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  1. #1

    3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    97 chevy lumina auto, v6, 3.1 engine
    first off the car has routine oil changes has 81,000 miles
    last change was done October 08 a month later it developes this missfire, loss of power, and a loud tapping noise from the engine compartment.
    thought it might be the lifters or valves we took the valve cover off when it was hot and turned the engine and everything appears fine: lifter, springs and valves appear to be working fine. WHen the # 3 is down it makes a loud chatter, there is some sludge in there, oil appears to be watery, clear not dark or anything.
    not milky in texture, no oil residue in the water..so it does not appears there is a crack in the block or blown gasket.
    Can any one tell me what could be causing this tapping noise.
    is this the piston slap everyone talks about?
    next chance I get I will try to clip a video of the noise and post
    Cams?
    rockers?
    valves?
    maybe injectors are clogged?
    if everything else seems to be working fine.
    Does anyone know if the sparks plugs can make a difference on this make model?
    I have considered changeing spark plugs thinking maybe one cracked.. not likely
    which would you use to try and resolve this issue? : STP, EOS (Engine Oil Supplement)
    or sea foam?
    a mechanic over a year ago told me there was a light on and he would take care of it and disconnected it.. turns out I was told that it was the "check coolant soon" light, the temp gauge has not run high.. but could I still be leaking water into the engine even if the oil isnt pudding like? or the radiator does not have oil in it?

    The car is not driven but 5 miles a week and I dont want to loose the engine over this.. so anyone have a past issue or know of known cases where this is resolvable please post back.
    money is an issue on a set income and no money to buy a new car and
    well little to put to repair if it is a cam issue
    ty
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  2. #2
    SigEpCutlass's Avatar
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    If I were you I would start with the simplest issue first...the misfire. Determine if the misfire is coming from the coil packs, the wires, or the spark plugs. If you need assistance with troubleshooting that, let us know.
    - Mike K.
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  3. #3

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    Mike
    thanks
    I forgot to mention that the coils were swaped and they are fine..
    next step is we are going to replace spark plugs and do an engine flush with seafoam..
    in any event this problem will have to be resolved as my aunt has no money to get another vehicle.. OUCH! hoping the spark plugs might be cracked she doesnt knwo when it was the time they were changed.. ok..
    but she does do her oil changes on time.. ????
    W/E I dont understand the logic on that one but hey to each their own..
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    19Cutlass94's Avatar
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    start with plugs. for some reason my old 3100 went through them like nothing. and the tapping is more than likely a lifter that isnt pumping up. Since I have that problem with mine right now.
    Jay

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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    Can't help the OP but my 3100 makes the piston slap sound I believe it is for quite awhile after I first start it. It goes away as I drive and is sometimes still able to be heard when warm.

    It has been doing this for 3 years and had about 90xxx on it at the time, now at around 137xxx and still running ok.

    If the misfire problem is solved and the tapping noise doesn't sound like a rod knock or sumthing bad like that.

    It's prolly just piston slap or poor lifters not pumping up like said before me.

    Does it go away after the motor warms up or get any quieter?

  6. #6

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    after running it for about 20 minutes the noise does not get softer but the missfire does get worse. we are doing the plug change and engine flush today. I will post back tonight and hopefully get a clip of the sound it is making before and after the engine flush and plug change.
    I certainly hope this helps at least to get her drivable for a couple of months then someone can work on rebuilding the valve, lifters etc. since i am not physically capable of doing that much work on my own.
    You can't do better unless you know beter

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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    Underdriving cars is horrible on them. If the vehicle is operated consistently without reaching full temperature, the oil life is very short since condensation contaminates it, the exhaust system will rust quickly, and other issues of under use will appear.

