Whether you're buying a "new" Fiero or going on an extended trip, whether you're
a Fiero expert or a novice, you're never sure your Fiero is completely operational
and all its circuits are functioning perfectly. This is why I have compiled this checklist.
It allows you to check virtually all functions of a Fiero and quickly determine if
something is broken or not working right. It does not cover all cases or all electrical
problems, but it should catch the majority of them. If you think I left something out,
please feel free to contact me and I'll add it to the list. This checklist does not
require any tools, just a pair of eyes (actually, one will do too), and your hands.
A helper can speed up the process, but you can also do everything by yourself.
This list checks all bulbs, switches and many other components. It can not check everything,
but pinpoints a lot of problems that might go unnoticed until after you have bought the car.
With the ignition key out of the lock, push the parking light switch. The front
parking lights, amber front and red rear side marker lights and rear parking lights should
The instrument illumination should be on and be dimmable with the wheel below the light switch.
All instruments are illuminated, and if you rotate the dimmer to full and then some, the dome and
floor courtesy lights should come on. There are also dimmed lights in the radio (for GM radios),
the A/C or heater controls, the auxiliary gauge cluster (if equipped), the cigarette lighter
socket (you have to remove the lighter to see it), the ashtrays and the automatic transmission
gear select lever.
Open hood and check if the courtesy lights on the passenger side work.
Turn parking light switch off again.
Operate Driver side power door lock and unlock as well as passenger side lock and unlock.
The lever should move all the way to the left and right respectively.
Put the ignition key in,and turn counterclockwise to the "ACC" position. The radio should work.
Open the door: The chime should ring, and stop if you either close the door or remove the
Close the door again, release the parking brake (step on the brakes while doing this)
and turn the ignition to "RUN". The Seatbelt chime and light should come on and the chime should
stop after a few seconds or if you buckle up. Also, when you turn the ignition on for the first
time after a while, the fuel pump should audibly come on for a few seconds and then shut off again.
Pull the e-brake: The warning light should come on, and you should hear a chime again.
Push the trunk lid release while the transmission is in "P" (for Automatics) or the E-brake
is pulled. The trunk should pop open. When the trunk is open, the "AJAR" light should come on.
Get out and verify that the trunk light is on. Close trunk again.
Push the rear defogger switch. You should hear a relay click, and the light on the switch
should come on. If you push the button to off, the light should go off.
Move both power window switches to both positions. The windows should both work.
Open driver door: the courtesy lights should come on again, as well as the AJAR light.
Close driver door, repeat procedure for passenger door. Open front hood. The AJAR light should
come on again. Close hood.
Push in the hazard warning button. LH and RH indicator should flash. Verify that both front,
yellow side marker and rear turn signal lamps are flashing. Pull out button. Flashing should stop.
If you have a voltage gauge, the voltage should read 9-12V, the battery light should be on.
The oil pressure gauge should read zero.
The "check engine" light should be on (!), as well as the oil pressure light (if equipped).
Crank the engine. While you do so, the temperature gauge should go to "hot" and back to
normal when you release the ignition key again.
The battery voltage should rise to 13-15V. The oil pressure light, battery light and
check engine light should go off. The oil pressure should read 40-60 PSI, but not full scale
Turn on the headlights. Both lights should go up simultaneously and smoothly without
hesitation. Verify both lamps work.
Turn on high beams. The high beam indicator should come on, and the high beams should work
too of course.
Turn off lights. Both headlights should retract steadily without hesitation and shut off. If you hear a motor
run on, a limit switch is probably bad.
Honk the horn.
Push overhead console switches. The LH and RH switches should operate one lamp respectively.
Signal a right turn. Verify instrument cluster indicator, front yellow RH indicator, front side marker and rear turn signal
work. Repeat for LH side.
Step on the brakes. Check if all brake lights work (including 3rd brake light if equipped).
Put tranny in reverse. Verify back up lights work. Put tranny in forward gear again.
Push the windshield washer to on. Both side nozzles should spray the windshield, and
the wipers should wipe about three times and then shut off again. Turn the wiper switch to mist, and
the wipers should do one cycle. Check if the delay, normal and high speeds work. Turn wipers off again.
Turn on A/C to NORM (if equipped). You should hear a noticeable click and the RPM should drop
momentarily. Check if the front fan is on (you may have to open the hood again). 85-87 V6: Open the
trunk as well and check if the rear blower works and air is coming out of the silver alternator
and ignition coil cooling pipes.
Set the blower to all four positions and verify that it is working on all settings.
Next is a test drive. Check that the tach is working. Reset the trip odometer. Note the
Start driving. Accelerate without shifting the manual transmission. The Shift Up light should
come on (at least on 84-86 and some 87 models). Now shift normally. Drive until engine is warm.
Watch the temperature gauge climb and settle around 195F (one quarter of the scale).
Watch the speedo and see if it is working. Set the cruise control to "on" and set a
speed of around 50mph. The car should maintain the set speed. Push the set button, and
the car should slow down. Slide the other button to "Acc" and the car should accelerate.
Step on the brake, and the cruise should disengage. Engage cruise again by pushing the
"set" button for 2 seconds. Depress the clutch, and the cruise should again disengage.
Automatic transmission: Come to a stop. Accelerate moderately and notice the 1-2, 2-3
shift points. Between 50 and 60 you should notice what feels like a fourth gear: This is the
TCC solenoid. Keep driving for about 15 minutes. Come to a stop. The engine should not stall.
When driving over bumps, the wipers should not come on mysteriously. This is a sign of
a bad wiper switch.
Turn off the engine. Note if the odometer and trip odometer both work. The fuel pump may
run on for a while, this is normal. But it should turn off after a few seconds, or the oil
pressure sender is probably shot.
Push the cigarette lighter in and see if it pops out and is hot.
That's about it! If the "check engine" light works, the ECM should check all sensors, and the
test drive should have revealed problems by setting a light. If you want to be sure, bring
a Torx screwdriver and remove the cigarette lighter plate and check for trouble codes by shorting
the A & B terminals on the ALDL connector.
One other problem area that this list can not check is the fuel gauge or its accuracy. There is no
quick way to check it unless you know the state of the fuel tank.
If there is anything else that can easily be checked, please drop me a line and I'll add it to this list.
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