by David Sweeny (Baltimore, MD)
1984 Fiero by Pontiac
I bought a 1984 Pontiac Fiero as a project car. My hope was that someday it would become a classic like the Corvair without having to worry about repairing all the body rust. Although my Pontiac has many things wrong with it and I am continuing to restore it I wanted to mention an interesting problem I had with the check engine light.My Fiero had a hesitation problem and the check engine light code was set for a throttle position sensor voltage low. When I took a look at the TPS sensor itself I could see that the plastic conduit on the harness and part of the sensor was melted. When I went to unplug the electrical connector the whole thing disintegrated in my hands.I decided to go to a junkyard and see if I could find a replacement on the cheap. There were plenty of Fiero’s in the junkyard (which is not a good sign). I found a 1985 Fiero with a throttle position sensor in good shape. The interesting part was in 1985 and they decided to add a little stainless steel heat shield to protect the plastic sensor. This would seem to prevent the heat damage that my car suffered from.So if you have a 1984 Fiero my advice would be to visit a junkyard and pick up one of these little stainless steel heat shields that they used on years after 1984. If you’re thinking about getting a Fiero I would probably recommend a 1985-88 model which has many improvements over the 84 model year. As hind sight is 20/20 I think I would also prefer the 2.8 liter V6 over the 4 banger version. With that said, the 6 cylinder models had problems with the inboard exhaust manifolds and that is a bear to repair. Thanks to David for writing in with this good information and the tip about the TPS heat shield. It got me thinking about the old days when I worked for Pontiac. It also inspired me to write this article about the launch party for the Pontiac Fiero and how I got involved.