    I actually had this conversation with someone.
    her: "my car runs horrible!"
    me: "what's it doing?"
    her: "it has no power, and it is hard to start... you have to crank and crank and crank..."
    me: "when is the last time you had maintenance done?"
    her: "I'm up on my maintenance, my oil still has 1000 miles to go before it is due to be changed."
    me: "how long ago was it last changed?"
    her: "three years ago, but that doesn't matter, I haven't driven 3000 miles."
    me: "... "

    she had a Dodge Omni, and drove a block from work, and maybe the store and nothing else.



    do the plugs. do an oil change. do a spark test on each coil; crank the engine with a plugwire attached to each coil tip, and a screwdriver in the end. check all 6 for consistent spark. test is best perfromed with one extra spark plug wire which you test one coil point at a time, and shut the engine off while moving the test wire.

    I think your noise could be from a misfire?

    REPORT RESULTS.



    once things are fixed... you need to take it for a hard and long drive. and make sure th


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  8. #8

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    that is my aunt.. it is her car and she just told me last night she does not know when she changed the plugs or had a tune up.. She is regular with the oil change .. but hell that doesnt help if you dont take care of the rest of it!
    i think this engine flush and the and the tune up will get her back on the road for now.
    I will post an update once we are done
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  9. #9

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    well I am impressed the spark plugs took care of the loss of power and the missfire and the seafoam took care of the rest !!!
    I have never used this product but I can and will say that I am impressed from all I have heard it stands up to what they say it will do.
    The plugs were original and they had nothing left to them ..
    I ran out of time to do an oil change and decided to just add the seafoam to the crank case and the fuel, just enough to condition them not the extra to flush and change the oil I told her to take it and run it for a few weeks and then we will do a flush and oil change.
    I did take a snap of the noise before and after if I can figure out how to upload them and where so that I can place a link to hear them people will be amazed at the difference...man what a difference..


    before


    after
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    i think you should change the oil immediately. like this weekend.

    make sure the car gets driven to keep everything alive, which is to say maybe once i week she needs to take it up to 60mph for 5 minutes at least...


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  11. #11

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    okay igot a few other boards running and they are saying the same thing..but iread th directions ont eh container and it does nto say that you need to remove this stuff
    it says to add xx amount to crank case and xx amount to fuel which I followed very carefully as I did not want to get into the oil change this week.. I only use the amout they recommend to condition the engine. and i did not get to the air intake process besides i do not know where to find the air intake valve...

    if this amount was harmful to the car you would think the directions would say to remove immediately @@ !
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    you should have the oil changed because it makes the oil thinner, and less lubricating. When I do such a thing, i do it right before as oil change, usually just long enough to run the car top full temperature before changing. I like my oil hot!


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  13. #13
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    Seafoaming the intake makes the most difference IMO,

    And do change the oil soon,

    And Photobucket vids all seem to be shitty lately... LITERALLY!
    -Buck W.
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    ****1988 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, 2.8 V6, 5-speed 282, 282,000 miles****


    ^^^Bi-polar bitch. The epitome of the phrase "A GM will run poorly longer than most cars run at all"

  14. #14

    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    I am thinking of using seafoam on my tractor and cars next.
    I like it and I will go back and change the oil in her car tomorrow.

    now I have only a 1/3 can left can i still do her intake and where is a intake vaccum line on this 3100 engine?

    I will buy another 2 cans for our 4 cars we will need it.
    they are all older cars so it sure couldnt hurt to run some through. I was planning on doing the spring oil changes on them any ways..
    please walk me through it on the 3100 since it isnt my car Idont want to chance goofing it up any .. dont need family pissed off at me

    I am so glad the car finally does not sound so bad.. and those clips dont do justice casue the noise was loud and them the only thing you could really hear after doing it was the belt spinning noise. her livein companion thought it was amazing that the noise went away.. frankly I was too,,,
    an old bf of mine once said those additives are for shit so I guess that is what he meant not to leave the stuff in the engines cause it will do more damage than good... He always said it causes wear on the rings and stuff...
    the most I would ever use is murphys mystery oil and STP which I know dont do a whole lot..

    thanks for helping me through this
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    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: 3.1 3100 loss of power, miss fire, tapping noise

    You want to pull the vac line coming from the brake booster IIRC...
    -Will

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