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2000 Grand Prix possibly blown head gasket?

Showing 2 out of 22 Posts | Show 20 Hidden Posts
Question From USMC1st on 2000 Grand Prix possibly blown head gasket?

I have a 2000 pontiac Grand Prix GTP with the Supercharged 3.8 V6. Its an automatic and has about 174k miles on it. When I bought it the man told me that now and again the car would stall or sometimes act like its losing power due to a Crank sensor. However, not even two days after I purchased the car when the RPM reached 4K or higher I could hear a metallic rap in the motor as if it was failing. As I was driving home it continued to worsen and the noise would occur at lower RPM's until I had to baby it around 2K before it ceased. The CheckEngine light came on and flashed a bit before staying permanently. The car now is gutless and sounds like its dumping fuel. The Supercharger is giving full boost at only 2K RPM and it takes forever to get to speed. The coolant levels were really low and only down a quart on oil so I thought it might be a blown head gasket because it explains the loss of power if compression is gone. I removed the cover over the supercharger and noticed a little oil sitting on top of the intake manifold just under the front of the supercharger. When I checked the codes It read a cylinder 6 misfire so I checked the plug. It was completely burnt out. It crumbled in my hand when I touched it. What might cause that to happen?


(.. no outside links please)

Response From Mr.scotty

Sounds like the whole engine will need a rebuild or just get another engine.
With a 174k miles I'd just get another engine..

Response From USMC1st

Another thing I had noticed before when I had pulled over was that in Park it would Rev and sound perfectly fine only in motion did it act up. I cant afford a new motor. I want to fix the spark plugs first so I can hear it on all cylinders

Response From Mr.scotty

Oh.., so maybe it can be saved after all.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

"Maybe they will fix it for me haha "<<

11 years and 174,000 miles - don't hold your breath for a freebee for this,


Response From USMC1st Top Rated Answer

Compartment fire recall. The valve covers leak oil on to the intake manifold which under heavy braking or acceleration drops it down onto the exhaust manifold and the spark plug wires catching them on fire. Now I know why it burnt out. I changed the plug wires last night and started it up. From the cold air intake I could hear an almost shearing metal sound but it vanished after a little time at idle. I test drove it and it seemed fine at first but as I came back up a hill it bogged down and the engine again couldnt keep above 2K RPM's and was obnoxiously loud. Now the Supercharger didnt kick in like before but I think its only because its running on all cylinders now. When the car was running fine the supercharger would only engage around 3500 to 4000 RPM. I can't even get it to that point to see if it works normally. When I parked it and throttled it a little I could hear what sounded like a miss but only when the RPM came down.

I called Pontiac and that recall is active and has never been performed on this vehicle.

Response From speed

see if they will perform the recall for you, i woudlnt be usrprised if you spun the bearing for the supercharger also, just a guess as to why it doesnt kick in anymore, considering youve been hearing a metal on metal grinding noise.

Response From USMC1st

Yeah the dealership is going to fix the valve covers and re-route the plug wires tomorrow morning but I don't know if they will fix anything that happens as a result of a fault in the vehicle. I called the parts department just to price the supercharger coupling and they claim GM only sells the entire Supercharger....yeah as if Im paying 1000 for that. Im sure there must be a kit. It's an Eaton M90 charger.

I don't know if the boost meter in the cab is dead on either, I just wish I could get it up to those RPM's in motion to see if the supercharger is working. Or I can take the belt off it and try to turn it with my hands to check.

Response From USMC1st

Alright a little update here. We thought the noise may be attributed to the coupler in the supercharger and now have it apart however there is no give in the coupler and it seems fine. The pulley doesnt rattle and seems solid enough but when I spin it the bearings inside sound almost like the noise I heard through the cold air intake. Could crapped out bearings really cause the motor to stay in the low RPM's? Going up hill its almost like driving a manual and not down shifting when you should; it has no balls whatsoever. I need help guys and thanks for everything you have suggested thus far.

Response From USMC1st

But I don't see how bearings that still turn and spin fine would cause it to lose all that RPM. My other thought was if my cat convertor is junk. It over-heated only once to the point where smoke came up through the shifter and burnt out one of the spark plug wires(Cylinder 6)... It makes sense :/ If the exhaust cant escape then the airflow is screwed and I would have no power right? The only thing is the guy before me had it inspected two months ago and it passed emissions, could it really plug that fast? Or maybe something crawled in there and made a home haha

Response From zmame

Reason you would have no power is because you had one cylinder not firing(because of damaged wire). If you suspect a plugged cat you can get a back pressure test done on it. Megnaflow direct bolt cats free up few hp and are relitivly cheap. There is a way to check for backpressure with vacuum gauge, but since it's supercharged the boost will mess up your readings. I don't know under what conditions the supercharger makes boost.

