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Chevy Cavalier 1997 Trouble

Posted on 2005-03-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello there experts,
My friend has a Chevy Cavalier (manual) that sometimes it turns off,
Let’s say you drive for about 30 mins and the car loses the power, you try
Giving gas and gas and it doesn’t do anything, so to get it working again
You have to turn it off then back on. Sometimes when are waiting at the
Red light it turns off for no reason, it doesn’t make noises or anything wrong
That you can tell right away what’s the problem. It’s been with this problem
For about 5 months, the same thing over and over about 5 to 10 times per day.
Something weird is that if it’s a cold day or raining the car doesn’t faint, but if
It’s hot the problems shows up.
If someone has had any experience like this one or knows what’s going?
Please let me know, I want to help my friend.
Thanks
0
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Question by:Xtry
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34 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:MyloPrecarious
ID: 13518534
I'm no mechanic but it could be a few things...it could be a combination of the battery charger/battery not working  or the idle is set too low.  If it is the idle, then you can change it somehow in the engine...you will have to get the owners manual to try it.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:HeadIdiot
ID: 13518666
I suspect something in the computer module (seriously).

If it has anything resembling Windows, try the following:
1) Shut your car off
2) Get out and lock the doors
3) Wait a few minutes
4) Unlock the door and try to re-start it

If you have a Kragen near you, go get one of those testing devices (free 'rental') that plugs in underneath your steering wheel.  It will diagnose the problem for you.
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13519951
Obviously not mechanical problem. Very probably something with the car electronics (injection control or ignition control). In an analogy with computer problems I'd suggest you check all connectors (no damage, properly fastened), cables (damage, burning/melting) and power modules, like the ignition power amp, properly fastened to a heatsink or metal body part. Also, check all fuses for corroded contact surfaces.
/RID
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13520013
I agree with the Head (glad to see you out of the Lounge).  Most likely in the electrical system somewhere.  I doubt you get much EXPERT mechanic advice here.  For the most part we're geeks.  You might have better luch going to one (or several) of the many chain parts stores and telling them this story.


A quick google came up with the following:
http://www.automotiveforums.com/t364484-98_cavalier_stalling_poor_idle.html
http://www.alldata.com/techtips/2001/20010402c.html
http://forum.mpt.org/messages/9/6348.html?1110265378


P.S.

Let me guess:  You're male and the Chevy owner is female?
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:HeadIdiot
ID: 13520222
"...glad to see you out of the Lounge..."
I have to maintain premium somehow...
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13520280
thats correct slightwv ;)
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Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13520290
I just don’t know anything about cars.. but I have to help her somehow.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13520430
sure........  you can't fool us.  How else could I have guessed the sexes involved.............    ;)
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13520514
Ok I just spoke to her on the phone. She told me she took the car to a mechanic
yesterday and he told her it’s the map sensor and the tps sensor.
She went ahead and got those two things fixed, but that when she turns on the car,
the 'check engine' light was on like always. After 40 mins, the car turned off then she
turn it back on.. pray to get back home safely. Also, a friend on mine told me It could
be the 'Ignition Control Module'. do you guys think it’s that?
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:HeadIdiot
ID: 13520539
".....I suspect something in the computer module (seriously)......"
0
 
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13520588
>> do you guys think it’s that?
No idea........  I'm just a geek that knows how to change his own oil and sparkplugs........


Just to disagree with HeadIdiot:

Have you checkd out the links I posted?  My money is on the EGR valve.  These things go bad for no reason.

My 98 Honda had a recall in the EGR valve due to the fact that it clogged up and caused the check engine light to come on.  I learned this out when the check engine light kept coming on and I took it in for service.  

If it's bad enough, it may cause a stall.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13520658
yes slightwv thanks for those links

I read this from the website about.com
The module uses this signal to open and close the ground circuit to the ignition coil to fire the spark plugs.
If a module goes bad, it usually goes completely dead. The engine won't run because there's no trigger voltage to the ignition coil.

Is this what are talking about?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7960944379
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13520698
The general gist here is that it could be anything.  Today's cars are so full of unnecessary CRAP that it's hard to tell.

The thing that jumps out at me is the fact that it only happens when the car is hot.  To me, this means it's some type of sensor issue.  Although, HeadIdiot may still win:  I've had my laptop shut itself off when it got hot..........so, it might be the computer!!!!
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13520749
she told me she changed the ECU engine computer about 3 weeks ago heh
she always tells me something new every time I call her hehehe...
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Kipski
ID: 13524177
It is an electrical problem....

How to fix it depends where the problem is, and being able to diagnose it...

