Low and rough idle and blinking engine light

Tiny
LISA FOLEY
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 52,550 MILES
Friday afternoon started car. Engine light came on-blinking. The idle was also low and rough as if it is going to stall.
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Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 AT 6:16 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
There should be a Code stored in the ECM, but for some reason on the Impala's a blinking Check engine light seems to be a Engine Misfire Detected. Have the cars computer scanned for diagnostic trouble codes and let us know what the code is. The problem could be a few different things, the mass air flow sensors go bad on those all the time, but a code will give us a direction to start diagnosing.
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Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
JIS001
  • EXPERT
I agree with AL514 mass air flow sensors are always going bad and also fuel pressure regulator leaking. You can verify the pressure regulator by removing the vacuum hose. If you see gas that will be your problem.

One thing with a code scan you will always see a PO300 for a random misfire so it would be nice if you have a scan tool that can look which cylinder is actually misfiring to narrow it down.

Do you also have a hard starting issue?
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Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
LISA FOLEY
  • MEMBER
The mechanic is not sure. He found one spark plug cracked. He also told me the engine may have to be take apart to find out what is wrong. Also something about a valve spring. I know the car is due for a tune-up but I do not think needing a tune-up is my problem. There is no problem starting the car. Also the engine light stops blinking and then stays on steady. I do not want or have a few thousand to put into the repair.
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Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 AT 5:39 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hi Lisa,

If it was a broken valve spring it might show up in a compression test. Also a valve spring can be cashed for about $240.00 so don't if you need to take it somewhere else for prices.

Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken
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Monday, October 24th, 2016 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
A cracked plug can definitely cause a cylinder misfire, if the check engine light is one steady just have the ECM scanned for codes, you can even have this done for free at most autopart stores. Or buy a basic code reader, they are really cheap and handy to have around. Once you have the code we can lead you in the right direction. But don't let someone tear your car apart that might not need it. There are a lot of dishonest mechanics out there, so just let us help.
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Monday, October 24th, 2016 AT 11:57 PM
Tiny
LISA FOLEY
  • MEMBER
I now realize this mechanic maybe dishonest. He never once called me while he has my car in his shop. I have had to call him and once or twice they told me he wasn't in. Then when I mention the Impala its like "oh, let me go get him. He told me that "there is a broken spark plug and that the Valve springdroped into the piston then into cylinder #1. He also went on to say that there is a front and back cylinder, etc and this is the clincher:MY ENGINE NEEDS TO BE TAKEN APART. PLEASE HELP ME-WHAT SHOULD I DO? I live alone, on a fixed income, and my son, as much as he helps me, doesn't know anything about cars. I was originally going to have it repaired at the Chevrolet dealership. The AAA guy who was going to tow it to the dealership checked the coil under the hood, said that is what is wrong and that it should cost about $270.00 to repair. HE talked my son into bringing it to their shop. Well, his brother-the mechanic who has my car for 5 days now said it was what I mentioned above-valve spring, etc. Should I have my car towed to the dealership for repair? If the engine DOES have to be taken apart, should I just buy a used engine? Honest to God, I don't know how to make a decision about this.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
Ok, lets start over here from the beginning. And YES get the car out of his shop. Hes trying to rip you off because you don't know much about cars so he can say anything and pretty much get away with it, not to sound like a jerk or anything, but many independent shops do this, I have worked in a few and quit because of this reason. First we need to know what the engine code actually is. If you go get the car can you drive it home? He should not have taken anything apart without calling you first with his diagnosis and an estimate for the work to be done. Get the car home or to the dealership you think is honest. Once someone reads the code, you go from there. That spark plug (if cracked) will cause the engine to misfire and run rough, but not necessarily stall out. You have low mileage, so I assume the car sat for awhile or is barely driven. You can buy a scantool/code reader for very cheap and they are very easy to use. While it may need to go to a dealership or another shop, atleast get the car away from this guy. Just go pick it up yourself, don't listen to anything he has to say.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 8:53 AM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
The valve spring, if it really needs one, can be replaced with out taking the whole engine apart, I own a 2001 impala. Its a duel overhead cam set up, the springs, rocker arms, and lifters are all right under the valve covers. Do you know what size engine is in it? It should be marked on a label under the bottom of the hood. Ill find a diagram to show you what it looks like.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 9:02 AM
Tiny
LISA FOLEY
  • MEMBER
I called AAA and explained everything of what this "gentleman" said/explained to me. I had the car towed to a Chevrolet dealership. How sad that these mechanics prey on people (men and women). I got it when y Dad passed away in 2011It is a 3.4litre engine 6cylinder- its a powerful, strong enginetoo. It was myDad's car-it meansalot to me. Thanks AL514.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 12:24 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
Heres a breakdown of the upper part of the engine, a technician that knows what hes doing can replace the Valve spring without having to take too much apart. But a compression test needs to be done first to determine if that's actually the problem.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 3:01 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
I can understand its a car you would want to keep running since it has sentimental value to you.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
LISA FOLEY
  • MEMBER
Thank you AL514 - Your advise means a lot to me. Good night.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
AL514 is one of our best guys, please let us know what happens we want to get it fixed for you.

Sleep well,

Ken
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 AT 10:07 PM

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