Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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1997 2.2 Cavalier sporadic/cutting out

Hello. First off, thanks for taking the time to look at this. I have a Chevy Cavalier 2.2 with a three speed automatic.

The problem I am having is sporadic. The car starts up just fine, idles fine then when I get in it to drive it will sometimes spit and sputter and act like it wants to die but doesn't.

Sometimes it happens under hard acceleration other times during slow acceleration sometimes it will idle rough and other times it wont. The problem seems worse after the car heats up to normal temp but it did it when it was cold a few minutes ago too.

Sometimes if it does it and I am able to pull over I put it in park and rev the motor and it will act "normal" The check engine light never comes on either. I know the check engine light works because it came on when I had a bad gas cap.

Last month I replaced the spark plugs and air filter. It's been doing this now for 2 days.

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  • T2 For Life Mar 10, 2009

    im sort of having the same problem with my 92 cavalier but my car only act rough when i start it. give it bout a minute and runs fine. ive replaced the ignition control module, spark plugs, wires, fuel filter. i did a compression test on it to make sure i didnt have a blown headgasket. i have no vaccum leaks. is there any thing i should look at like the IAC valve, map sensor, ect.

    thanks for your time.



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I had the same problem on start-up with my '97. I found and fixed a vacuum leak on what I believe was the fuel regulator (located close to where the air intake meets the engine). It solved that problem. It has been atleast 6 months and that hasn't come back.

However, now it's starting to cutout under low to moderate acceleration in third, fourth, or fifth gear (eradictly and with no pattern). I guess I will have to go through all of the other vacuum lines, put some injector cleaner through it, maybe change the fuel filter (hopefully, not the pump), and check the spark plug wires, plugs and coils. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thank you.

Posted on Dec 31, 2011

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I had a similar problem with an earlier model Cavalier, with the problem being much more pronounced. The fuel injector nozzles on two cylinders turned out to be the culprits. Once replaced, the car ran beautifully like it always had before.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009


6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Bob Gemmell
  • 209 Answers

SOURCE: No power, no acceleration, spits & sputters

If this is a diesel replace the fuel filter

Posted on May 29, 2009

  • 475 Answers

SOURCE: starts hard runs rough

When I worked at the dealer we had bad map sensors on those Jeeps. Check for codes first. Don't change the sensor until you check it out.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009

  • 20 Answers

SOURCE: Van Sputters And Loses All Power When I Accelerate

Internal combustion engines requires 3 things... fuel, air, and spark. You do not have enough of one or more of these. If the wires and plugs are old, change them.  Air filter, same thing.  Fuel filter can also clog up with stuff after awhile. When you take a look at the air filter check where the air comes from.  It is possible a little critter has built a home and blocked the air flow (rare, but, it has happened).

Posted on May 10, 2009

  • 216 Answers

SOURCE: engine runs rough new fuel pump and filter new

requiresa a litte knowledge to analize the info the computer is giving you ? not being smartelec just these cars generally only had minor issues with this condition either the converter was clogged or the mass airflow meter failing both are easy find with proper scanner so you may want to spend the $50 to get it tested good luck

Posted on Aug 25, 2009

  • 8 Answers

SOURCE: my 1995 mercedes S500 idles rough, and no power.

I had a similar problem with my 1994 S420.
Before taking it to the shop check the following:
Distributor covers, Rotors and Spark Plugs. That's what my car needed. Before I did it two "specialized" MB mechanics wanted to replace the engine wiring harness ($1,000.00) and the other wanted to replace Air mass sensor, throttle valve actuator ($2,000.00) I hope that's all you need.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010

Testimonial: "You hit it on the head. Had same problem with my '95 S500. diagnosed as bad fuel rotors. Explained to me there is one per cylinder, and were all origi"

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