92 Cavalier Rough Engine Problem


Old 05-29-06, 08:43 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
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92 Cavalier Rough Engine Problem

My 1992 Cavalier 4 Cyl has recently started to run rough intermitently. Sitting in a drive through one day the RPMs dropped and felt like it was going to stall. I quickly tossed it into Neutral and kept a little pressure on the gas to keep the car running.

Once out in the parking lot the car kept running rough and was a little slow to respond to the gas pedal, it felt like the engine wanted to power up but could not.

When I parked the car it was barely able to stay running without my foot on the gas, I popped the hood and the engine was really shaking on its mounts. The exhaust smelled alot like a freshly lit pack of paper matchs.

I decided to drive it down the service road a bit to a mechanic to see if they could find the problem. I idled the car in reverse out of the parking stall and then hit the gas to drive forward and the roughness immedietly dissapeared and operated normally.

Since this incident it has been happening at least once a month and after a few minutes it will stop and operate normally.

If anyone has any ideas of what the problem can be it would be greatly appreciated if you would let me know before I bring it to a mechanic and have no idea what he is talking about!
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Old 05-29-06, 09:28 AM
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I forgot to mention that when the car is running rough, when I am parked and rev the engine the speedometer will rise as rpms rise.

When the car is running normally doing the same will not cause the speedometer to rise.
Old 05-29-06, 12:01 PM
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I would check two things for starters: fuel filter and exhaust system. The filter you can probably do yourself. For the exhaust system have it checked at a good muffler shop; you'll want to know if the catalytic converter is clogged.
Old 05-29-06, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Barre,Vermont
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I'd be looking closely at the plug wires. Chances are they are either open or shorting to ground. And the spark jumping where it's not supposed is causing EMI which is creating a false vehicle speed input.
Pull the plug wires off the plugs and shine a flashlight into where the plug goes, and look for black, sooty carbon, indicative of an open. The good ones you'll be able to see the center electrode folded back under the terminal.
Old 05-29-06, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
tune up

I would start with a good tune up new plugs,Wires,fuel and air filter,clean Maf sensor look at all the rubber hoses and replace old and hard ones.
Just spend a day and go over everything clean battery cables the whole nine yards. Do not forget to clean the throttle plate.
Old 06-02-06, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
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It turns out that one of my coil packs was giving up the ghost. I'm just going to replace both along with the plugs.

Thanks everyone for the help!

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