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Running rich... what to do?

This is a discussion on Running rich... what to do? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've noticed that my 2000 Trans Am is starting to run a bit too rich and is progressively getting worse. ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Red
    2001 TransAm WS6

    Question Running rich... what to do?

    I've noticed that my 2000 Trans Am is starting to run a bit too rich and is progressively getting worse. I'm starting to smell a strong gas/oil smell when I idle my car in my garage, the car is drinking too much oil (I'm having to add almost a quart of oil in between oil changes) and there's a lot of black smoke coming out when I'm at WOT.

    I don't have any major modifications except for gutted Cats. I've had the car for over 2 years and haven't seen this problem so bad in the past. I know that it's running rich; so my questions are:

    1. what causes it to run so rich?
    2. what can I do about it?
    3. if I take it to get tuned, what exactly will they do to reduce the problem?

    Thanks guys!
    - Fred.

  2. #2
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    00 LS1, WS6, V8 Gremlin
    96 & 98 GTPs, 64 'Cuda

    Tuning really shouldn't change on its own and in some cases using nearly a quart of oil between changes isn't unusual. While you could start throwing things at the problem chances are you'll be able to pinpoint it much easier if you have access to a good scanner. Obviously the Snap-On & GM ones are very expensive, however there's one on the market that gives you a ton of functionality for only $122. I especially like the way I can hook it up to a laptop and record all my engine data in real time as I drive for later analysis:

    http://www.obd-2.com

    First things that come to mind are the oxygen sensor and the possibility of one or more fouled injectors. One can often "clean" and oxygen sensor and attain some degree of improvement, I just use a small wire brush that will fit in the holes and knock off the excess carbon.

    As to how a plugged or misfiring injector can cause you to go rich you've got to think about how your PCM determines the mixture. If one injector is plugged that cylinder is going to run lean. Since there aren't individual O2 sensors for each cylinder the PCM thinks one or both banks are running lean and compensates by forcing the mixture richer.

    Injectors being hard to test without removing them about all you can do is ohm them out but in most cases one or more is just gummed up. In that case I'd recommend you check out this product, it's been known to free up almost totally clogged injectors in the short hour it takes to use it: http://www.iecoklahoma.com

    Start from there, and if the simple cures don't fix it try and borrow a scanner or pick up one of the ones in that first link. You don't need a laptop, any PC will do and you can extend the cable up to 100' by replacing the one it comes with with one you buy from any wholesale computer network wiring store, there's just a standard Cat 5 cable with RJ-45 connectors between the interface box and the connector that plugs into your car's OBD-2 port.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Red
    2001 TransAm WS6

    Wow, good stuff. Thanks for all the tips and advice man.

    One more thing that I should have mentioned earlier is that I have gutted CATS and O2 simms. I also have a cut-out, if that makes any difference. I put new chrome tips on it recently and it gets black with about a week's worth of driving!

    I'll check out the links you sent me; if anyone else has seen similar results, please let me know.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    00 LS1, WS6, V8 Gremlin
    96 & 98 GTPs, 64 'Cuda

    Gutted cats + sims means nothing, you'll still have the first O2 sensors in the loop that count - those are the ones the PCM uses to adjust the fuel tables.

  5. #5
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Retired Outlaw Sum Bitch

    Yup...

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