TEST 6: Other Causes Of Misfires

Carbon Tracks Cause Misfires. How To Test The GM 2.2L Ignition Coil Pack

So you tested all of the four spark plug wires (per the instructions in TEST 1) and they all sparked, but the Cavalier (or Sunfire) is still experiencing a Misfire Condition. Well, here are a few suggestions that may inspire your next round of tests:

  1. The valve cover gaskets are leaking oil onto the spark plug wells and soaking the spark plugs and spark plug wire boots in oil.
    1. Over time, this oil will cause a misfire as the oil cooks and turns into carbon tracks.
    2. The photos in the image viewer show you what a carbon track looks like on the inside of the spark plug wire boot and on the ceramic insulator of the spark plug.
  2. Engine Compression Test
    1. One of the most overlooked diagnostic tests to find the root cause of misfire is the compression test.
    2. You'll need an engine compression tester of course.
    3. The engine compression readings between cylinders should not vary more 15%.
    4. I've written a step-by-step 2.2L GM compression test article that you can find here: Compression Test (this article is found at troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
  3. A Bad Fuel Injector.
    1. A fuel injector can go bad and not set a specific fuel injector code.
    2. The fuel injectors can be tested with a simple fuel injector resistance test, and you can find this test here: Fuel Injector Resistance Test (this article is found at troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
  4. Carbon tracks on the spark plug(s) and in the inside of the spark plug wires.
    1. The photos in the image viewer point (the orange arrows) to what carbon tracks look like.
    2. It's not possible to clean a carbon track. You can scrape and clean, but it won't go away. Replace the components affected with carbon tracks and this usually means both the spark plug and the Wire together.
  5. Broken spark plugs.
    1. This usually happens at tune-up time, if you have dropped one on the floor.
    2. You power washed the engine, this is something that should never be done on any vehicle.
Thank You For Your Donation

If this info really saved the day, buy me a beer!

buy me a beer

Chevrolet Vehicles:

  • Cavalier 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • S10 Pickup 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

GMC Vehicle:

  • Sonoma 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Isuzu Vehicles:

  • Hombre 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Pontiac Vehicle:

  • Sunfire 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002