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Frequently Asked Questions

Repair

  1. My automatic tranny car stalls when coming to a stop after sustained highway speeds?
  2. Can I power wash my engine without worry?
  3. There is water inside my car, under the floormats, how do I stop the leaking?
  4. What are the different repair manuals available for the J-bodies?
  5. Why will my car not start?
  6. What are our car's service intervals and what parts should be replaced?
  7. What fluids should I use in my car and what are the capacities?
  8. What are the Oil filter part numbers for my engine?
  9. What are the air filter part numbers for my car?
  10. How do I hook up my ECU to a laptop computer?

Answers

My automatic tranny car stalls when coming to a stop after sustained highway speeds?

This is a very common problem with the automatic J-bodies. If you car stalls as mentioned, restarts fine, but then stalls as soon as you put it into gear, the problem is most definately the TCC (Torque Convertor Clutch, or Torque Convertor Lock-up) Solenoid. The TCC "locks up" your tranny when in 3rd gear, which lowers the RPM's, so you get better gas mileage when traveling on the highway. When the TCC solenoid goes bad, it won't unlock when it is hot (once it cools down, it will usually unlock), so when you come to a stop, your car is still stuck in 3rd gear. This is just like driving a standard tranny and trying to start out, or slow down in too high of a gear, the engine will bog and die. You need to replace the solenoid and all will be fine. The electrical connector for the solenoid is located on the top of the tranny. You can locate it from above by looking for a 4 wire connector in the area below your air filter. As a temporary fix, you can just unplug this connector, but then the tranny won't lock up at highway speeds, and your gas mileage will suffer. You should be able to get the replacement part for under $30, and the installation is pretty straight forward.


Can I power wash my engine without worry?

Yes. Just open the hood and spray away. Don't spray directly on electrical components for an extended period of time, and you should be fine. You should at least cover your intake so you don't get your nice filter all wet.


There is water inside my car, under the floormats, how do I stop the leaking?

This is a very common problem for the second generation j-bodies. Usually the water enters the car somewhere along the firewall. The first thing to check is the cowl drain located in the cowl, on the drivers side of the car. It is a hole with a little black stopper that is on the side of the cowl. The hole is about 2 inches by 1 inch.

If that doesnt stop the problem you should check all of the points along the firewall where wires,hoses, or anything passes through the firewall. Check the rubber grommets for cracks and/or holes.

Then, if everything else does not stop the water, you could tear out the carpet and have someone spray the car with a hose while you are inside, searching to see if you can pinpoint where the water enters the car.

You can also check the heater core to make sure that it is not leaking coolant into your car.Check this thread for more links to information related to this problem.


What are the different repair manuals available for the J-bodies?

Well, one of the best places to start is with a repair manual. They are usually inexpensive (under $20.00) and they provide a wealth of information.

Haynes manual. This repair manual has a lot of good information. The information is laid out in logical, easy to find format. I found it easier to use than the Chilton's manual. I also like the schematics in this manual better than the ones in the Chilton's manual.

Chilton's repair manual. This manual is a bit more expensive than the Haynes Manual, but I found that it is a bit more descriptive in it's procedures and tables.

Factory service manual. This is the ultamate manual for our cars. It is full of diagrams and pictures. It is more picture based than the other two manuals. It is also much more expensive and harder to find.


Why will my car not start?

This is a common problem, but it has many, many different possible causes. Look here for a thread that should point you in the right direction.


What are our car's service intervals and what parts should be replaced?

This topic is debatable and some peopledont agree on exactly when some of these parts should be serviced. This information comes from the Haynes manual.

3000 miles or 3 months:
Check all of the fluids
Change the oil and oil filter

6000 miles or 6 months:
Check engine drivebelts
Check cooling system and hoses
Check and lubricate the chassis components

12000 miles or 12 months:
Replace the fuel filter
Rotate the tires

24000 miles or 24 months:
Check the wheel bearings
Check the EGR system

30000 miles or 30 months:
Drain, flush and refill the cooling system
Replace the PVC valve
Replace the air filter
Change the Automatic transmission fluid and filter
Change the manual transmission fluid
Replace the spark plugs
Inspect and replace if necessary the spark plug wires, distributer cap, and rotor

48000 miles or 48 months:
Check the oxygen sensor and replace if necessary


What fluids should I use in my car and what are the capacities?

