car viberating - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hey there! I have a 1994 Camaro, V6 3.4 liter, automatic transmission. It has about 113,000 miles on it. I have been having problems with it sputtering and viberating. I took it to the dealership to get a diagnosis on it and after 6 tries they said it was the torque converter. Before I go and spend several hundred dollars on getting this replaced I thought I would see if any of you might have a idea of what it could be. When I am at a stop at idle, my car will feel like it is sputtering, I also sometimes smell something electrical burning. The steering wheel will viberate and when you take off ...the only way I can describe it is if it were a standard it would feel like you took off in 2nd gear instead of 1st. It has not much power at all, I have to give it a lot of gas for it to finally catch on. I have replaced the spark plugs and spark plug wires...the smell might be the spark plug wires melting again. The dealership said that some of them had melted due to the torque converter. I have replaced the air filter. Over the last year or two I have replaced some head bolts, head gaskets, lock sensor, alternator, starter, EGR valve, front wheel hub assembly, and an ignition coil. I guess I am needing to know how you know if your torque converter is going bad. The dealer ship said the diagnosis told them it was losing ground, so I am out of ideas. Should I get another diagnosis done some place else?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 08:47 AM
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A "bad" torque converter can in NO way cause a melted plug wire! Did they really tell you that?

What you describe sounds like a bad ignition problem (severe miss / dead cylinder) to a drivetrain (poss. converter) problem.

I would get a second opinion and don't tell them anything...let them tell you what they think it is. If you mention "converter"....you may get the same diagnosis....without a fair check out...

Good luck,
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yes the dealership really did tell me that my spark plug wire melted because my torque converter cause it to get too hot. I'll go ahead and take your advise and get a second opinion. They told me that changing my wires might do the trick, but that didn't seem to help much. My service engine soon light stays on almost constantly now. I'll make sure I don't tell the guys who do another diagnostic what the dealership said. They don't trust dealerships from what I hear anyway. Thanks I appreciate the help!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 09:02 AM
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Do you know anyone with a Code scanner, Jennifer? If so, you could plug it into the port unter the steering column...may point you in the right direction.

I would guess its more of an ignition problem than a Converter/tranny problem.
Let us know how it goes with the second opinion....

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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I sure will let ya know what goes on! I'm curious as to what the real problem is. I'm going to let my dad know what is going on. He's about the only one that works on my car. He doesn't trust many people and he knows my car pretty well. I actually think my uncle has one of those code readers. He works at a Ford dealership, but I'm sure it would help.
Thanks!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 02:29 PM
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Jennifer, Are you sure they said torque converter and not catalytic converter. It sounds to me like the catalytic converter may be clogged.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 00, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hep! I am positive they said the torque converter. Weird....Hummm...well, I'm going to get a diagnostic done some place else and see what they say. Sometimes when I'm at an idle it seems like my car is going to die, so I put it in neutral and it will not sputter near as bad. My brother-in-law thought it might be the catalytic converter too.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 00, 11:35 AM
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Remember guy's, she said it did feel like taking off in 2nd gear, also when she puts it in neutral it doesn't sputter as bad. Maybe the converter is coming apart, hence the vibration & slippage? I'm thinking she's losing the stall in it. And there could be some other things going on as well. Just a theory, I'm no expert. Let us know what you find Jen. Good luck.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 00, 03:13 PM
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Some of sounds cat converter but most of it sounds tranny which includes the converter.If they didn't change your tranny oil at the dealership pull off the pan and look for debris in the bootom also look for color ie.dark could mean burnt oil and smell for a burnt smell,both the last two can be done by looking at the dipstick.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 00, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the help in this. I am going this week to get it hooked up again. I'll let you all know what it is. Hopefully they can see what the problem is. I think mechanics will know more than that darn dealership. eh?
Thanks a bunch!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 00, 06:55 PM
 
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Jennifer, tell your dad there is an ALDL link connector under the dash, he'll know what that is. With the engine off, connect the A and either B or D terminals, one or the other B or D will be there, and the A will always be there, then turn the ignition switch on.

The check engine light will do three code 12s to show the system is working, then go into the trouble codes it has stored.

The light will flash the first number of the code, then the second, then repeat the code two more times, then go on to the next code.

Don't start the engine dsuring this process, don't run the engine with the connector in the ALDL. This should let him read the codes without a scanner for them. He can go to it from there

You are well advised to not go back to the place that has been "repairing' your car, they don't know what they are doing, even if they are a dealer.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 00, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Oh believe me! I swore I would never go to the dealership again! I've heard alot of bad things since I've gone about that place and I'll go to the guys who fixed my car a couple years ago. They did a good job on it and they don't trust the dealerships either. I'll let my dad take a look at what all of you guys have to say. Thanks a bunch!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 00, 10:00 AM
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Jennifer, the dealership is RIGHT. Your car's torque converter has an electrically operated "Lockup" clutch, which is sticking in the "ON" position. You can prove this by removing the electrical wire connection into the trans, which will disable the lockup feature. I've been told (by guys who make their living replacing transmissions) that it's not good to leave it this way. When you run this test, you'll notice that the last "shift," when the rpm's drop about 400 at over 40 MPH, doesn't happen, and I suspect your problem will be gone, too.



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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 00, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks! I need all the opinions and facts I can get! I appreciate it! I'll have it checked out.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 00, 11:50 AM
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JimM, about the lock up on the converter...I would tend to agree with you but my experience has proven otherwise...mind you I am no transmission expert....

My wifes old car ('86 Grand Am 3.0L) had the lock up converter freeze like you are describing. When that happened, the car wouldn't even idle when you came to a stop...it was just like leaving it in gear with no clutch. Screwed around with it until it disengaged and unplugged the connector for the lock up. This was at 158,000 miles....car now has 241,000 and tranny is still doing fine...I drive it 60 miles/day...

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