Chevy Cavalier Computer System or Worse?

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Where should I start? Ok i have only had this car for a little over a year now and it has been nothing but a pain in my ***! Its a used 2002 chevy cavalier 4dr LS sedan with 92,500 miles. I bought it last year with 87k miles.

Well the first thing was the check engine light. I replaced both o2 senors, that didnt work. Then I replaced one of the "supposly" two catalic converter. Still on. Replaced spark plugs and coil pack. Like i said, ive had this for a year and it has not even passed emissions yet! So i just let it go. So it has been running fine up until a few months ago.

I went to start my car, had my foot on the brake, and put it in drive, and accelerated a little bit and the oil and battery light came on and it stalled out. I turned the car on and tried again and it was fine. Now when i start the car and accelerate lightly (to get out of a parking spot) the low trac light comes on and it shakes and jerks until i accelerate more. Then it goes away and it is fine.

Sometimes, when the low trac goes out, the ABS, Service, and Trac Off lights all come on and of course my check engine light NEVER goes off. So i turn the car off and start it again and its perfectly fine! The today actually, driving in the rain, i was at a red light and when i went to go, the low trac light came on again but it didnt stall out, just jerked until i accelerated more and that has never happened before.

I dont know if its something wrong with my computer system, steering, or brakes. I absolutly have no idea. And apparently, no one else does neither. I had like 3 different machanics look at it and they all said different things (which i replaced everything). I really dont know what else to do. Please help!!

posted by  nrgiles07

Sounds like the people you are taking it to do not really understand how the electronics of a modern car work. Any idiot can read the engine codes and replace a defective part.

I'm not sure that anyone here can properly diagnose your problem with the info you supplied..... BUT the good news is I think that we can lead you down the right road if you can answer a few pointed questions.

For now here is some info that is good to know and may help you when a mechanic tries to give you bad information.

A cat does not go bad all by itself with in the mileage range on your car. it is a cause of a poorly tuned engine. So, I would assume that if one cat went bad the other is bad too. What engine do you have and we can tell you if you do indeed have two cats. If you do have two cats, you will have 4 O2 sensors.

Next thing to note: is that just because the computer says a sensor is out of range, does not mean that the sensor is to blame.

I have a few guesses as to your problem, but with out more info, I may just cloud the issue.

So, this is what I suggest:

Your best option is to find a competent mechanic that can accurately diagnose and repair the actual problem and not just randomly replace parts that may or may not be bad. Which is just spending money.

The next option would be to go to your local parts store like Advance Auto or similar and have them pull the trouble codes stored in the computer and post them here. The we can tell you step by step how to troubleshoot the codes and find the problem. This option will take much longer as you will have to wait for us to reply to your posts, and you will need: basic mechanical aptitude, a VOM, jumper wires and basic hand tools.

Good luck, and hopefully we can help.

Oh and finally please give us more info on the car:

Engine size and transmission.

posted by  corbett_auto

Thanks for your reply! Well i have a 2.2 liter engine. When i bought the car, the engine looked pretty new. But i really dont know much about cars. Hopefully i answered your question. But i will put it in a shop and try to fix this for good!

posted by  nrgiles07

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