Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Engine surges at rpm over 1500

My daughters 1996 chevy cavalier's engine is surging at rpms over 1500, give or take. Runs fine from idle to 1500, then surges at rpm's over that. She told me it was hard to start the other day. When in nutral, it runs fine from idle to 1500, then surges above that. At full throttle, it surges from full throttle to about 1000 rpm. I work on diesel engines and don't have the test eqipment for this car, can you tell me where to look?

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  • Master
  • 957 Answers

Look for a vacuum leak (lines and intake), Is the engine light on, were any codes present? A faulty EGR or IAC could cause the problem too. Check the throttle cable for any restrictions.

Posted on May 31, 2009

  • KellyBtech Jun 16, 2011

    Hey man, thanks for the suggestions. You made my 1500+rpm surge a quick diagnosis to the EGR system. I'm not sure if it's too early/strong a signal to the valve or if perhaps someone (who has messed a lot of other things up under this hood) put the wrong EGR valve/orifice in. When I disconnect the valve the surge disappears. It's an '87 Cavalier 2.0 and thanks to you my nephew will be attempting to pass emmissions as soon as he installs the new EGR valve (provided it's calibrated properly and vacuum signal is ok).

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SOURCE: 1989 honda prelude. engine surges. from normal to 2100 rpms

There is a warm up valve on the throttle body(should have 2 small coolant hoses). remove the valve and have someone start the car while you block the port to the valve on the intake. If that clears up the problem you can cut a piece of cardboard to mount in between the valve and intake.should straighten it out.

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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SOURCE: 88 silverado 1500 surges at idle and runs rough above that.

may be the egr valve

Posted on Aug 23, 2008

emissionwiz
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SOURCE: dodge ram 1500 engine rpms surge at freeway speed

those sensors could cause the issue, clean the MAF 1st, also clean the idle system using the following procedure, the IAC can cause cruise surge. I use this to cure these problems all the time.

Here is the most common cause of surges and stalls and low idle, it is the idle speed control air-bypass valve (IAC) and throttle valve, they get full of gunk over the miles and cause idle issues (stalls, low idle) like yours, Get a can of intake cleaner from any local parts store, not carb spray, intake cleaner, it is made by a company called CRC, remove the air intake hose to the engine, hold the idle high so the engine won't stall, then spray the can of cleaner into the intake while keeping the engine running, use at least 1/2 the can, shut down the engine and disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, then restart and complete a number of mixed driving cycles, town, freeway, stop and go etc., after a few days the problem will go away as the system will relearn to the clean intake.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

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SOURCE: 1990 Toyota Celica GTS. Idle races too high

sound very much like a vacuum leak.... also maybe your timing is off? possibly advanced? try retarding it with the distributor if thats the case...

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

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SOURCE: 2004 hyundai elantra that surges violently 1000 rpm to 4000 rpm

could be afew things. vacuum leak, one dud HT lead, could be the water temperature sensor, O2 sensor, best to get it checked and get it read for fault codes

Posted on Sep 03, 2009

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

Increase then decrease idle when engine is cold especially


cold engine idle surge. (problem)
RPM range of surge not stated
300-700 or 800 to 1500? (range is critical to diagnosis)

bad fuel
running summer fuel in winter (running old fuel?)
needs a tune up bad, see the list in the operator guide.
idle speed controller,sticking or EGR valve same. (clean them)
location not stated, so cant guess about local air temps.?
no other symptoms, lack of engine power? etc?
was it ok last week, or better, when was the last time it was OK?
1week, 1year?
surge , causes, on a tuned engine might be:
1: too lean. so lean the ISC can not control idle. rpm low, stalling
2: too rich, flooding, stalling, spark plugs foul (look at them)
3: weak compression in 1 or more cylinders.
4: bad spark.
5: air leaks, in the plenum causing , ISC to lose control.
why high RPM?

especially?
well that means it fails hot too.
and there is a simple tests. for hot surge.
is engine fully hot? 180F and holds solid there?
say rpm is about 800
and you turn on head lights, heater fan and (not AC) and defrost.
the RPM must hold or the ISC is failing.
ISC -= idle speed controls. (all EFI has this function)

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1996 acura 2.5 tl upon start up the engine goes to 2500-3000 rpms then the engine rpms start surging between 1500 to 2000 then after several minutes it goes to a normal idle and runs fine.


Hi, I had the same problem, and is now fixed. Replace your idle control valve, and the idle problem will go away, and your car will be PERFECT!

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I believe, that there is a short in the fuel pump kill switch which is located on the top inside the gas tank. I had GM replace the whole thing including fuel pump. It took awhile to figure this out, since it didn't show up in thier diags. Since then no problems.

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Hi there!

Its normal for the car to idle in high RPM in the cold start and soon as it warms up then it will go down. I dont think you are having any problem. And the Code for the gas cap usually come on when the Cap been loose for a while or when you pump the gas with the car running or a bad cap, And now you need to clear the code. Good luck

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1 Answer

Dodge ram 1500 engine rpms surge at freeway speed


those sensors could cause the issue, clean the MAF 1st, also clean the idle system using the following procedure, the IAC can cause cruise surge. I use this to cure these problems all the time.

Here is the most common cause of surges and stalls and low idle, it is the idle speed control air-bypass valve (IAC) and throttle valve, they get full of gunk over the miles and cause idle issues (stalls, low idle) like yours, Get a can of intake cleaner from any local parts store, not carb spray, intake cleaner, it is made by a company called CRC, remove the air intake hose to the engine, hold the idle high so the engine won't stall, then spray the can of cleaner into the intake while keeping the engine running, use at least 1/2 the can, shut down the engine and disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, then restart and complete a number of mixed driving cycles, town, freeway, stop and go etc., after a few days the problem will go away as the system will relearn to the clean intake.

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