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Engine issues

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Oct 6, 2016, 12:18 PM

Post #1 of 9 (812 views)
Engine issues Sign In

Good afternoon!
I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with a 2.2L 4 cylinder engine, with a little over 199,300 miles. Lately, it feels like there is some sort of slight hesitating/jerking while driving that occurs just about every time I go to drive. Some points it'll feel like the car rocks a little, and others I will barely feel it at all. I do not have to push on the gas pedal more to accelerate, that has stayed completely normal. I tried driving it in 1st, 2nd and 3rd and I didn't really notice any issues like when the car is in drive. It only started a few weeks ago, and it can happen as soon as I pull out of my driveway or when I'm going 50mph down the road, and everywhere in between. The engine shifts really good, it only starts after the RPMs return to normal (it normally stays around 2k or so) and I continue driving down the road. I sometimes feel it more when I'm driving on an incline. The battery was just replaced a month ago, transmission fluid was replaced about a month ago, oil change was around the same time, spark plugs are less than a week old and the engine itself was replaced about 6 years ago. I've noticed the RPMs do not fluctuate when this happens, the needle stays steady. I do know that when we were replacing a CV joint, a c-clip did get lost in the engine and we were unable to retrieve it. I don't know if that could cause any issue. The Service Engine Soon light is constantly on, it has not shut off. I do not have an OBD scanner currently, but before it only gave me an EVAP leak code. I'm not sure what could be causing the issue. Also, my low beams lately have not been coming on at all no matter what I try. The high beams work perfectly, but the low beams basically refuse to come on. Could that be a fuse issue or some type of switch that has gone a little faulty? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

kev2 profile image

Oct 6, 2016, 2:14 PM

Post #2 of 9 (805 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

where did you loose the "C" clip?
Explain -it normally stays @2000rpm..... does it idle there or that is your normal operating range?
You should START with a code scan. post ALL codes you retrieve.


Oct 6, 2016, 2:31 PM

Post #3 of 9 (800 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

It normally operates around 2,000RPM when driving, yes. The c-clip, we were replacing the driver side CV joint, and we were given the wrong part and wrong information for my car for said part, and we ended up pulling out about an 18" long shaft, but the c-clip was not attached to it, it had fallen out in the process. I currently don't have anything that can do a full code scan, nor with my limited knowledge of cars, do I know where to go off the top of my head to get a code scan. Any idea of what/where would be best?

kev2 profile image

Oct 6, 2016, 2:41 PM

Post #4 of 9 (797 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

some parts stores such as autozone, advance auto, orielys etc will do free scans... copy down and post ALL codes.


Oct 6, 2016, 2:44 PM

Post #5 of 9 (794 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

Oh sweet I did not know autozone did that for free. I may have to go up there tomorrow as my night is a little busy, but I will try to make it up there asap. I will write down and post the codes that I show up


Oct 7, 2016, 8:29 AM

Post #6 of 9 (779 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

I went up to O'Reilly to get a code scan, and the only code that was given was P0455

kev2 profile image

Oct 7, 2016, 9:09 AM

Post #7 of 9 (772 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

Ok with only that code it will need to be basics . Testing and inspecting
You did change some parts -
Spark plugs WHY did you change them ? You did use AC Delco plugs?
How about air filter - Do not use a K&N....
Trans was serviced but you want to double check fluid level.
Check fuel pressure - a basic for fuel injection diagnostics.
Check for vacuum leaks.
The p0455 is a leak in EVAP system, start with checking gas cap, the seal on cap, then it will need to be 'smoke' checked to look for leaking component or hose etc.
Might want to check the PURGE valve hoses.
The lights - are you comfortable with wiring diagrams, a test light and a DVOM?


Oct 7, 2016, 9:47 AM

Post #8 of 9 (770 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

The spark plugs were changed because the old ones were starting to go bad, I think they were a couple years old. Yes, they are ACDelco.
The air filter, it's been a while since we've replaced it, but it still looks pretty clean. Not sure what brand it is though. The gas cap is almost 15 years old so I'm expecting the seal to have worn down a bit.
I'll have to see if I can check those other things you listed, and I honestly have no idea where those things for the lights are at, nor what a DVOM is

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 7, 2016, 10:20 AM

Post #9 of 9 (765 views)
Re: Engine issues Sign In

See if I can confuse you as I'm real good at that.

Engine likes A/C Delco and all OE (original equipment) items when replaced. Air filter may look good and not be. See light thru one was a test but if oily for any reason air doesn't flow well and be interrupting air flow intake the vehicle expects to compensate for to a point which it says it can't anymore.

Finding vacuum leaks at the age alone is worth checking things.

Cool to cold engine at your own risk when idle is stable from a start up spray carb cleaner at spots that could leak anything holding manifold vacuum - throttle body to intake, intake to heads, all hoses especially PCV hose, grommets and hose to brake booster included.

All those "vacuum" trees they are called the necks bust off easily and no glue I've ever found can fix those. IDK - ask parts place what they can do or risk used even finding exact ones unbroken.

Vacuum hose anywhere. You should be able to buy a lot by the foot and do one at a time so no chance to mix them up.

Just spray around EGR it shouldn't react at all.

WARNING! Carb cleaner is flammable and you really can make a fire if not VERY careful. Default is don't use it unless prepared. Flammable if it found a leak idle may go up or erratic when it shouldn't change anything.

Other and need to read containers: "Bra-Kleen" is a brand of brake parts spray cleaner that IS NOT FLAMMABLE BUT READ IT ON CONTAINER FOR SURE!

You can use that too but careful with either as if on nice paint can harm it. NOT ALL BRANDS OF BRAKE CLEANER ARE FIRE PROOF! If you use the kind that is clearly marked and find a vacuum leak you could about stall an engine with it..

You can also wiggle test vacuum lines, elbows where found and should. You can get an assortment of those already pre-packaged.

Use an Exacto knife or razor to cut off vacuum hose on plastic connections especially - a slice and carefully peel them off as needed. Oddly some may be just fine even this old some a horror show and do them all.

There is plastic vacuum line too used that looks like wire at a glance. If found broken the size rubber hose for windshield washer hose is usually right and just push it over a clean cut.

Not for now but can describe how to make a right turn hose or any angle with plain hose off a roll. Ask if you find that as a snag for a molded hose you may not find quickly at all new can make those.

Sorry for the novel - just me. I haven't found some of the tricks mentioned on YouTube or another that shows things quickly on how to if you trust what you chose to watch,


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