My pontiac nightmare

About a year ago I was changing the oil on my 1991 Pontiac 6000. I moved a wiring harness to get to the filter and the car tried to start. immediately I realized that I had skipped the first step in every automotive repair guide that states to disconnect the battery cable.

After this snafu, the car began to blow the ECM fuse. It took me a while but I found the shorted wires and repaired them.

The car drove perfectly for a week. One day, as I was driving, the car just stopped.

I had it towed back to the house where it has not moved in a year. After practically memorizing the repair manual, I have come to the conclusion that I do not know what the heck I’m doing.

I believe that the fuel injectors are not firing. I have good fuel pressure. I tried to talk myself out of replacing the fuel pump, but I did it anyway. I replaced the computer after I was told it was what controlled the injectors.

There is power getting to the injector plugs. the TPS tested fine. There doesn’t seem to be any more wiring shorts considering that I have uncovered and traced everything throughout the car. At this time it looks like C3PO’s wet dream.

The car does try to start with the old ether in the breather trick.

I am completely lost and looking for a shovel.


Which engine? When the car “just stopped”, did the warning lights come on? You didn’t happen to check for any stored trouble codes at that point did you?

Did the harness you removed include the big fat red wire that goes to the starter? I had a similar car to this and I remember you had to take the oil filter out the way to change the starter. If you grounded the red cable to the engine block, it’s sort of like hooking up the jumper cables the wrong way and practically every electronic/electrical part is now suspect.

You have a service manual and a Volt-ohm meter right? Start checking stuff-- everything. The really crucial ones are the crank sensor and the the MAF or MAP sensor. The coolant temp sensor might be a possibility too, but if that were the issue it would still be putting in some fuel and would probably keep sputtering along after you used the starting fluid. (Incidentally if it does have an airflow sensor (MAF) you need to be sure to put the starting fluid into the air stream AFTER the MAF)

Actually, thinking out loud here, the ignition module needs the crank sensor signal to make spark, so if it ran on the ether I’d think that’s okay. If I were a betting man, and the check engine light comes on when you turn the key to run, I’d put money on the MAP sensor. It’s kind of a expensive part to just guess on, so check it first.

Tim, Find That Shovel And Dig A Hole Just Slightly Larger Than A 91 Pontiac 6000. I Hate To Be The One To Break The News, But . . .

. . . the car is 18 or 19 years old. That’s 90 or 95 in car years. Many of the guys on this car’s original design team are “no longer with us”, in fact I think the entire Pontiac design team is history, but for other reasons.

I’m not even sure what a Pontiac 6000 is and I own 2 Pontiacs. 1991 was not a good year in automotive history.

Are you in a contest or trying to win a bet? It hasn’t run in a year. Hasn’t that been a peaceful year? Why would you open a can of worms and start monkeying with it?
Let it go.


Sorry CSA, I’m too hard headed to let a Pontiac beat me.
And too cheap to pay someone else to deal with it.
Even though the car is a piece, it’s a decent car for my son to drive for his first.
thanks for your reply, just not the answer I was looking for.

thanks for your reply.
the engine is a 3.1 6cyl
I will check the Map. didn’t notice any lights right before it died, no more than usual anyway.
Trying to find a code reader. I appreciate the lead.

It’s the same thing as a Chevy Celebrity/Buick Century/Olds Ciera. Personally, I think the later ones were great cars-- good mileage, pretty good power, comfy interiors and my '88 Century lasted me to 250k with no issues whatsoever (other than the paint).

Although, I didn’t really think about the full ramifications of the thing sitting-- even if you do get it fixed it still might have trouble starting because of the age of the gas.

Well, now that you’ve changed the ECU (which is where the codes are stored) checking the codes isn’t going to do you much good now. But that’s okay- even if you had checked them they probably wouldn’t have been that helpful.

I asked about the lights to see if it was just that the engine stalled, or if the entire car blinked out. If the battery light and oil light eventually came on, then it’s the former.

Which repair manual do you have? If you have the factory repair manual, it won’t do you much good in this type of problem because it’s written for the factory diagnostic equipment (which the usual DIYer) doesn’t have). Here, a Haynes, or Chilton’s, would be more helpful.
You need diagnostic assistance which you could get from the troubleshooting charts from an online service such as, or Mitchell’s, or another e-manual.
There is spark, so there is ignition signal. If you follow the wiring for the fuel injectors in the wiring diagrams, you’ll see that the PCM provides a ground path for the fuel injector spray action. You need to check that the voltage reaches the PCM. Then, following the troubleshooting charts, ensure that the PCM is getting the triggering voltages for fuel injection. Don’t forget complete ground paths.