What could cause one of the cylinders in the engine to go out in an 88 Fiero 6 cylinder


Asked by Jul 09, 2015 at 04:19 PM about the 1988 Pontiac Fiero

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just took car in for smog and mechanic informed me that one cylinder was not operating

8 Answers


Bad spark plug, plug wire, valve train issue etc. Fieros were not know for their reliability.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

so many things here to check...did you get the code????I would pull the spark plug wire from the distributor one at a time. pull one and listen to if the engine bogs down. If it does its firing normal. Put the wire back and try the next one. If you get to one that the idle isnt affected when you pull the wire its not firing that cylinder..start with changing that plug..

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thank you, That gives me some idea of what could be wrong and when the mechanic gives me diagnostic i'll be looking for those issues you listed


If you haven't done so already I'd do a complete tune up and go from there. If I remember correctly on some of these Fieros step 1 for a tune up is to remove the engine! Since it's OBD I it won't throw a trouble code for a misfire. It may, however throw an oxygen sensor code do to the raw fuel being dumped from the misfire. Ignore it. It also won't throw a catalytic converter code either. If it's been misfiring for awhile the converter may be damaged. Worry about that once you get the misfire fixed if it still fails the emissions test. HTH. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thank you Kelly...that is simple enough and am sure mechanic would be doing that. Again this helps know and understanding the process. Js08016...tune up was also on the list of things to. I don' know what OBD is but I just learned about the"codes". AND hopefully the catalytic converter is NOT damaged. Thanks for your info also.


OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics. The first system (OBD I) was introduced in 1981 and remained in place through 1995. You have 2 digit trouble codes. Code 44 for example is an overly lean condition at the oxygen sensor. Beginning 1996 through the present (OBD II) the OBD systems were standardized so that all manufacturers' systems and trouble codes are pretty much the same. On an OBD II vehicle you might see a trouble code such as P0301. This is a power train control module (PCM) code for a misfire on cylinder number 1. HTH. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Again, thank you. This is really helpful. Since the year of the car is 1988 it would just have the OBD. Gaining more knowledge about this quirky Fiero is going help me to understand what the mechanics are talking about.


You're welcome. Glad to help. - Jim

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