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1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring


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Xmanish
New User

Mar 13, 2022, 12:54 PM

Post #1 of 9 (370 views)
post icon 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

Hey guys, I’ve got a 1997 Pontiac firebird with a v6 3.8L 3800 Series II engine. Cars been running great, but after a rainstorm she started misfiring and gave me a p0300 code for random misfires. I’ve checked and replaced plugs, wires and coil packs so I’m confident it’s not the ignition system. I recently got a new oil leak behind the engine and I’m thinking that has something to do with it. No other codes but the p0300, but the fuel smells rich and idles rough. Her acceleration is horrible, and I’m getting some white smoke occasionally. I haven’t tried checking if rain got in the tank to just make it a bad gas misfire, but I doubt it’s that. Any hip shots would be appreciated.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 13, 2022, 1:03 PM

Post #2 of 9 (366 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

? It is misfiring the cause is it's wet. It may snap out of that when fully dry or not? All high voltage items suspect if you catch it better mist things with tap water one at a time it should repeat issue when you hit the right item(s) especially coil packs IMO suspect.


Oil leak? How fast? It's somewhat normal for some drip just not actively dripping. Suggests rear main assorted reasons for them to fail just NEVER allow it low or if too late it damaged it already? Chances are any warning on dash means TOO LATE for this era at age you should be checking your own oil on a car this old IMO,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 13, 2022, 1:59 PM

Post #3 of 9 (359 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In


Quote
Her acceleration is horrible, and I’m getting some white smoke occasionally.


That is an important symptom. Are you absolutely sure this is full of coolant and didn't overheat?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Xmanish
New User

Mar 13, 2022, 2:16 PM

Post #4 of 9 (354 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

The leak is inconsistent, but very apparent when it’s happening. I’m not entirely sure where it’s coming from but it’s been falling into my Y tube exhaust and baking.


Xmanish
New User

Mar 13, 2022, 2:22 PM

Post #5 of 9 (353 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

Also I am almost certain that it didn’t overheat, my coolant smells fine and is at proper levels. My engine temp hasn’t gone over 200 since I’ve gotten her and runs so cold that my temp gauge needle almost never leaves 160.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 13, 2022, 2:26 PM

Post #6 of 9 (346 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

Well, it should definitely be going a lot higher than 160. The fans aren't even programmed to come on until around 228 deg.

White smoke is steam and almost always caused by burning coolant. I think it is possible to burn coolant through the intake gasket on that engine



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Xmanish
New User

Mar 13, 2022, 2:41 PM

Post #7 of 9 (341 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

On a cold start this morning she exhausted white smoke and was dribbling water out of my tail pipe.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 13, 2022, 2:44 PM

Post #8 of 9 (338 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

Wet apparently not the only issue or reason? As Hammer said it should run over boiling point and have pressure from cap to limit that so it doesn't boil. It would if not holding pressure IDK I suppose vapor higher up could leak and not show much.


You see or hear leaking on a hot pipe? Not good. Perhaps with a mirror see where it comes from the highest and most forward you see evidence. Intake or anything that seals coolant.
I just noticed you already tossed a lot of parts including coil pack(s) doesn't mean any of those worked. Just me perhaps like to do one item high on the suspect list at a time not too many all at once confuses it if one isn't any good new.
Find that leaking coolant and pressure test up to limit of pressure cap's rating I think you find the leak now to hope no damage happened because of that??
I've known of several 3.8s all were just good had no surprise problems but was a while ago all low mile cars and cared for a lot,


T



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 13, 2022, 2:50 PM

Post #9 of 9 (333 views)
Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird Misfiring Sign In

We hit at the same time I didn't see that comment. Check that water with a towel see if just condensation or coolant. On a paper towel if coolant it won't dry out fast or at all. Cars/trucks need a mix of antifreeze/water it's not an option if using just water that's a problem by itself,


T







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