What is wrong here?


Asked by Feb 20, 2014 at 08:24 PM about the 1995 Pontiac Grand Am 4 Dr SE Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car is only running on half it's cylinders; it's recieving fuel from all the injectors; and
there is fire in all the plugs (all have been removed and checked). But there is still not
even enough power to move the vehicle. Why is it still misfiring, and how can I properly
diagnose this problem?

18 Answers


Did you check the ignition coil?


That was a thought that crossed my mind. How would I check that?


Coils, ignition wires, crank and cam sensor, have you checked the codes?


i took my car to 2 differnt places that will chek for free they said they didnt have the hook ups for 95 back ps i was driving when it started

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pretty poor self diognoseing when i take out the plugs and spin the motor they r firring and im getting fual thats all i really know someone said mod plat but i wanted to check the basics first


When you checked the firing of the plugs, did all of the plugs fire a bright blue spark or was it yellow? If it was yellow I'd replace the ignition wires first, then recheck the spark, or if you have a good ohm meter the resistance should be 10 to 15K ohms for every foot of wire. The ignition coils should be able to throw a blue spark at least a inch at either tower, be careful as these are high energy coils and can pack a good jolt if you become part of the circuit. HTH


ok kool didnt know the boots so to speak would fire as well. are those snaps four seperate coils if not where is the the one coil


Which engine do you have, the 3100. The '94-95 Grand Am's were amoung the vehicles that got the OBD1 EFI system with the OBD 2 plug, dubbed OBD1.5. There is not much support for code readers or scanners. The 3100 has 3 coils (1 per 2 cylinders). The ICM Is mounted behind the coils on the coil backplate. The crank sensor is centered on the back of the block behind the tranny.


You can get the service engine soon light to flash out the two digit, OBD I trouble codes using a large paperclip. The ALDL connector (see picture) is located under the dash near the steering column. Usually on the right of the column. Bend your paper clip into a "U" shape and, with the ignition off insert the paperclip into terminals A&B (see picture). Turn the ignition to the run position but do NOT start the car. The service engine soon light will begin flashing reference code 12 as follows: flash.......flash, flash.........flash.........flash,flash. You're going to count the flashes. Code 12 will flash 3 times. After that there'll be a long pause then any trouble codes stored will begin to flash out in number sequence. Example: code 44 will flash out as flash, flash, flash, flash,...........flash, flash, flash, flash. Then a long pause and on to the next code. Once all the codes have flashed out, 3 times each, the reference code 12 will begin flashing out again. At this point turn off the ignition and remove the paperclip in that order. HTH. -Jim

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Jim. The '94 and '95 Grand Am's have a OBD1 computer with a EEPROM and a OBD2 plug. The codes cannot be retrieved via the OBD1 method. As I said they dubbed this OBD1.5.

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Also the chip cannot be removed like in other OBD1 GM ECM's. And the rare OBD1 flash tuners for the LT1 or LQ1 (the other similar OBD1.5) will not work on these cars.

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Hmmmmmmm, so how do we get the codes? -Jim


No simple way. Either an expensive scan tool at a shop or GM, but most people that work there now are not aware of these units and cannot connect correctly. Or use TunerProRT and a 70 dollar ALDL cable. It will allow you to read the codes and live data streams. The software is free but takes a bit of research to get it going.

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This flash chip is supposed to be found on all '94's and '95's with the 4spd auto and or the 3100 with SFI (cam sensor). I'm assuming the car has it becase it is the SE and the 4spd was pretty much standard in '95. The '94's are a grey area and some may still have the OBD1 plug with the 4spd, I have not seen one and don't know anything about it. For the other readers just keep it in mind. Took me 2 hours to get the TP and ALDL cable going. I have a 95 GA with the 3100 and 4spd and the system works good. Plus it will work with almost all GM OBD1 vehicles. My cable is USB to OBD1 and I have the OBD1 to OBD2 converter (16 bucks extra).

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So I did some more digging. There are still OBD1 plugs with 1.5 in '95. And apparently some people have had luck with an Actron Scanner, I don't know which model so don't quote me. And it's been for years since I talked to the GA. Pretty much, open the ECM/PCM, if the MEMCAL can be removed it's OBD1. If the ship is soldered it is OBD1.5. All '96 and up should be full OBD2

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Thanks yet. Great information. I didn't know that. - Jim


I'll dig a little more when I get back home. We may be getting a little off topic.

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this Has happen to me a few times,on a 3.1 Monte Carlo 1995 oil pump went bad,waited to late to change it and the cam bearing went bad causeing the cam to snap in half,04 monte carlo 3.4 right after doing the heads,the screws that bolt the rocker arm was over torqued witch made the threads weak causing 2of rockers to jump off,same car a year later,sis let it over heat to the max,while being low on oil and that made the rockers on the head by the firewall jump out,last but not least,2003 venture van,fuel injector went bad,constantly pouring gas into the intake port and messed the intake mainold gasket up causeing it to leak gas in the oil and snapped that cam in half also...3.1 3.4 3.8 sensitive engines....from experience if your putting one of these engines together (3.8 not included)use the top in off a 1994-5 pontiact grand am,rockers have replaceable studs it also have ah direct port for the cooling temp sensor right on the head....good luck people....

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