Basically these newer vehicles have a lot of different electrical components
which give input to the engine computer and then a lot of components in the
fuel injection system.
The *new* way to find these problem is to "test" various components to see
if they are operating as they should. Then you would know what is working ok
and does not need to be replaced. Which needless to say can save a ton of
money as opposed to the "guess and replace parts" strategy.
For testing all this stuff, you need a GM Factory Service Manual set for
your year/model vehicle, a multimeter, a fuel pressure gauge (they make one
for GM TBI vehicles), and in some cases an exhaust pressure gauge which
would go into the oxygen sensor hole for testing exhaust back pressure.
Then just find the symptom in the shop manual, then it would have detailed
troubleshooting instructions for the symptom. Sometimes several pages of
things listed to check.
You can order a Factory Service Manual set from helminc.com or from a GM
dealer. They cost about $135, but you get what you pay for. Anyway get the
right tools for the job.
As an example of a test, there is a "coolant temperature sensor" which tells
the engine computer what temperature the engine is running at. Very easy to
test. Place a thermometer in that area, unplug the electrical connector,
place your multimeter on ohms, then read the ohms on the two connectors for
the sensor. Then look up in the shop manual what the resistance (ohms)
should be for that temperature.
If it is reading what it should, then no need to replace. Say that sensor
costs around $25, well you just saved yourself $25! Then on to the next
With the shop manuals it is sort of the case of "too much information".
Something like the above coolant temperature sensor may be listed in 4 or 6
different spots in the various manuals (4 different books to set). So may
take a bit of learning of where to find the information you are looking for.
But that is a lot better than not enough information provided...
As to shop manuals, older sets have a general service manual, a fuel and
emissions service manual (engine troubleshooting), an electrical diagrams
manual, and a unit repair manual. Newer sets have this all mixed into a 4
book set with each book about 2 inches thick.