Exhaust overheating burning carpet in trunk

Chris Reinhart

Asked by Jul 10, 2016 at 02:01 PM about the 2004 Pontiac Grand Am GT

Question type: General

My car was running rough so I changed the
spark plugs and coil packs and now I'm
getting a horrible burning smell, carpet in
trunk is blackened burnt and HOT! But heat
shields are intact as far as I can tell and no
exhaust leaks. What could be causing this?
It didn't do this before I changed out the
spark plugs and coil packs.

5 Answers


How is the catalytic converter? When they get bad they can get red hot.

Billy Lea

Have you been loosing performance lately, especially on hills? It could be a bad cat, Bad Injectors, Timing issue, Burnt out Exhaust valve.

Chris Reinhart

Car is fine as far as I can tell. I found a wire not connected to a spark plug. Plugged it in properly, cleaned air filter too and test drove it ( city and highway speeds). Regained lost power, no more gas smell and metal floor of the trunk doesn't feel overly hot anymore. ( I pulled up the carpet, etc.) No longer running rough. But thanks!

Chris Reinhart

Cat* is what I meant not car. Sorry, smart phones sometimes aren't so smart.


Okay, well a spark plug not plugged in would certainly cause a rough running engine lol. The air-fuel mix going into that cylinder wasn't being burned, and instead going into the exhaust where it did burn, hence the super hot exhaust. You must have been throwing O2 codes like crazy too.

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