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Re: 2003 cavalier trac and engine light on
You are probably throwing code p0300 random misfire. it sounds like your ignition module which sits on the top of you engine it is silver with find and held in with 3 torx screws it controls 2 cylinders at a time so when it goes your car will be only running on 2 cylinders this can severely damage you catalytic converter. and a dealer won't cover it under the emissions warranty. the module costs around $100 so you might want to diagnose it.
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black smoke on acceleration is from a rich running engine. the fuel smell can also be from the same but please make sure u dont have an extermal fuel leak. that could be dangerous and a strong smell would occur. have ur engine computer system scanned for possible codes or if its a carbeuretor sounds like the float may be sticking or a msadjusted choke or carb assembly. hope this helps
Gas smells come from leaks or the engine running too rich ( over fueled ). You need to inspect for any wetness/dampness around the fuel lines/rail and injectors if the smell appears from under the hood. If the engine is over fueled, a scan test can be performed to find out why. Sometimes oil leaks on/around the exhaust system can also give a fuel type smell. Have the vehicle checked for this also.
I had the same problem on my 2001 Sunfire (same car as the Cavalier-different branding) which I was able to fix successfully.
My symptoms were:
-Traction Control OFF light illuminated
-Cooling fan running even if engine cold and it was freezing outside (I also noticed that when the Traction light illuminated, the fan would then begin)
-Rough idle with black smoke when cold
-Poor fuel economy
I have a code reader which produced codes P0130 and P0171. These are error codes for the upstream oxygen sensor (the one under the hood).
I simply replaced the O2 sensor (it took me 10 minutes). I did not reset the check engine light after the repair as I wanted to see what the car would do on its own. The idle was much smoother with no smoke and the cooling fan stopped running unnecessarily. After 1/2 mile down the road, the Trac light went away and the system functioned normally. I tested this by trying to accelerate quickly up a snowy driveway. I also noticed that the acceleration and shifting (auto tranny) were smoother. I reset the check engine light. All is satisfactory.
What was happening to the car before the repair:
P0130 is usually for a bad O2 sensor and P0171 is the sensor detected that the motor was running too lean (but it actually wasn't-the sensor was essentially giving a false lean signal).
The rough idle, black smoke, and poor economy are due to running too rich. In my case, the sensor told the PCM (the car's computer) that the air/fuel mixture was too lean. In response, the computer said "OK, more gas!" That's why it ran rich. This was evidenced on the old O2 sensor as well...it was completely caked with carbon from an excessively rich mixture. This further destroyed the performance of the O2 sensor.
You are off to a good start, MAF when it is contaminated it leans the vehicle out it doesnt make the car run rich, depending on the fuel strategy of the year make and model,and of course the engine size make all the difference,bad ignition coil make a car run rich shorted 02 sensor that lean bias make the car run rich, worn timing belt ****** timing and causes the car to run rich.so lets hear the results
either the float is sticking, when it is running use the back of a screwdriver and rap the bowl and see if this helps, or the jets need adjusted, start with the right one first, turn in untill the motor starts to lag then open it up untill the rpm stops climbing, do the same with the left one also, see if this helps. let me know.
Sounds like a problem I had with my '85 Dodge D150 Ram Prospector. In my case, the automatic choke was broken and it was starved for air during acceleration because the choke was always closed. It ran fine at idle or very slow acceleration. I wired the choke open and it runs much better, although it is much more difficult to start as the fuel mix is lean due to the extra air. Once it gets warmed up, though, it runs fine. I hear that the barrel carb on mine often has problems.