Car making poping sound when accelerating

Asked by Mar 30, 2015 at 08:11 PM about the 1991 Pontiac Firebird Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Over time the problem has gotten worse. It
was shaking and running rough around
2500rpms. And when it accelerated over
that, it would start poping. I put new
distributor cap, rotor button, plugs, plug
wires on it and tried sea foam. Nothing
worked, so I took it to one mechanic that I
regularly use. He first thought it was a burnt
valve but later confirmed that it wasn't.  He
later threw out his back and could no
longer continue working on  it. So I took it
to another mechanic that I knew. They
tested everything they could think of on the
car. They told me there was absolutely
nothing wrong with the engine as far as
valves or getting compression. So it had to
be the distributor or the cap still. They
replaced the cap again which did nothing.
So I took it back, I bought a new distributor
and installed it myself. It now runs much
better but it's still making a lot of poping
noises around the same rpms. Idk what to
do now. Any suggestions?

10 Answers


Usually,when you get back fire,this is sign of a timing issue,have you checked the timing on the bird?

No I haven't. Would that have anything to do with it running rough at 2500rpms as well?

I think it's pretty much stopped running rough, just popping now. And at one point it almost stalled going down the road before I gave it some gas again


Have you had a computer readout to see if it is a timing sensor or module issue? (timing) New distributor caps and distributor itself replaced and it didn't fix it? So what's next. Sending spark at the correct time? It's getting fuel, It's getting air, so the valves are good, that leaves either a leak in the fuel system, or timing as all have been saying.

Would the timing being off make it stall at random times like that?


Sounds like a worn camshaft. Did they check the valve lift when they did the check out?

I believe so. It's an aftermarket engine, low miles. I don't think that's the prob


Better make sure they did, if it wasn't broke in properly a cam lobe can become history really fast.

Ok thanks

I have a 1987 Pontiac Firebird Formula - original, 51,000 miles. V-8, 5.7L 350 Mostly garage kept and runs great - but recently noticed a loud chirping when idling and prior to that a gurgley rumble when I accelerate. Any suggestions?

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