1998 Chevy Cavalier

Tiny
OPER8TER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I'm hoping someone can help with this, it's driving me crazy. My wife's car has had intermittent issues since a few years ago, we drove it down to FL from Ohio. The car was missing and blowing white smoke, we took it to a mechanic spent $300 to replace plugs/boots/coil pack. Still had a problem. So I took it to a dealership, they said the battery was low so they replaced it along with another part(factory recall) and the car magically ran fine. It has ran fine for the last few years with an occasional cough, until recently. It was running terribly, I rented an OBD which read only one code p0300(multiple ore random cylinder misfire. So I pulled the plugs lets call the farthest drivers side plug #1 and so on down the line. Plugs 2 and 4 looked different bought new plugs and ran it for a bit, pulled them again and again #2 and #4 came out clean and wet. I checked everything out, "borrowed" a coil and an ignition control module from the parts store. No change, I inspected the boots that act as wires and they are in excellent shape. I've had the parts store check the map sensor, cam shaft position sensor, crank sensor, ignition control module, and coils, all tested fine. I've unplugged the o2 sensor and the maf sensor, zero change. I kept hearing a ticking sound, so I thought electrical, on a hunch I went to the parts store and bought a new coil pack thinking somehow the wires inside the pack were shorting out, plugged it in. Ran fine. For about two weeks. Now the missing isn't nearly as bad, and it is now only plug#1 that is wet and clean. Since it is just one plug AND a completely different plug then it has been, I was thinking maybe the new coil pack is grounding somehow to the engine block, but it's black and I don't see ANY signs of carbon tracing. Tonight i'm renting the OBD again to see what it says. I've also done compression tests, all cylinders read the same. This is something to add, the day I got the new coil pack I had the camshaft and crank sensors out, but put them right back in before I put the new coil pack, could it have been the cam sensor? I notice when I unplug it( when the car is running badly) there is no difference in the way the engine runs, which is troubling. I apologize for this being long winded and possibly random, but I'm trying to remember every detail. Thanks in advance, Chad
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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 AT 3:08 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
Let me know what codes you get tonight and get back to me. Also try to test drive it and look at your fuel trims and tell me what they read.
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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 AT 6:05 PM
Tiny
OPER8TER
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Alright, last night I hooked up the OBD and got p0304 cylinder 4 misfire. I've been driving it, because I don't want my wife to, and the problem is very random. Yesterday the whole way to work and almost the whole way home(30 miles) the car spit and sputtered, but I was getting on it trying to see if maybe that might help, and it seemed to run a little better from it. I put some fuel injector cleaner in it on an empty tank last night, today it ran a lot better, only coughed a few times, but still coughed a few times. There was no difference in the kind of day(the humidity levels have been about the same) and last night my gas tank was almost empty when I put the injector cleaner in, then I drove to the gas station and put about half a tank in. It seems highly unlikely that an injector could have gone bad immediately after this electrical issue, but possible I suppose.
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 6:52 AM
Tiny
RHALL77
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Do you have a multi meter to test the resistance of each injector.
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 7:11 AM
Tiny
OPER8TER
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Yeah, is the a specific reading I should get? Or just look for a common reading among all of them? Where/what is the best place to test them?
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 7:14 AM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
Test between the two prongs on the injector. Make sure all the resistance between the injectors are all about the same
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 9:20 AM
Tiny
OPER8TER
  • MEMBER
Alright, I checked the injectors, all of them seem to be reading about the same resistance. I did notice that it seemed like the numbers were all over the place, then i'd get a good reading, then all over the place again. Maybe the connecter on the injector is loose? But I started the car after the testing and it runs perfect, the whole way to work, not even a single sputter. I know it's something stupid, like a loose wire.
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 2:48 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
Sounds like bad terminal tension in the connector
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 5:21 PM

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