What Are The 3800 Series 2 Common Problems?

An intermittent chuggle or hesitation that can be felt during light acceleration. Or while cruising at highway speeds with no Check Engine light or no-fault codes set. The reason behind this cause is the intermittent operation of the automatic transmission torque converter clutch (TCC). The problem is not the torque converter clutch or clutch solenoid, but a faulty input to the powertrain control module computer from the engine’s throttle position sensor (TPS). The fix for this problem is to replace the TPS sensor.

In this article, we will discuss 3800 series 2 common problems. After reading this article, you will find out everything you need to know about the 3800 series 02.

What Is The 3800 Series 2 Engine?

The GM 3800 Series II engine, which was basically introduced in 1995, differs significantly from its predecessor, the Series I engine. While the 3.8L engine’s stroke remained 3.4″ (86 mm) and bore remained 3.8″ (97 mm), the engine architecture changed dramatically.

The deck height is lower than that of the Series I, reducing weight and total engine package size. To make this change, GM engineers needed to shorten the piston connecting rods by 1″ (25 mm) and redesign the crankshaft.

A redesigned cylinder head featured bigger valves and a higher compression ratio, while a new intake manifold improved breathing. The end result was a more fuel-efficient 205 hp and 230 lb.-ft. Powerplant.

Which GMC Vehicles Equipped With The 3800 Supercharged Engine?

Before discussing the 3800 series 2 common problems have a look at the various vehicles equipped with the 3800 engine. Similarly, supercharged three-six cylinder engines are available in a variety of Chevrolet, Buick, and other General Motors models, including, but not limited to, the 1996-2005 Buick Park Avenue Ultra, the 199712-2004 Buick Regal GS, and a variety of Buick Riviera sedans and coupes.

  1. The Oldsmobile Intrigue line
  2. The Pontiac Grand Prix 997-2003
  3. The Buick Regal
  4. The Chevrolet Impala
  5. Chevrolet Lumina
  6. Model number 998-2003 Monte Carlo

What Are The 3800 Series 2 Common Problems?

1. Engine Cracking Without Starting:-

There can be a variety of causes for no start, but the most common in the Buick-3800 engine is faulty CKP sensors and ICM. In this case, CKP stands for the crankshaft position, and ICM stands for the ignition control module.

Diagnosis Of The Problem:-

To begin, the CK or crank sensor can be diagnosed by inspecting the engine wiring diagram in your vehicle. To find the fault, you must first test the voltages of the circuits for the ignition module and many crank sensors. Furthermore, when you turn the key on, 4-8 volts must be found between each crank sensor. If it fails the tests, replace the crank sensors.

2. The Coolant In The Intake Manifold Is Leaking:-

Coolant leaks in Buick-3800 engines, particularly in Series II 3800 engines. Similarly, its massive plastic consumption has caused problems for people.

Diagnosis Of The Problem:-

If it runs in an area where the cylinder head gets sealed coolant passage due to the manifold, the OEM gasket manifold intake tends to weaken after 60,000 miles.

3. Intermittent Hesitancy Or Chugging:-

During highway cruising or light acceleration, you may notice an intermittent hesitation or chuggle. It occurs when the automatic TCC’s (transmission torque converter) intermittent operations do not set fault codes or when the check engine light does not illuminate.

Diagnosis Of The Problem:-

This is not because of a problem with the clutch solenoid or the torque converter clutch. However, the faulty input is the sole cause of this issue in engine-3800. The engine’s TPS (throttle position sensor) sends incorrect data to the PCM computer (powertrain control module computer).

This issue in engine-3800, however, can be resolved by replacing the throttle position sensor (TPS).

4. Intermittent Misfire While Driving:-

The intermittent misfiring is caused while driving due to a worn spark plug or a weak coil. It is the most common problem.

Diagnosis Of The Problem:-

When an intermittent misfire occurs while driving, first remove the spark plugs and inspect them. There must be a 0.60-inch gap between these spark plugs. If your spark plug is fine, leave it alone and proceed to inspect the ignition wires. Wires with a mileage of 100,000 miles or more can produce high resistance. Furthermore, this resistance may cause a misfire in your engine. Replace any such wires, damaged wires, loosely fitted wires, or cracked wires in your engine. However, if your wires and plugs are in good condition, you should not replace them.

However, if your engine continues to behave in the same manner after replacing the damaged wires and plugs, use a scanning tool to look for misfire codes. Furthermore, keep the check engine light on and make sure you get 1-2 misfire codes for the cylinders that are causing misfires. However, the last digit of any misfire code indicates the cylinder number. Take, for example, a cylinder with code P0302; the 2 in this code indicates that the number cylinder is misfiring.

Therefore these are some 3800 series 2 common problems.

Some related FAQs about 3800 Series 2 Common Problems

1. What is the distinction between the 3800 Series 2 and the 3800 Series 3?

The main difference between the motors is that the Series III has stronger connecting rods, and aluminum upper plenum, which eliminates the leak point of the Series II, and a return-less fuel system configuration.

2. Why did GM discontinue production of the 3800?

Because GM couldn’t get consistent quality from the difficult-to-cast aluminum blocks, the engine was discontinued after only two years. However, the basic design and technology were revived for an iron block, a 198-cubic-inch V6 engine.


We hope the above-mentioned information about the 3800 series 2 common problems will be helpful to all the readers. If anybody’s doubts persist feel free to comment in the comment section below. We’ll try to solve your doubts as soon as possible.

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