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Car runs funny below 1000 RPM?

Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So I drive a '92 Buick Riviera. I just had some major work done on it, replaced the head gasket and had some other minor things done as well (I think one of the belts was changed).

Anyways, it drives great now, much smoother than before. The only thing is I've noticed that when idling, whenever the car is below 1000rpm, it seems to run choppier than before. Basically it feels like the engine is "sputtering" if that makes any sense. I'm not sure if this is a big deal or not.

My Dad recommended I go to Canadian Tire and get some Fuel Injector Cleaner. Anyone know if that would help with this type of problem? Is this even something I should be worrying about - like I said, above 1000 rpm the car runs much better than it did before. It used to have some rough spots at certain speeds which are now gone.

In about 3 weeks I'm going to be driving the thing from Toronto to Edmonton, which is not a short trip at all. So I want to make sure nothing is going to bite me in the ass.

Al_wat on

Posts

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I think your dad could be on the right track there, rough idle is definitely a symptom of dirty injectors.

    Fuel injector cleaner is pretty cheap too, so it's worth a shot.

    Other things to check would be Fuel/Air Filters to see if they're clogged.

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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I wouldn't think spark or fuel problems, since you mention it runs smooth under load and didn't say anything about CELs.

    Edit - If you take it out of gear at a stop (into neutral) does it stop sputtering/shaking?

    Offhand I'd blame airflow - idle air control valve, MAF sensor, or the ever-popular vacuum leak. :P

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  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Check your spark plugs and ignition wires and the air filter, just to hit all the basics.

    I'm wondering how recent is 'just done' for that major work? I wouldn't be spending a dime on getting this checked if it was within the last couple weeks to a month.

    Actually, I'll hedge my bets on severely retarded timing.

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  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Does is vibrate a lot when idling too? I had the same thing a while ago. It was a cylinder misfire due to a bad (cracked) spark plug. Get a tune up- which replaces your spark plugs and air filter and stuff- if the fuel-injector cleaner doesn't work.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    Check your spark plugs and ignition wires and the air filter, just to hit all the basics.

    I'm wondering how recent is 'just done' for that major work? I wouldn't be spending a dime on getting this checked if it was within the last couple weeks to a month.

    Actually, I'll hedge my bets on severely retarded timing.

    This. And I think we've covered all of the major common suspects here, that should give him a lot of wrench time.

    Also, damn. That thing has a touchscreen CRT in the dash? Pimpin' son.

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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Edit - If you take it out of gear at a stop (into neutral) does it stop sputtering/shaking?

    It does to some degree but it is still present. I figure thats because all that vibration isn't going through the transmission anymore though, but I don't know a lot about cars.
    eternalbl wrote:
    Check your spark plugs and ignition wires and the air filter, just to hit all the basics.

    I'm wondering how recent is 'just done' for that major work? I wouldn't be spending a dime on getting this checked if it was within the last couple weeks to a month.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the guy changed all the spark plugs too. This work was very recent - about 2-3 weeks ago.

    I'll definitely go and get some injector cleaner asap.

  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    To me this sounds a bit like a small vacuum leak. I'd definitely take it back to the guy who worked on it last since it should still be under warranty and tell him what's happening. It could be as simple as he missed a vacuum hose that needed to be hooked back up.

  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited May 2009
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited May 2009
    wmelon wrote: »
    To me this sounds a bit like a small vacuum leak. I'd definitely take it back to the guy who worked on it last since it should still be under warranty and tell him what's happening. It could be as simple as he missed a vacuum hose that needed to be hooked back up.

    Symptoms are never under warranty. A good service shop will guarantee their repair so if the same symptoms come back they'll work with you or if they messed up doing the repair and caused another problem like this possibly is.

    But other times, there's an unrelated problem thats just come up coincidentally after a repair or sometimes a problem that wasn't noticeable because of the original problem becomes apparent.

    All I'm saying is don't expect this to be free. Like I said, a good shop will work with you, but sometimes its just not their fault.

    Spoiler:
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