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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:32 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 2001 SLE
Hi, I am new to this and honestly don't know anything about cars so please bare with me.

I drive a 2001 SLE, not sure if there are any other specifications to it. I have had this car for about a year now and bought it from family who has taken great care of it.

Back in September or so, I accidentally drove through a puddle that was a little too deep for my car. I had issues with it immediately after, sputtering and wanting to stall, but drove it long enough to get home which was maybe 2 miles.

After my car cooled down I did have any problems with it. But now periodically my SERVICE ENGINE SOON light comes on, and will stay on. My car will act up only occasionally, but after it does my SES light goes off.

Basically if I leave my car sit for a day or so without driving it, I will turn it on and have it start with no issues. But once I start driving, it will sputter and kind of put until it warms up. When I come to stop lights, I normally would put it in park and rev my engine to keep it going. VERY RARELY has it actually stalled, but it does sometimes if I am in between gears. (its automatic, idk if that matters)

I have gotten the code read a few times, and every time it says its a Cylinder 3 misfire. Which could be a range of things.

But just today, I drove it about 70 miles back home and once I got off the highway, I was going up a hill and it shifted a little hard but I know my transmission should be fine because I get regular oil changes. I finally got home and parked my car, but as I was parking once I came to a stop it stalled. I waiting a second, and turned it back on and you could tell it was able to start but something was just kinda in the way. I have no idea what is actually wrong with my car, and I cant afford to fix it and I really am not sure what to do. If I drive it regularly, the problems never really seem to act up. But today after I drove it for a while, it finally did something which it doesnt normally do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Posts like an L67
Posts like an L67

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:11 pm
Posts: 1550
Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
hi, welcome to the club!!

you state: the ses light is on, does it blink when the car sputters?

you can easily check( and maybe repair) this yourself

you can read info on diagnosis here:

http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/gm/3.8 ... re-codes-2 ( please copy and paste to address bar )

when you're ready, the club can help you with questions.

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poverty forces one to do unorthodox things

2000 SSEi
past rides:
1996 SSEi
1992 GTP
1987 Grand Am


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:32 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 2001 SLE
96 SSEi wrote:

you state: the ses light is on, does it blink when the car sputters?



No, the light does not blink. Sometimes it turns off randomly, and turns back on randomly and dings. It does not blink when the issue occurs or when my car stalls.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:29 am 
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Posts like an L67
Posts like an L67

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:11 pm
Posts: 1550
Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
ok, good. you can start with something easy - you can check if the plug is seated on the wire properly

so # 3 is the middle cylinder as you stand in front of car - the cylinders near the big fans

twist the boot( thick part that connects to plug) and pull it off the plug DONT YANK ON THE WIRE PART - if it comes off very easily, that may be the issue

when you reconnect it, you should hear a click when it seats on plug. if its loose,squeeze the boot with pliers to lessen the gap so it seats on the plug with a click.

_________________
poverty forces one to do unorthodox things

2000 SSEi
past rides:
1996 SSEi
1992 GTP
1987 Grand Am


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 9:37 pm
Posts: 1277
Year and Trim: 1993 SLE
1998 SE
2001 SSEI
2002 SSEI
Adding to 96 SSEis advice...
There are things you can check and fix without spending much money.
Since the problem is always with the same cylinder, it is most likely a bad spark plug, spark plug wire or coil, though it could be something else.

If any parts are needed, they're least expensive at Rockauto.com (get discount code in Pontiac Bonneville Club Vendor's forum post) and on Amazon.

Have you have to keep adding coolant to the coolant reservoir to keep it at the Hot and Cold marks?
If so, the issue may be with the lower intake manifold gaskets.

Use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug.
On the firing end of the plug, you're looking for wear to the electrodes or deposit build up.
On the ceramic body of the spark plug, there should be no cracks.
See this chart with pics
http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/about-ngk/ ... spark-plug

If spark plugs are needed, the absolute best spark plugs are ACDelco 41-101.
You can buy cheaper plugs but these are known for 100,00 or so trouble free miles.
Do NOT buy Bosch spark plugs. Those are known to cause problems in Bonnevilles.
For budget plugs you can buy a copper core plug by ACDelco, NGK, Denso or Autolite. They won't last nearly as long but cost much less.

To test spark plug wires, get a spray bottle filled with tap water.
After dark or in a dark garage, mist the wires and see if they start arcing their sparks to the engine or coils.
That indicates bad wires.
You can use a multimeter set to the Ohms scale to measure the resistance of spark plug wires.
I've read that 3.5K ohms resistance on the front cylinder bank and 7.5K ohms resistance per wire for the longer wires on the rear bank is OK.
What you don't want is an infinite reading--which means the wire is broken or much too high readings.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:32 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 2001 SLE
[quote="MKMike"

To test spark plug wires, get a spray bottle filled with tap water.
After dark or in a dark garage, mist the wires and see if they start arcing their sparks to the engine or coils.
That indicates bad wires.
You can use a multimeter set to the Ohms scale to measure the resistance of spark plug wires.
I've read that 3.5K ohms resistance on the front cylinder bank and 7.5K ohms resistance per wire for the longer wires on the rear bank is OK.
What you don't want is an infinite reading--which means the wire is broken or much too high readings.[/quote]

This! Like I said I drove through a small amount of water- it acts up more when it rains. When it gets wet outside. It normally is okay during the cold and snow, but rain makes it worse


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