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My car isn't running right

This is a discussion on My car isn't running right within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok, I've started to order some stuff, but as of right now my car is completely stock, down to the ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rhinohuey's Avatar
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    1999 Trans Am

    My car isn't running right

    Ok, I've started to order some stuff, but as of right now my car is completely stock, down to the air filter. The problem is, over the past few months I've noticed my car is progressively running worse. At first I thought I was just getting used to the power and its becoming less exciting, but now I'm sure there is some kind of problem. For one, EVERY start it backfires a little bit. Another thing I've noticed was excessive noise from the engine bay when the car is running. Its not regular "running engine" noises, but a lot of clicking/tapping noises from both sides of the engine. I can hear it even with the hood down. (At first I thought I was just paranoid but now I'm not sure.) Another thing I've noticed is that it takes considerably more throttle to get the car going from a stop. I used to be able to give the car very little throttle, let the clutch out, and it would start going. Now it seems to need more gas (like 1/4 throttle) to keep from bogging down and making that terrible grinding noise from the engine when I let the clutch out. The last thing I've noticed is that when I'm in second gear, going around a corner or something and I gun it, it seems like it is bogged down. It revs up slowly and acclerates slowly. Even if I give it close to full throttle. I used to be able gun it in second, and it would jerk me back in my seat and the back end would even slide out with enough throttle.

    I've checked the air filter, seems fine, and I've replaced the fuel filter. It didn't seem to help at all. My check engine light has never been on. The only thing I can think of now is plugs. My main question is, would a bad plugs, or a fouled plug cause me this much of a drop in performance? And, would a fouled plug cause a code to be thrown? If anybody has any other ideas of things I could check that would be great.

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    Senior Member Rhinohuey's Avatar
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    One other thing I forgot. Lately, even when I'm driving as conservatively as possible, I'm only averaging about 14 mpg. (mixed highway/street) Thanks for your help.

  3. #3
    Member fast enough Z28's Avatar
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    It could be a bad plug or wire or your cat is bad. As far as your engine noise does it sound like the valve train or exhaust leak?

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    Senior Member Rhinohuey's Avatar
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    Would a bad plug, wire, or cat throw a code and set off my light? Is there a way to check for a bad plug without having to take it out? (Don't know if i can use it or not, but I got a tach/dwell meter, just never used it before). The engine noise I'm <i>pretty</i> sure isn't exhuast. I've never done anything with the exhaust on the car so I'm assuming thats not what it is. I've looked over the manifolds and everything. Could either of these, exhaust leak or valve train problems, hurt perfomance in this way?

  5. #5
    Member fast enough Z28's Avatar
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    silver
    98 camaro z28 m6

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinohuey View Post
    Would a bad plug, wire, or cat throw a code and set off my light? Is there a way to check for a bad plug without having to take it out? (Don't know if i can use it or not, but I got a tach/dwell meter, just never used it before). The engine noise I'm <i>pretty</i> sure isn't exhuast. I've never done anything with the exhaust on the car so I'm assuming thats not what it is. I've looked over the manifolds and everything. Could either of these, exhaust leak or valve train problems, hurt perfomance in this way?
    yes it should show some kind of missfire. Not sure how to use the meter to check. It wouldn't hurt to change the plugs anyways. Yes those problems could hurt performance depending on what they are.

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    Member fast enough Z28's Avatar
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    silver
    98 camaro z28 m6

    I would also clean your throttle body out with some b12. That won't solve all your problems but should make the car run better. Maybe you have an intake leak you need a stehescope(sp) and try to listen were the noise is coming from.

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