Question about 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

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Multiple engine malfunctions

When I start the car "cold" the cooling fans come on then start an on and off cycle "heat a/c and defroster are all off. engine rpm's jump from an idle of 1000 to 4000 up and down constantly, the transmission won't shift past second gear unless i finagle the throttle. while driving steady for about a mile, if I depress the throttle, nothing happens, i have to let off completely then hit the throttle again to accelerate. I have replaced the Cat. converter, the TPS and The IAC motors. After I did that the ck engine light came on for a day then went off and still getting code for the TPS. When the car gets to normal opperating temps it is undrivable. On occasion the sucerity light comes on for no reason but the car still starts and on other occasions the radio shuts off and has locked displayed on the screen. I believe it must be the ECM. If not what could it be.

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  • 41 Answers

Bad ground on a wiring harness, check all your ground connections around the engine and under the car on the frame. any wire that is attached to the engine or frame, make sure all is clean and tight. usually a bad ground somewhere will make em go haywire like that. if all is well then have the ecm checked.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

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Cooling fan coming on when cold outside


If the vehicle is equipped with functional AC and the dash control panel is set on defrost, this will cause the AC compressor to cycle and the fan will come on. Turn the dash control to floor and see if fan comes on when cold outside. It should only come on when engine is at operating temperature and commanded to come on by the computer

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There are several things which come to mind. You have 2 complaints. A gas smell and a cold blooded vehicle.

Starting with the temperature problem. My initial concern is whether the thermostat is weak, but also that the automatic controls may be inoperable and working against you. The car is suppose to go into a temporary "cold start routine" which increases the RPM and makes the fuel rich. (This could contribute to the gas smell)

After the Temperature sensor and O2 sensors warm up, the idle is suppose to drop and the fuel mix should lean out. If the engine remains at high idle, the water pump will work faster with the engine spinning faster. Sometimes there is not a direct 1 to 1 ratio between the heat generated by the motor and the RPM versus the cooling produced. An idling engine may warm up faster than an engine running at higher RPM.

Another problem may be the Defroster setting. There are Thermal switches which are suppose to cut off the Electric Radiator cooling fans. When the Defroster is activated, some cars are built to spin the A/C compressor in the Winter. But the Electric Radiator cooling fans may also switch on as part of the A/C system. This would super cool the radiator at a time when you least want it. Check to see if the cooling fans are activating when the Defroster is turned on.

There can be 2 Temperature switches in your car. One would send the signal to kick out the "cold start routine" and the other would work the guages or indicator lights.

The O2 sensors can have heaters in them or they can just be slow. If you leave the engine idling like you do, they could foul out and be sluggish to warm up.

If running the Temperature at 80 degrees causes an additional 5 minutes of warm-up time, you may be better off setting it for say 72 and having it work sooner.

The thermal sensors are not that expensive. Work on a cold engine when changing them. Note what I said about your rich fuel mix contributing to the smell.

Please rate my info.

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