Coolant:
50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol-based antifreeze and water
Capacities:
V6: 14 quarts
Four cylinder: 10 quarts

Oil:
API grade SAE 5W-30
Capacities:
4 quarts (1/2 additional quart if oil filter is changed)

Automatic transmission fluid:
Dexron II
Capacities:
4 quarts (initial refill)

Manual transmission fluid
1982: Dexron II
1983-1987: 5W-30 engine oil
1988-1994: GM transmission lubricant (part# 1235349) or Penzoil synchromesh fluid
Capacities:
2 quarts

Brake fluid:
DOT 3 brake fluid

Power steering fluid:
1985 and earlier: gm power steering fluid (part # 1050017)
1986-1994: gm power steering fluid (part# 1052884)

Clutch fluid:
DOT 3 brake fluid


What are the Oil filter part numbers for my engine?

1990-1994 3.1 OHV MPFI (Z24 Only) :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001

1990-1991, 1993-1994 3.1 OHV MPFI (Non-Z24) :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001

1992 3.1 OHV MPFI (Non-Z24) :
STP S3980
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3430
MOBIL M1-201
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-2001
MOTORCRAFT FL402

1988-1989 2.8 OHV MPFI :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001
MOTORCRAFT FL321

1990-1991 2.2 TBI :
STP S3980
FRAM PH3980
BOSCH 3430
MOBIL M1-201
AC-DELCO PF52
K&N HP-2001
MOTORCRAFT FL402

1992-1994 2.2 MPFI :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001
MOTORCRAFT FL321

1988-1991 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC TBI :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001
MOTORCRAFT FL321

1988-1990 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC turbo :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001
MOTORCRAFT FL321

1992-1994 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC MPFI :
STP S3387A
FRAM PH3387A
BOSCH 3331
MOBIL M1-101
AC-DELCO PF47
K&N HP-1001
MOTORCRAFT FL321

A big thanks goes to Sleeper for providing this information.


What are the air filter part numbers for my car?

1990-1994 3.1 OHV MPFI (Z24 Only) :
STP SA3902
FRAM CA3902
K&N E-0890
AC-DELCO A925C

1990-1991, 1993-1994 3.1 OHV MPFI (Non-Z24) :
STP SA3924
FRAM CA3924
K&N E-0850

1992 3.1 OHV MPFI (Non-Z24) :
STP SA3924
FRAM CA3924
K&N E-0850

1988-1989 2.8 OHV MPFI :
(Z24 Only)
STP SA3902
FRAM CA3902
K&N E-0890
AC-DELCO A925C

(Non-Z24)
STP SA3924
FRAM CA3924
K&N E-0850

1990-1991 2.2 TBI :
STP SA3647
FRAM CA3647
K&N E-1015

1992-1994 2.2 MPFI :
STP SA3916
FRAM CA3916
K&N 33-2022
AC-DELCO A1172C

1988-1991 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC TBI :
STP SA3647
FRAM CA3647
K&N E-1015

1988-1990 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC turbo :
STP SA3924
FRAM CA3924
K&N E-0850

1992-1994 (Sunbird) 2.0 OHC MPFI :
STP SA3916
FRAM CA3916
K&N 33-2022

A big thanks goes to Sleeper for providing this information.


How do I hook up my ECU to a laptop computer?

You can read the codes and see the information that your ECU "sees" by hooking up the ECU to a computer. You will need a laptop with a serial port, an ALDL cable, and software.

The ALDL cable works as an interface between the computer and the car's ECU. Multiple places carry this cable, or you could make one yourself.

Then you will need a program such as EFI live, or Freescan to read the information from the ECU.

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