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Thread: Stalling, rough idle, misfiring

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    Stalling, rough idle, misfiring

    Hi this is my first post on the forums and I really need some help. I have a 2003 Chevy cavalier with a 2.2 L61 engine. This is going to be a long post explain my problem the best i can. The car has a hesitation, misfire, rough/unstable idle and stalls at idle but will refire imediately. At idle the engine will rev between 500 rpms and over a 1000rpms. Also when let sit over night the car will not stat unless i step on the gas and as soon as i let off the gas it stumbles and stalls. If i let it warm up for a min or 2 holding the rpms at around a 1000 it is drivable but the idle will stumble and stall. The problems mainly happen after running thru a puddle or during a heavy rain or wet slushy snow. The car has/had a P0507 P0171 P0300 and P0440 codes but not all at the same time. It was worse after i got gas at a meijers gas station.

    OK now onto what i have already done. As i stated above i though maybe i got bad gas or a high level of ethanol. But i drained the tank and put fresh gas in it and put GM fuel system cleaner in the tank. The fuel tested 10.06 percent ethanol which i was told was ok by gm specs. I flushed out the fuel injectors with gm top engine cleaner and replaced the fuel filter. The fuel press stays at 58 psi and only drops around 8-10 psi over a period of an hr. The fuel pump has been replaced with a gm pump 20k miles ago.I replaced the air filter and IAC valve. I removed the throttlebody and throughly cleaned it and the iac passages.I clean the engine ground for the ignition and pcm. I also check for vaccum leaks but could not find any. I pulled the 2 plugs closest the timing chain and they appeared to be ok just a lil bit wet and were dark colored around the threads but the electrode was white. ALso the trac off light comes on and stays on. I have access to a tech 2 and here are some of the specs i got while running at idle.

    Barometric pressure-99kpa
    MAP-10.0-2.5 volts and 25-35 kpa
    O2 sensors front-10-850mv rear 200-900mv
    CKP sensor - 10-250 counts
    Injector pulse 3mv at idle-6 when revved to 1500rpm
    Short term fuel trim -3 to 3
    Long term fuel trim 18-21
    misfire on all 4 cylinders- 1-4 counts on all cylinders at different intervals(random) at idle or when letting off the accelerator..no misfires while under load.
    TP sensor .5 volts at idle
    Ignition voltage 11.9 volts with key on and 14.7 while engine is running
    Knock retard is 0 degrees
    Battery tested good

    I reset the fuel trim data after doing the fuel system test and unplugged the front o2 sensor to bring the car into open loop and it ran slightly better. I drove the car home and let it sit in the garage for 2 days then started it and it ran like normal idled perfect and no misfires or surging or stalling. I drove the car for a week and it ran great i thought i fixed it. No check engine lights. I took the car thru a car wash and boom same problems came back. It stalled 3 times and would not idle properly and i could tell it was misfiring and the check engine light came back on. I will check the codes tomorrow but im at witts end with this car i dont want to throw parts at it. Im thinking possible ignition module but not entirely sure because it mainly happens when its cold and wet. Any help would be greatly appreciated and again sry for the long post but i gave as much detail as i could.

    Thanks Greg

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    Have you checked the ICM and coil pack?

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    The icm does tend to go bad after not so many miles. What's your mileage on it?

    If that doesn't cure the problem, check all the connections under the hood near the wheel wells since you mentioned water.

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    Any modifications to the intake tract that would allow water to get to the IAT sensor?

    Nothing is difficult; some things just take more time.
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    That being said, is the iat sensor on the top or bottom of your intake pipe?

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    car is completely stock with 71k miles on it. The iat sensor is in the stock location. I havent checked the icm or coils yet but i will today. As for the iat sensor would that going bad or bad wiring going to it cause all those problems?

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    car is completely stock with 71k miles on it. The iat sensor is in the stock location. I havent checked the icm or coils yet but i will today. As for the iat sensor would that going bad or bad wiring going to it cause all those problems?
    03crazycavy Quoted Post
    I honestly don't think so. Like said, check out the coilpack and plugs...very known issue with the L61s.

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    pull the spark plugs and take note how each one look and what cylinder each came out of.

    These are my new brake guys. Would you let them work on your car?

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    1 and 4 look a little "dirty" compared plugs 2 and 3. There was oil or something around plugs 1 and 4 and all 4 plugs were bright white on the electrode. I spent 2 hours water tested the wiring trying to duplicate the problems. I checked the the coil pack and the wires looked good. It runs perfect right now after sitting for a day or 2. it started rough this morning but after driving for about 5 mins the problem stopped and cleared up. All the snesors are with in specs on the tech 2 and i could not get it to misfire.

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    1 and 4 look a little "dirty" compared plugs 2 and 3. There was oil or something around plugs 1 and 4 and all 4 plugs were bright white on the electrode. I spent 2 hours water tested the wiring trying to duplicate the problems. I checked the the coil pack and the wires looked good. It runs perfect right now after sitting for a day or 2. it started rough this morning but after driving for about 5 mins the problem stopped and cleared up. All the snesors are with in specs on the tech 2 and i could not get it to misfire.
    03crazycavy Quoted Post
    Just for insurance, unplug your battery for 15 min to clear any possible codes that might be stored (even if your CEL isn't on).

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    I cleared all stored codes with the tech 2 in all 3 modules.

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    1 and 4 look a little "dirty" compared plugs 2 and 3. There was oil or something around plugs 1 and 4 and all 4 plugs were bright white on the electrode. I spent 2 hours water tested the wiring trying to duplicate the problems. I checked the the coil pack and the wires looked good. It runs perfect right now after sitting for a day or 2. it started rough this morning but after driving for about 5 mins the problem stopped and cleared up. All the snesors are with in specs on the tech 2 and i could not get it to misfire.
    03crazycavy Quoted Post

    The oily look could be raw fuel. When my ICM went I was running on 1 and 4 while 2 and 3 were not firing. 2 and 3 also had a wet look to them. the firing order is 1-3-4-2.

    These are my new brake guys. Would you let them work on your car?

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