Please Help

I have a 99 malibu, 135000 mi. My wife was driving the other day and called and told me that her car was shaking really bad and then just died. Was able to get it started back but was running really rough. The ck eng. light never came on until later once I got it home. I don’t know what the code is, but I did go ahead and change my plugs and boots, both ignition coils, and the coil housing. I am still have a problem, with the it running rough, sounds almost like dragster or a flooded boat motor. It smokes really bad, a gray color, and I have excess fuel coming out of the exhaust. If you have any answers please help.

Check the coolant level in the radiator. If it’s low, have the coolant level pressure checked.

The fuel injector could be leaking or some of the cylinders may not be firing. You may also want to see if the timing has changed somehow.

good level check, and don’t know if thats it. I have only two cylinders firing for sure

 That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

would it be safe to drive with only two cylinders

Pull the oil dipstick out and smell the oil. If the oil has a strong gas odor to it, the fuel pressure regulator diaphram has probably failed and is allowing an uncontrolled amount of fuel into the engine.

Locate the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail. It’s a small metal canister with a single vacuum hose attached. Remove the vacuum hose from the regulator, and if gas leaks from this connection the regulator is defective and requires replacement.


I can’t drive it, I tried but it died on me before I could even get out of the driveway, I don’t want to take that chance. Any idea if you able to go to Autozone and maybe rent their tester

I just smelled of the oil, and got the gas smell

Is the fuel pressure reg. hard to change

Some are attached with just a couple screws or bolts, and some use a lock-ring. It just depends if you have the right tool to swap out the regulator. Otherwise no, it’s not hard to do.


Good call on the regulator Tester. I’ll bet you are correct.

Yes, I agree good call, but will this cause my two of my cylinders no to fire

Yes, too much fuel can prevent the cylinders from firing. Click on this for a picture of the fuel pressure regulator:,APP300390/vehicleId,2530002/initialAction,partProductDetail/store,/partType,00165/shopping/partProductDetail.htm

Also, if there’s gas in the oil, you’ll want to change the oil and filter after the regulator is replaced. The gas in the oil causes the oil to become volotile. Or in other words, the oil has become contamined to the point where it doesn’t act like oil anymore. But instead, has turned into a solvent.


Thanks, I will get that regulator changed and let you know what happens, Also is a certain color that my oil would look like if it is contaminated with gas

No. Don’t go by the color of the oil. Gas mixes with oil very readily. If you can smell gas on the oil dipstick, change the oil and filter.


what would cause the fact that I can’t get the car to start without holding the accelerator to the floor or pumping it and trying to crank for about 15 sec. before it fires

Did you replace the regulator yet? If the regulator is bad, then it’s flooding the engine. A flooded engine typically needs to have the throttle wide open to get enough air into the system to counterbalance the excess fuel. But, the problem will not go away until the cause of the flooding is fixed.

yeh I have replaced the regulator and I am still getting the same results. Lots of gray smoke, and only two cylinders firing.