Can my dying '96 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L be saved?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Cat, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    My niece is driving my 96 Cavalier and it's been having *issues* for the past few months where when the car slows at intersections, etc. it will stall (the engine runs but pressing on the accelerator gets no results other than the engine revving) and then a moment later, not more than 1-2 seconds, it'll 'catch' again and take off. At times it will completely die after you've slowed down for intersections, to make turns, etc. Additionally, the battery light has been on for at least a year even though it's got a good battery in it. My Dad, who is a semi-mechanic (he knows a lot about older cars, less about newer ones with computers) has no idea what the cause is. I'm thinking we're right around 162,000 miles, give or take a few grand.

    I love this car, it's my butt-kickin', lamb-haulin', drive anywhere, throw anything in it truck in a car's body and I'd hate to think of it dying as I can really use it as a second vehicle if my niece decides she no longer wants to drive it.

    Is this something recognizeable? Fixable? I'm sure the car's not worth more than five hundred bucks with the mileage and the odeur de la sheepie that it possesses, so I don't want to have to take it in and spend a grand trying to fix something when there's every chance it'll take it's last breath at any given moment. I'd rather invest that grand in a different vehicle. Anywhoooo...does anyone have ideas as to what this might be and how it might be fixed? (Dad did check the plugs not too long ago and they were good, and, uh, I think he checked the wires or *whatever* they're called. Spark plug wires? eh?)
     
  2. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    The problem you decribed is in two parts. The staling is in the engine and the heasitating is in the transmision.
    The staling may be many things. Take the truck to an auto parts store and have the compiter resd. The transmision is probibly a sencer. Both things are probibly easy to fix.
     

  3. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

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    The Torque Converter Clutch solenoid could be going out in the tranny. Look on the tranny for a four wire plug. Unplug it and see if that cures your problem.

    ETA:
    The car will still run, but you won't have overdrive and you'll notice a drop in your MPG
     
  4. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can't remember where I read it but there was a warning that you should not put the transmission selector in OD with this unplugged because it will overheat your transmission in very short order. Okay to run in drive if its unplugged though. I don't know if this is that solenoid or not. ( I think it was for a a 1990s Ford Escort I had)
     
  5. countrymech

    countrymech Well-Known Member

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    Has the car been shifting hard? Does the tranny fluid smell burnt? Sounds like an EGR problem, or it could be the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail. Get it scanned. It doesn't sound like tranny at this point. It is a fuel air mixture problem from what you describe. Get a scan for the codes and then find someone with a fuel pressure tester that can connect to the fuel rail. Did you notice a rough idle before driving the vehicle? Sounds more like a soft problem ie, Electrical.
    More info is really required. Paul
     
  6. Yeti

    Yeti Well-Known Member

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    my guess is the belt tensioner is bad. they sieze up and won't pull the fan belt tight enough to drive the alternator. the other pullys don't get effected as bad because they are much larger. if the battery voltage is low or unstable then it will do what you say.
     
  7. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    Has the car been shifting hard? No

    Does the tranny fluid smell burnt? um, no idea. There is no discernable odor from outside the vehicle, I haven't personally opened the hood. I can add windshield wiper fluid and oil, that's the extent of my under the hood knowledge.

    Sounds like an EGR problem, or it could be the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail. Get it scanned. It doesn't sound like tranny at this point. It is a fuel air mixture problem from what you describe. Get a scan for the codes and then find someone with a fuel pressure tester that can connect to the fuel rail.

    Did you notice a rough idle before driving the vehicle? It does idle weird, a catch and release type thing..if that makes sense! :rolleyes:
     
  8. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and I was wrong, we're at 167,000 and countin'.

    I'm not mechanically inclined in the least so I don't even know where the transmission is. I'll try to take it in one of these days and see if we can't get it fixed economically. It'd be a shame to actually have to let the poor thing RIP. :)