Response From USMC1st

I figured that was it zmame but we replaced all the wires and plugs and its still gutless and all cylinders are firing :/

Response From zmame

test for backpressure, after that is verified make sure supercharger ismaking boost..

if you have been driving with a dead cylinder for a while the cat is probably damaged

Response From USMC1st

Thank you all for your help. We were right on about the Cat convertor. It was completely blocked. We first removed it from the manifold and drove it and it ran fine. Just installed a new one tonight and it runs better than ever. Again thank you all for your advice :)

Response From Mr.scotty

If the bearings are making funny sounds and feel worn they are.

Response From zmame

Pices of rubber??.. good possibility the supercharger might of piled up and sent stuff into the combustion chamber.. I would check that..

Response From zmame

Did you actually do a compression test yet? or do you think there is no compression?

Response From Hammer Time

You really want to do a compression test as Z suggested and a coolant system pressure test. Another problem that is very common to this engine is deterioration of the plastic intake manifold near a water port which fill the vacuum vallly with coolant and eventually sucks it into the cylinders. There is a TSB on the problem also.

Response From USMC1st

Thanks for your help by the way. I just looked into recalls on this vehicle and there is a compartment fire recall that applies to this exact problem. Maybe they will fix it for me haha

Response From USMC1st

Do you know if the problem was fixed after 1998? This is slightly newer. I have yet to perform a compression test but where Im noticing the oil ontop of the intake manifold is possibly either from the actual seal with the supercharger or the front valve cover due to the location. Im going to grab a Spark plug wire set and then perform the test tomorrow hopefully

Response From zmame

regardless if it is a headgasket or not the engine has to come apart if there is no compression. Once you take apart the engine you will know what it is. If there was knocking I would suspect mechanical failure, but you won't know for sure untill you inspect.

Response From USMC1st

But what would cause a spark plug to literally catch on fire? The rubber was charred white and black.

1993 ford ranger question please help !!!

Showing 2 out of 13 Posts | Show 11 Hidden Posts
Question From fokes123 on 1993 ford ranger question please help !!!

I have a 1993 ford ranger 2.3 and i am wondering if i can fit the k&n 57 Series FIPK cold air intake. The oldest year they have is 1995 ranger 2.3 and i am wondering if it would fit my 93 ranger. Also just to make sure with this k&n cold air intake, it would pass smog and be street legal? Thanks!

Response From Hammer Time

Yep, that cold air intake is just a waste of money.

Response From Discretesignals

Save yourself some money and make your own custom cold air intake.

Response From Hammer Time

I don't know how they call these things COLD air intakes when they pull in the superheated air from under the hood. Just a way to take your money.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

OK - went a bit nuts but it's a serious misleading as bad as any Sham-Wow infomercial.
People: Gas/fuel doesn't like COLD air dag nabbit! If too cold it would never atomize (evaporate) to be able to work in time. All sorts of efforts are to warm air not cool it up to putting strong electric heaters under throttle body or carbs then AND run total exhaust heat as well so evaporating fuel (gets cold just doing that like sweat on your skin) can even ice up so it's making itself cold anyway and has to be corrected or you'd just flood out.

No clue how these scams get out there and not pulled from the market place instantly?

True: Cold air has more density (heavier) than warm air - Google out what a hot air balloon is lifted by

The end all is if any of these tricks worked at all or had any benefit it would be designed into the engines to begin with.

This and a ton of bullcrap sells so they keep making it. If it floats your boat go for it but don't complain when it's all worse than before you messed with it,


Response From fokes123

Thanks for all the help guys..... Dont really need your guys opinions on them i really didnt ask. You guys seemed to think i did but you all maged not to answer my question and insted just go on a rant about them. This was a waste of time IMO.....looks like I'll have to take this to a better forum.

Response From Hammer Time

No problem, We won't miss you.

Response From fokes123

Its funny because on your quote it says that you help answer questions but you didnt do jack shit and managed just to bag on me. Nice way to welcome new member on the forum. This is extremely dissapointing

Response From Discretesignals Top Rated Answer

Good information Tom. Like they say, K&N filters are really only good for filtering out rocks...lol. GM came out with a TSB a while back concerning those filters and how they were causing MAF issues. GM stated they wouldn't honor damage done by using those filters. K and N went bananas over that one.


