Troubleshooting a Misfire Condition or Misfire Codes (OBD II) on your GM 3.8L V6 equipped vehicle (Buick, Chevy, Olds, Pontiac) can be quite a challenge. Why? Because so many different things can cause a Misfire (also known as an Engine Miss or ‘dead’ Cylinder).
In this tutorial, I'll present you with some of the basics you need to know to successfully diagnose a Misfire Condition and the information you need (in the form of links to tutorials).
The tutorials (I'm linking you to) will show you some of the specific tests that you may need to do to get to the root cause of the problem.
Here are the contents of this article at a quick glance:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar Fallas en Cilindro (GM 3.8L) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
The definition of Misfire Condition: the engine in your car is not firing on all cylinders. If even one cylinder is not contributing to engine power (normally referred to as a dead cylinder), you’re gonna’ feel it. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a Misfire Condition on your GM 3.8L:
Every cylinder, in your V6, needs to have air, fuel, and spark to work. If any one of them is missing from the equation, that cylinder will go dead. What sucks, is that so many things can cause a Misfire Condition (or a rough idle condition). The cause of the Misfire can be in any one of the following Systems:
Ignition System: In a nutshell, the Ignition System on the GM 3.8L V6 consists of three Ignition Coil Packs, an Ignition Control Module, Spark Plugs, and Spark Plug Wires. The majority of Misfire Conditions have their root cause here.
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“I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”