was a mechanical problem.
    I wouldn't be, it has 60k miles and is almost 10 years old, cars with far less mileage/years have issues.

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    Ok a followup:

    Nursed the car up to Auto Zone and ran the codes. Code P308 Cylinder #8 misfire was the code.

    Now before I take it to a mechanic and get raped financially what can I check myself? I'm a decent mechanic, worked on quite a few 60's era cars, little or no experience with newer cars, and I have some tools as well.

    The car runs real rough constantly. A misfire can be caused by what sort of things? All ignition related? Or could it be mechanical still?

    Is the #8 cylinder the one closest to the firewall on the passenger side? Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I'm in the process of doing a lot of work to the car mechanically and aesthetically to get the car sold.

    I live in the San Diego area if any members would be willing to help out with this issue if it's something I can't do on my own.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I would first pull that plug and wire and check both. That plugs a pain to get out so chances are when you had them replace them last time numbers 1-7 actually got replaced. That would be my guess. I would pull that plug and see how fouled it is and inspect the wire for cracks. It could also just be loose but I'd pull both and check them out.

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    USS Camaro SailorZ28's Avatar
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    Well 3000 miles ago I had a tune up which included the plugs and wires. The mechanic even commented on how much it sucked replacing the #8 spark plug. I'll poke around this weekend I guess and see if I can notice anything really obvious.

    So you think it's probably something simple like spark related as opposed to something far more costly like mechanical problems?

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    At least you know what cyl it is - as stated earlier check that plug and wire. Something you can do first and is easy - start the car and rev it in complete darkness and look for any arcing back there.

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    I can pretty much hear arcing. I can hear an intermittent ticking sound by the #8 cylinder. Once it's dark I'll check it out, although hard to get complete darkness in an apartment complex

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    If it's arcing you'll see it - could also be a loose plug if it's more of a tapping sound.

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    USS Camaro SailorZ28's Avatar
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    Went out and took a look tonight, it's arcing big time. Too dark to see what exactly is arcing, but tomorrow after work I'll have a look and hopefully something just came loose. Now I haven't messed around with plugs and wires on a LS1 before, is there anything in particular I need to do? I don't want to mess anything up.

    I'll fill you guys in tomorrow after I take a look, I really appreciate the help. I saved 80 bucks by figuring this out through the website instead of paying a mechanic to tell me. That's 80 bucks I can put towards something else.

    If you guys could see this car you'd cry, it's the saddest Camaro I've ever seen. It looks like it has been through WWIII.

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    If it is arcing then pull the wire and look to see if it is cracked, if it is then that is why you are arcing, just replace it.

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