Subject: A/T Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or SES Light On as a Result of the Installation of an Aftermarket Reusable, Excessively Oiled Air Filter -- 2004 and Prior Cars and Lt Duty Trucks and 2003-2004 HUMMER H2
Message #: VSS20040056

Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-013 will be available in SI on March 18, 2004.

Automatic Transmission Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or Service Engine Soon (SES)
Light On as a Result of the Installation of an Aftermarket Reusable, Excessively Oiled Air Filter

Models: 2004 and All Prior Cars and Light Duty Trucks
2003-2004 HUMMER H2

First, Inspect the vehicle for a reusable aftermarket excessively oiled air filter

DO NOT repair under warranty if concerns result from the use of a reusable aftermarket oiled air filter.

The installation of an aftermarket reusable, oiled air filter may result in:

1. Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On

2. Transmission shift concerns, slipping and damaged clutch(es) or band(s)

3. Engine driveability concerns, poor acceleration from a stop, limited engine RPM range

The oil that is used on these air filter elements may be transferred onto the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor causing contamination of the sensor. As a result, the Grams per Second (GPS) signal from the MAF may be low and any or all of the concerns listed above may occur.

When servicing a vehicle with any of these concerns, be sure to check for the presence of an aftermarket reusable, excessively oiled air filter. The MAF, GPS reading should be compared to a like vehicle with a OEM air box and filter under the same driving conditions to verify the concern.

Transmission or engine driveability concerns that are the result of the installation of an aftermarket reusable, excessively oiled air filter are not considered to be warrantable repair items.

Have you attempted to contact the manufacture to see if that would fit on your truck? As for passing emissions as long as it doesn't disturb how the air flows through the MAF sensor, you should be alright. To confirm, you should check the laws in your state concerning that.

This really is an automotive repair website dealing with factory manufacture designed vehicles and systems and how to troubleshoot and repair those systems. When you start getting into the realm of modifications and changes to the manufacture's intended design, you may not get good answers.

One good suggestion is to keep the old air intake ducting system just in case you run into issues or you want to sell the vehicle later.

Response From Hammer Time

This guy is just sucked in by all the hype nonsense and bogus claims.

He's spouted off long enough. Time to close this.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Sorry for the harsh approach to what really should be a no brainer and no offence - the advertising is convincing with stuff but real results are so disappointing and costly to buy then don't work and costly to put back to what works!

K&N actually has a competitor for this market that's worse! Look up the Uban lore and myths of assorted products. Some you'll find great reviews but miss fine print that it isn't really tested and don't discuss it can also damage things for using them! Guess the budget for something is better spent not telling you that up front.

Makes this and other magic-in-a-can products a strong seller for the unwary. It's my/our fault to some degree that it's so clearly corrupted to sell this junk it gets taken out on the buyer who trusts the claims.
Graphs probably wont show below and I wont go looking for ones that will but if you really look into results of products of many assorted things never mind a vehicle that took mega thousands of hours to make and design as best as possible or loses a sale of a vehicle when new to another. It's suicide for a company to have an unhappy new vehicle buyer then the icing on the cake is nobody really want them used so really a disaster.

On just this air intake search I just did came up with OE air filter results done by real PPM of catching dirt and the CFM impact of air flowing thru filters and what loss would be expected at they were part dirty vs another. BTW in my hunt AC Delco came out on top of most testing! OE replacement stuff no alterations just quality of the product.

Changing to cold air just is beyond thinking it thru IMO and experience. Used to back when turn a round lid to an air filter upside down and get a neat carb/air intake roar with a load that did nothing but make noise and trash the filter fast but cost nothing and just put it back on properly was all you had to do so didn't do much harm short of getting a dirty air filter sooner and defeat WARM AIR pick up for cold starts and engine's initial time before whole engine warmed up and ran it's best. Do that stupid trick in the dead of Winter you would have real problems.

End all is the change you seek for whatever claimed benefit doesn't work and costs to do it then undo it when you find out. We really (or I was) were trying to warn you of a known failed idea not pick on you at all and did come out bit harsh. Sorry for that.

Try it if you want to find out for yourself. Measure before and after real changes yourself and then if you complain to this company bet you wont even get your money back!

Good luck. We really are all volunteering time and years of experience for that good no other motivation at this site,

Graph if it shows or search it out...........

Accumulative Gain:
“Accumulative Gain” is the total amount of dirt that passed through the filter during the test.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

They even advertise!

With honesty!


Response From Tom Greenleaf

IMO all that is junk you'll be removing later - don't even if it still runs well enough for an inspection it's of no use at all just costly,