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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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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.
I think that your gas filter is probably pluged. It is located at the rear of the car in front of the gas tank. You may need a speacial tool to release the one hose end while the other is ususlly just a wrench.
The “rotten egg smell” that you mentioned is
usually caused by fuel mixture in the engine that is too rich. The catalytic
converter may be faulty but before you replace it, the “too rich” fuel mixture needs
to be corrected. When the mixture in the engine is to rich, the cat can become very hot, in return, producing this smell.
you might need a new catalyic converter if not i would suggest that you get your sensor checked these can be a problem the sensor thinks the wheel is slipping and cuts the torque and power down this could be what is happening also could because of airflow control with the catalyic converter
with the 2.2 eccotec engine it sounds like the ignition module the trac of light comes on with the check engine light you are probably throwing code p0300 random missfire. the ignition module sits on top of the engine is silver with fins it is held in with three torx screws and runs about $100 dollars. running you car in this condition can severely damage your catalytic converter. hope this helps.