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Discussion Starter #1
After about six months of ownership, I've 'stumbled' across my first ETC problem. Once the weather started to get colder, I've noticed a slightly rougher idle at startup. Once warm, she'd run smooth. This past week this condition has become worse. The idle now vibrates the car, and when "rolling" in gear with the foot off the brake, the car has a real "buck" to it. This improves as she warms up, but until then, there is a very rough idle and mild hesitation upon acceleration. Once she's at temperature, idle is good, and acceleration & crusing is flawless.

I've checked for codes, and there are none. I've made an appt. with the local caddy dealer, where I'm assuming we'll start with the basics - plugs, wires, maybe a top-end cleanout. I have 59k on the car now, and otherwise, I'm still madly in love with it!

Does my approach should to be on course? Anybody experience anything similar?


Thanks for the input!

-Scott
1997 Black ETC
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I started thinking... the rough idle really appeared last week. I've gone to a different gas station for the past two tanks, and I'm starting to think I might have a load of bad gas. Since I was at the half mark today, I refilled at a different station, and added a bottle of gas dryer. I've only driven about 5 miles, but i feel like there has been a *mild* improvement. Since this is such a high-compression car, I imagine even a little bit of water would cause some heavy symptoms. Anybody have a similar experience with bad fuel? Too bad you can't get a fuel sample out of a car as easily as you can on a plane... I'd love to see what's in my tank....

-Scott
 

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I think you may be on the right track.... Id drive with the good gas in there for a few more days and see if it gets better.... Its also possible you got that bad load of gas and possibly clogged up your fuel filter, or some other things.....
 

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Wes,

Any chance you could resize the photo you have in your sig to about 1/4 of its current size? I access this forum from a 56k dialup and it always takes so long painting that thing.

Besides, I don't quite get it. Why are you posting a pic of an Infinity on a Cadillac forum. What am I missing here?

thanks...
 

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yeah sounds liek you may have gotten a bad load of gas, but im sure a tuneup wouldnt hurt. Which cadillac dealer to do you take your car to?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No major improvement tonight, after driving some more on fresh gas. I pulled out the front bank of wires, and they all looked dirty. Not sure if that's an indication of anything, but the tops of the plugs don't look very glossy either... almost has an oxidized look to them. I'm assuming these are original plugs and wires on the car, as it has 59k on it.

I've never had this car in the shop before, but I figure I'll give Frost Cadillac a try. I usually try to have an oilchange done at a dealer to 'feel them out' before doing a service with them, but I guess I'll have to give them my 'quality test' based on this tuneup!
 

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rickko said:
Any chance you could resize the photo you have in your sig to about 1/4 of its current size? I access this forum from a 56k dialup and it always takes so long painting that thing.
Hey rickko - if you go to your UserCP > Edit Options > Thread Display Options > Visible Post Elements you have the option to show or hide various elements of messages, which may be of use to users on slow internet connections, or who want to remove extraneous clutter from posts.
 

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I'd be VERY interested in your report back on Frost Cadillac! Before I found gmpartsdirect.com I had to buy a mirror switch for my 94 Eldo and they were very helpful on the phone and very polite when I picked up the part. I know their hourly rate is $75 and I know someday I'll probably have to take Grandma Moses somewhere (she's got 125+k miles) for factory service. BTW, it sure sound like plugs and wires to me--have em clean out your EGR while they're under there...all basic stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went into Frost a few times to pick up small parts like bulbs, and they've been very nice. All of my local family here in Boston own Cadillacs, and they all use Frost or Norwood Cadillac. From what I've heard, they're both good places. When I was at school in Amherst (UMass!), I'd have my pontiac serviced at Burke Whitaker Pontiac-GMC-Cadillac of Northampton, and they were excellent. Quick service, very honest, and always quality work.

I've always enjoyed doing business with small local shops, but I can't seem to find one around here that even wants to LOOK at my Eldo. I had a great local mechanic who was forced to close his shop since 90% of all the new cars are dealer-serviced, and as he said, the "yearly tuneup" has become a thing of the past. Luckily, he opened his own boat-repair shop, and is doing quite well.
 

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Good to hear! I've been getting routine stuff done at my AAA gas-pumping mechanic around the corner from where I work but you've got to keep an eye on things: they only put one bottle of BarsLeaks in at coolant change instead of 2, left the ABS sensor off one of the rear wheels when they did the brakes...nothing too bad, but...
 

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I wouldnt think that with 59k you need to replace the plugs and wires.... maybe though.... The wires go bad more over time than over a certain mileage interval....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is one of those moments that I no longer know what to think! I drove the car into work today, which is about a 5 mile ride into downtown Boston. As expected in the morning, I sat in traffic the entire way. The idle was still bad, with a bit of hesitation and stumbling. I ran a few errands during lunch, the idle was much better. Tonight driving home, the car was like normal again. I parked it for 4 hours during dinner, came back out, and it ran fine. The bad idle is gone, no more hesitation, and it seems like a 'happy' car again.

I'm starting to convince myself that I got a bad tank of fuel. I'm finally down to 3/4 of a tank on my fresh gas, and it's running great again.

I'm not 100% sure about what the lesson here really is. The station that I've filled at for the past two 'contaminated' tanks is a busy place, but I wonder if they sell much premium fuel. My logic is that the premium gas sits for a lot longer since they don't sell much of it, and contamination starts to occur in the holding tanks.

My other observation in favor of contaminated fuel: I realized that when I let the car idle on a steep incline with the nose pointing down for any more than a minute or so, the idle would become VERY bad, to the point of a near stall condition. Once the car was level and had throttle, she'd smooth out. This leads me to believe that when the car was on an incline, the fuel pump intake (in the tank) was sucking in much more water. Too bad cars don't come with fuel chocks like small planes have... it'd be great to be able to drain the water and junk from the bottom of the tank every once in a while, and just to grab a sample of what's in there. I'm not sure where the intake is in relation to the interior of the tank, but that's my hypothesis of water in the gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
LOL, does this mean that with the water in the gas, I've effectively 'steam-cleaned' my engine?

Wasn't there an old trick on the carb'd cars that you could pour a small amount of water (or was it tranny fluid?) down the carb while the car was running, and it'd "steam" out the carbon on the intake & valves?

Either way... don't take my above "steam cleaning" advice!
 

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good choice on the caddy delaer, I work at Frost Cadillac. I'm glad you guys like our parts department. I hope you guys will be as pleased with our service department as well.
 

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Didn't notice Caddy tech on your header til you mentioned it--did they send you to their school or did you do a local tech school? Just curious...you might also enjoy caddyinfo.com!
 

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im going to Mass Bay for their automotive technology program, right now. im at school for 12 weeks and work for 12 weeks, right now im working.
 

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Cool. How do you like that program? I'm in a similar one, but its 6 day alternation between academic classes and automotive. All in one building.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Near problem free.... after 3 tanks it still has an occasional bad idle, and hard acceleration is not smooth... it has a "buck" to it still. Not half as bad as when it started, but not quite perfect either.

I bought the whole tune-up kit - plugs, wires, & fuel filter, and my Uncle & I are going to do the tune-up X-Mas day... he said it's my gift this year! Guess I can't complain... we both love working on cars, and its saving me some cash, so that's a pretty good gift!

I'm now thinking about getting daring, and cleaning out the EGR while we are under there. Guess I'll see how complex the EGR removal appears to be when we have the wires off, and take it from there!
 

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EGR should be much trouble.... Also consider taking off the TB, it will drastically improve smoothness.... Make sure you get a gasket.....
 
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