As a guess :):):) going by the climate change effects you describe, I am going to go for under the bonnet :):)

It does not sound serious, good news at least.....

What you can try, is getting a tin of WD40, you can get it from anywhere I would guess, supermarkets, hardware shops, stuff like that, and spray all electrical contacts and "connections", also, if you know how take the distributor cap off, inspect for wear/damage, spray and replace this/or replace....  Check your spark plugs and leads, an easy way to test the spark plug leads is to open the bonnet and start the car when it is really dark at night, or in your garage...   If you can see electricity sparks( you will understand if you see them) coming from the spark leads replace them...  It will need to be reasonably dark for you to be able to see this :):):)

This might do the job :):):)

0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Kipski
ID: 13524185
The WD40 will force moisture out of your electrical contacts by the way, ensuring a good connection....
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:mugman21
ID: 13527971
I wonder why they replaced the MAP sensor????? Regarding the MAP sensor, the computer in the car has to be calibrated to it, if not, you'll see the check engine light and in cold weather the car will idle surge until warmed up, at least that is what will usually happen from my experiance.

the tps sensor, throttle position sensor, I don't see how that would cause the problems your describing.... Question, is the car dieing with a sputter, like it ran out of gas, or does everything die (radio, lights)?

Does the car's radio loose it's preset stations? If so, it could be as simple as a short within the battery's ground cable. Since you stated above that tempature and weather seem to affect the cars condition, I would definately suspect an electrical short. Metals expand and contract due to tempature, cold solder joints are usually the most suseptiable to temp changes.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 13534186
I have an idea about where your friend's problem lies... it's called GM. My wife has similar problem with her cavalier a few years ago. We replaced the computer module twice, EGR, etc, etc. As best we could determine, there was some electrical short that not only caused the intermittent problems, it also fried the computer module every few months. I suspect your friend is on a budget (driving a '97 Cavalier is a clue), but pouring more good money after bad isn't a great idea here...
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:DRZCM
ID: 13539812
Perhaps it is the ignition coil.  When it is defective, it heats up and fails.  The engine just cuts off.  When it is cold enough it does not heat up as much so it continues to output and the engine does not cut. It could also be the cable that runs from the coil to the distributor.  What climate do you live in?  Try replacing the cable first. A good test for the coil is to feel if it is hot when the engine cuts.

Dr. Z
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13539839
DRZCM certainly has a point....
An old-fashioned diesel is beginning to look like a nice alternative... It'll run with no electricity available at all, as long as you get it started.
/RID
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:DRZCM
ID: 13543279
Diesels are quite popular in Europe as they are also more fuel efficient.  This is somewhat offset by high diesel price.  Also the engines tend to be a bit noisy.

Dr. Z
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:mugman21
ID: 13544518
DRZCM,

'97 Cavaliers are fully electronic, there is no coil, and there is no distributor. Electronic ignition, fuel injected, completly computer controlled.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:DRZCM
ID: 13544909
Oh! Something is cutting off the power.  If it is not the computer (having been replaced) then replace all wiring leading to the ignition control.

I guess my age is showing.

Dr. Z
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:mugman21
ID: 13545413
Xtry,

Curious, if this girl is not family and your not dating her, why do you care if  her car runs or not?????? Let me guess, she's hot? Bet she is....

Anyhow, you never answered my Q. Does the car lose complete electrical power or not?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13556958
heheh... mugman, hum the car loses the power but if you have lights on at night
they never turn off, or radio etc..
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13605730
thank you guys.
who gets the pts in here?
0
 
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13611008
>>who gets the pts in here?

Did you ever figure out what the issue was?

As far as the points go, Give them to whoever you wish or split them up however you wish.  They are afterall, your points.
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:mugman21
ID: 13611114
I guessed the problem.... hot chick....





0
 
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 13611139
Technically, I beat you to it in the 4th post (since the definition of 'hot' is subjective):

"Let me guess:  You're male and the Chevy owner is female?"
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13625380
she took the car to a mechanic and he told her Its the gas pump!
thats all i know not sure if the car its working fine or not.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13638595
lol she just sold the car..
0
 

Author Comment

by:Xtry
ID: 13638597
who want some pts in here?
0
 
LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:mugman21
mugman21 earned 1000 total points
ID: 13638776
sure, I'll take some...
0
 
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
lherrou earned 1000 total points
ID: 13639116
I said:
>I suspect your friend is on a budget (driving a '97 Cavalier is a clue), but pouring more good money after bad isn't a great idea
>here...

Glad she got rid of it. Tell her to get a Toyota Corolla or a Mazda Protege if she's buying a small used car as a replacement.
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