More About Points »
The advise you were given is correct. Cars need to be serviced by qualified personnel like those at Toyo Automotive in Conyers, GA 770-785-9381. Give us a call before it's too late and further damage happens.
That particular car has at least three solenoids in the transmission that controls shifting. When there is a problem with the transmission the check engine light comes on giving your an area to start diagnosis. The code will point you in the correct direction but is not a diagnosis in and of itself. The car needs to come to a certified shop like Toyo Automotive for a proper diagnosis. Also the gear shift has a solenoid that allows the car to shift out of park when the brake pedal is depressed. I'm at four solenoids.
There appears to be at least two areas of concern. The noise at low speeds appears to be coming from the drive line. Check the drive pinion bearing, this bearing noise in the early stages are different from other bearing noises. Instead of making a groaning noise it starts out as a loud hissing or whistle noise. Next you say the noise goes away after the vehicle has been raised and work is done. Check the rear suspension. When the vehicle is raised the suspension is repositioned because it is not settled in its normal place when lowered on the ground. Make sure there are no worn busings on the rear suspension links and trailing arms.
Assuming the battery has a good charge, connections are good and the transmission neutral safety switch is good I would take a close look at the electrical portion of the ignition switch.
The tires could be a problem however I have also seen axles cause this condition. The way to tell the difference is during acceleration if the car vibrates excessively and goes away when you let off the gas I would look at the axles. Make sure the engine and transmission mounts are good.
One of the easiest ways to check the to see if the timing belt has stripped is to remove the distributor cap and see if it turns when the engine is cranked. All the basics must be in place for the engine to run. Ignition, fuel and compression(timing belt correct and working properly). These things must be happening at the right time then you can narrow down were the problem is.
Water getting into the cylinder created a slight hydro lock. This happens when excessive fluid is in the cylinder and the piston moves to Top Dead Center. The fluid cannot compress and therefore damage occurs. There could be valve train damage, lifter or bent valve stem at the top above the valve guide. Most technicians think a hydro lock damages the bottom end. In some cases it can cause damage in the valve train which is in the cylinder head on this vehicle. The only way to determine what is going on if the noise don't stop is to do a mechanical inspection which involves partial dissambly. A compression test on that cylinder would not hurt if the vehicle continues to run rough and or make noise.
You have an issue with the front caliper or brake hoses due to uneven brake pad wear from one front wheel to the other. Also if the vehicle is driven before the brakes lock up could indicate brake fluid contimination. I have seen this many times when power steering is put in the master cylinder instead of brake fluid. This happens because brake fluid and power steering fluids are available in similar containers. Not paying attention to what you are doing can cause this to happen.
The best advise I can give you is as follows. This has to be a hobby or second car. Do as much research as posible to make sure you get what it takes to pull off a sucessful modification job and finally be prepaired to spend money.
I have see this problem many times.. When you drive the vehicle at high speeds and come to a stop, the egr valve gets very hot and can stick open. A stuck open EGR valve causes the MAP sensor to get inconsistant readings and will cause the vehicle to emit black smoke and want to stall. Check and make sure the EGR valve is not staying open. Another area of concern is the Idle Air Control Valve. Because of the age of the vehicle it can stay closed some times due to carbon build up in the throttle body. One other area of concern is a lose vacuum hose going to the map sensor mounted on the back of the firewall behind the intake manifol.. If this hose is off it can make the car run rough and cause it to stall at times. The vehicle needs to be inspected by a shop who understands the varous systems at work to accurately determine the cause.