Repair: General Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting Starting Point[edit]

This is a troubleshooting starting point. The purpose is to give users a starting point or a rough idea of what is causing their problem. Experts are encouraged to post common problems, with their causes and likely solutions. This is not meant to be all inclusive but may address most problems with enough expert input.

To use this guide is simple: you go into the appropriate section (ie engine, transmission etc), find your problem, then look at the list of possible causes. Each cause will have a sublist of fixes or solution links. Follow the one(s) that you feel most fits your situation.

The layout is Problem -> Cause(s) -> Solution(s)

Please limit solutions to a single sentence or a link in order to preserve readability of this guide.

Here is the Acronym List in case you run across one you don't know.


Blue Smoke in Exhaust[edit]

PCV Valve Failure
  • Replace PCV Valve
Valve Stem Seals Worn
  • Replace Valve Stem Seals
Turbo Failure
Piston Ring or Head Gasket Failure
Also see: Engine: Troubleshoot Burning Oil

Cranks But Does Not Start[edit]

Fuel Pump Failure
  • Check Fuel Pump Fuse
Crank/CAM Angle Sensors Failure
Large Vacuum Leak
  • Perform an intake pressure test and fix all leaks

High Knock Counts[edit]

Air Fuel Too Lean
  • Increase Fuel on your A/F controller
  • Upgrade Fuel Pump
  • Upgrade Fuel Injectors
Air Intake Charge Too Hot
  • Increase A/F ratio to cool cylinders
  • Upgrade Intercoolers
  • Add water/alcohol injection
  • Replace spark plugs with cooler range spark plugs
Fuel Octane Too Low
  • Use Race Gas
  • Add Propane Injection
Carbon Buildup in Cylinders
  • Clean out cylinders with SeaFoam
Cooling System Inadequate
Also see Engine: Troubleshoot

Oil Pressure Gauge Not Working[edit]

Oil Pressure Sender Disconnected


Air in Cooling System
  • Fill Cooling System and keep overflow tank filled
  • Fix Any Leaks
Radiator Cap Worn
  • Replace radiator cap
Water Pump Failure
  • Replace Water Pump
Cooling Fans Not Functioning
  • Check fan relays
  • Check fan switches
Thermostat Failure
  • Replace Thermostat
Head Gasket Failure

Running Lean[edit]

Vacuum Leak
  • Perform an Intake Pressure Test
Barometric Pressure Sensor Failure
Throttle Position Sensor misadjusted
Intake Air Temperature Sensor Bad


ECU Capacitors Bad in 91-93 Cars

Stuttering Over 3,000 RPM[edit]

Spark Blow Out
  • Gap Plugs to .032 or smaller
  • Replace Spark Plugs with Copper or Iridium Plugs
  • Replace Spark Plug Wires
  • Replace Multi-Path Plugs with Single Path Plugs

Ticking Sounds in Engine Bay[edit]

Lifter Tick
Collapsed Lifter
  • Replace Lifter
Fuel Injector Faulty
  • Replace Fuel Injector
Spun Bearing
  • Rebuild Engine

Drive Train[edit]

Clutch Not Disengaging[edit]

Air in clutch hydrolics
  • Bleed clutch system
Clutch Master Cylinder Failure
Clutch Slave Cylinder Failure
  • Replace clutch slave cylinder
Clutch Pressure Plate Worn Out
  • Replace Clutch
Clutch Fork Bent
  • Replace Clutch Fork

Car Won't Move With Clutch Engaged[edit]

Slipping Clutch
  • Replace Clutch
Broken Axle
  • [[Drivetrain: CV Axle]
Broken Output Shaft (AWD Only)
Broken Transfer Case
  • Replace Transfer Case

Grinding While Shifting[edit]

Clutch Not Fully Disengaging
  • Bleed clutch system
  • Adjust Clutch Pedal
Clutch Pressure Plate Worn
  • Replace clutch
Transmission Synchros Worn

Shifter Arm Moves When Gas Pedal Is Depressed or Released[edit]

Transmission Bearing Preloads Out of Adjustment Transmission: Rebuild 5-Speed AWD Getrag
Engine Mounts Worn
  • Replace Engine Mounts


Car Pulls to One Side[edit]

Tires Underinflated
  • Inflate tires to proper pressure
  • Fix slow leak in tire(s)
Tire Damaged
  • Replace tire
Worn Suspension Bushings
  • Replace worn bushings
Alignment off
  • Have car aligned
Bent suspension component
  • Replace damage part
Car Frame Bent
  • Repair car frame


Battery Draining[edit]

Alternator's Voltage Regulator Faulty
Parasitic Drain

Power Windows Not Working[edit]

Power Window Motor Failure
Power Window Switch Failure
  • Replace Power Window Switch


Air Conditioning Display Not Working[edit]

Resistor R-38 failure


Coming soon...