'96 Engine Gasps - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-06-2005, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default '96 Engine Gasps

Hey again all. Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, if it is please let me know and it will be moved. I have another question here. The used car warranty on my '96 Bonneville SE with the standard 3800 Series II is about 200 KM'* away from expiring, and it has a problem that is has been doing for quite some time. First, I will say that this car runs great. Always starts on the first try and never stalls. The only problem seems to be that at times it has no 'take off' power. As in, when I am at a dead stop, it seems to 'gasp' for air before taking off, and even then it doesn't take off quickly. When I get it up too 30 Kpm or so and put the peddle to the floor it will throw you back in your seat, but its the starting that is sometimes weak. Then, at other times it will sit there at a red light and squeal the tires. Also, when the car is first started in the morning, it doesn't do this, until it warms up.
Another thing is that I can sit there in Park or Neutral and rev the car and it will usually take a 'gasp' before the RPM'* jump up. My first guess was the fuel filter so I changed that with no difference. I have also looked at the wires and they look brand new and the dealer where I bought the car says the plugs are brand new as well, though I have not pulled them out to see them yet. The air filter is also brand new (I changed that myself).
Can anyone give me any suggestions or hints?

Thanks everyone for any help you can give me.
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:10 PM   #2
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If it seems like an airflow problem, you might try having your Mass Air Flow Sensor tested. I had to have one changed on my old '92 SSEi. Mine was a combo problem with the Fuel pump though. It had a somewhat similar issue though. Good luck
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:02 PM   #3
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To clean a MAF you can take it out and super gently clean the wire with a q tip and alcohol. Be very gentle. Otherwise I'd suggest checking vacuum lines. You might be getting a leak.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:44 AM   #4
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I will check those things out, thanks. Anything else I should look for while under the hood?
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:37 AM   #5
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While you are right there... double check your pcv, make sure it'* not clogged. Not sure why, but an easy item to check.
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:30 PM   #6
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I went out to check the MAF sensor when I realized something else was wrong. My interior lights, power locks, power antenna and chimes were not working. Well, the chimes never worked, but the rest is all new to me. I checked every fuse in the car (all 3 places) and they are all fine. The only thing I can think of is the Body Control Module. Also, the Fog lights stayed on tonight when I was done with the car. I had to pull one of the Maxifuses under the hood to get them to shut off. They were only at around 20% brightness though. Think it'* the BCM?
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:59 PM   #7
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No, I think you have a bad alternator and battery. Both. Low voltage does VERY wierd things with accessories, and hurts performance.
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:31 PM   #8
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Look for 13-14v from the alternator.... Low periods of 12v for a few seconds at startup is normal... If the alt will not pass 12v or drops well below 12v under load it may be time for a new alt.... Before you replace the alt, check and clean all connections first....

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Old 08-11-2005, 12:36 AM   #9
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The alternator seems to work fine. It usually, as you said, is low at first startup, but within a few seconds it gets up to the normal. Today however, it was raining out when I was on my way home so I had on my full headlights, the fan on full (heater) the wipers on and a CD playing and I did notice that the alternator dropped quite low. It didn't enter the red zone but it was rather low compaired to what it usually is at. Also, when I looked at it the bottom of it is broken off. It looks as if when I put the tensioner on the car somehow I managed to break off the bottom part of the altranator. The metal casing at the bottom bolt is broke, but it is together, if you get my meaning. The reason I assumed it was the BCM was because of the things that are happening to the car. The only thing I have done to it in the last week is an oil change, the tensioner and I installed a power antenna from a scrap yard (which was working perfect and didn't need any modifactions as it was from a Caddy). Like I said though, the battery level usually stays put between 13 and 14, until today when I had all of that stuff running at once, which I don't usually do. Also, when my door locks started to work yesterday, the BCM was making a buzzing sound when I pressed the lock button. I would have to close all of the doors and press the Lock or Unlock button. The locks would move a bit, and the BCM would buzz. They didnt move enough to lock the doors though, just buzzed. Then, today the whole 'fog light' thing happened. I had to pull a maxifuse to turn them off. I am used to working on older 3.1L V6'* or the older 3800'*, not the newer ones with these BCM'* and what not so I am kind of out of my league. Any help or advise is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2005, 12:45 AM   #10
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Sorry. I forgot to say that the alternator only dropped low while I was at a stop. When I was driving it stayed where it usually stays.
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