: No power from Northstar on '98 Deville

02-09-04, 07:58 AM
Hi. I own a 1998 Deville. I'm having a problem generating power. Here are my symptoms:

When I crank the car it idles normally, except that occasionally it will "hunch" a little. This is a relatively minor sensation; I can here a quarter second or so change in the engine sound a feel a small lurch move through the car. Then it return to normal idel until the next time.
If I "feather" the accelerator when I move away from a parked position, stoplight, etc. all is well; as long as the engine speed is 1500 rpm or less everything seems fine.
When I'm driving at a constant engine speed on level road everything seems fine, no matter what my speed is (I haven't checked at speeds above 70 mph).
When I try to accelerate firmly, or when I try to go up a hill with the cruise control on, the engine hesitates and I hardly have any power. It will "get there", but it's hard.
Sometimes I don't notice this problem as much as at other times. Occasionally, for instance, I can pull away from a stoplight nicely. Then a few minutes later the problem is back.
My father-in-law drove the car and said it "felt like an ignition problem"; he suspected one of the four coils that fire the cylinders. I'm not sure how to check that more completely, though.
I've heard that there are some on-board diagnostics that I can engage through the instrument panel without needing a plug-in computer, but that may be only for older cars. Does anyone know about that?

I'd really appreciate any advice. I've set my account up so that you can send me email; that would be the best way for you to reply.

I have a service manual for a '99 STS, which uses the same engine.

Thanks in advance!
Kip Ingram
Houston, Texas