Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently bought/leased a new car online and requested a home delivery due to coronavirus? A reporter would like to speak to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 4/2 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Chevrolet Cavalier Check Engine Light

so i drive a 2000 cavalier and the check engine light has been on ever since i bought it 2 years ago. and i took it to a car place to get it diagnosed and they said there could be a vacuum leak but they never found out where and it is causing me to have very bad gas mileage. so if anyone has had a similar problem to mine i would appreciate your help.


  • well i got my cavalier two years ago and ever since the check engine light has been on. i took it to an auto zone and they said there could be a leak in one of the vacuum lines but i just dont know which one it is. i know it is not the gas lid because i have already replaced it. so if anybody has any suggestions please help me out. thanks.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    What code # did AutoZone give you, PO XXXX.
  • Hello, I was just wondering if there was an alternate way to check why my "check engine" light is on instead of taking it in to the shop and putting it on they OBDII tool. On my older car, I used to be able to stick 2 paperclips into the plug thing and my engine light would flash the codes at me. Is there any way to do that with the Cavalier? Or do I HAVE to use the OBDII tool?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You need at least a code reader for OBD2. Some parts stores will read your codes for free, like AutoZone.
  • These 3 lights are VERY annoying! I have did almost everything that you can do to fix it without replacing any parts because I don't know what to replace! I will explain how this problem started...

    I drove my car for a week after getting the car fixed at Midas (fixed my exhaust system - new converter) and come to find out that for some reason my Brake Fluid Cap was loose/almost off! The reservoir for the brake fluid wasn't empty but it was close!!! I don't know if the ABS Pump is out now or what? I have had my car scanned several times at Checkers for free and nothing shows up! They say the Check Engine Light must be on to have the computer show a code.

    If anyone has a solution for this or anything would help!! I have found a different discussion about this problem with a Grand Am GT but nothing for my car. I have a Cavalier Z24 2.4L

    Please HELP!
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You need to get the SES code and any other codes, if the light is not on it will show a code in history. I would pay to get good scan from a shop.
  • But the problem never threw a code I have been told by other mechanics too. If you scan it, it is going to show nothing related to this problem!! I was told there is such a thing as a speed sensor for the ABS system or something like that? It might be this because the lights dont light up till I hit about 15 mph or 5000 rpm.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You stated the SES light was on, it will put a code in history, the person that told you the light needed to be on is not true. Some codes will even set with no light.
    The ABS coming on above 15 MPH is usually a wheel sensor.
  • I have a 2000 cavalier and have the same problem. It all started when the bottom of my car scraped against some snow and ice. I had it scanned at a dealership and they said the abs computer was not responding. My dad is a mechanic and he can not figure out what is wrong with my car. So if ANYONE can help it would be appreciated!!
  • Ya I have a 2000 as well and this may have something to do with my O2 Sensor behind the Cat. because I know I have to replace that as well because I put in a MIL Eliminator to shut off my check engine light.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    What ABS code did they find, you paid to get the code.
  • My 05 is doing the same thing and I went to a dealership to have it scanned They were so nice to charge 75.00 to put it up and tell me it would take another 200 to fix it however they didn't tell me what was wrong or what the codes were and when I asked those questions the service man chuckled at me sooo nice. I have found out that it may be the ABS sensor which costs 9.00 to replace yourself
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I would go back and ask for the code . If they refuse to give it to you tell them you are going to report it to the attorney general in your state.
  • yodanyodan Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 2000 Buick Regal. It started about 1 year ago but only when I was driving in the rain. So I thought it was related with some bad wires from the wheel hub assembly. Recently the 3 lights will show up after 5 minutes of driving or so. So I went to a shop, they scanned it, charged me 120$ and told me that my ABS Computer(Control Module) is bad, and they will change it for 900$.
    I said no thanks, and when I asked for the error code he laughed at me and told me that their state-of-the-art-bad-[non-permissible content removed]-scanner is not like the one from Auto Zone, and there is only some generic code which won't mean anything to me.

    After spending some time online I found a lot of things that could cause this:
    wheel hub assembly/bearings, wheel hub assy harness, speed/ABS sensors, low break fluid, ignition control module, loose fuel cap, fuses, and now... ABS control module.
    Where should I start?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    A good start would be getting the codes you paid for .
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    I went to a dealership to have it scanned They were so nice to charge 75.00 to put it up and tell me it would take another 200 to fix it however they didn't tell me what was wrong or what the codes were and when I asked those questions the service man chuckled at me sooo nice.

    Don't places like AutoZone run a scan of your car for free? I know they used to but I haven't needed that service for a long time.
  • I have a 2000 cavalier that recently the trac off light comes on noT ABS, yet goes off when I shut the car off, upon putting the car back in drive it seems to engage hard and has the terrible sound from bottom of the car, and then it runs fine. We took the car to different small shops, when they checked no codes came on. Do you think it could be a sensor in the traction system?
  • All the ABS Light, Service Light, and Track off lights come on together. Do you think it could be a sensor in the traction system? Anybody had simliar problem?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You have lights so you have codes, take it to some one that has the proper scanner to get codes. The Trac off will come just because of other codes, that has nothing to do with the Trac system it self.
  • ashmarie10ashmarie10 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 chevy cavalier and my check engine light just came on. I read in the manual that if your gas cap is not on tight it will cause the check engine light to come on. It has happened to me once before and I did get gas today. Anyone have any other solutions in case it doesnt go off? Ash
  • redcat2redcat2 Posts: 2
    2003 coupe 2dr.
    I love my car ,but the light thing is out of hand. Cost me $90.00 to find out :mad: loose fuel cap, you need to turn the cap 3x's or else SURPISE LIGHT ON $$$. CODE PO440. I Hope this helps? :shades:
    PS CAR IS A 2000 CAVALIER 2.2 WITH 95 THOUSAND MILES :confuse:
  • Hi im sorry to go off subject but im a green horn to this forum and im having a little trouble figuring out where to get started.

    I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier, It has a 2.2 liter engine, and i was wondering how many O2 sensors it has.

    My reason for asking is because I would like to know if it is possible to connect a voltage adder to the vehicle to make the computer thing it needs to lean out the fuel.

    Here is a link to a site that shows the device i want to use in my car >

    and here is a schematic for the device

    I dont intend to use the oscillator if i dont need to.

    So basically i would like to know if i can add voltage to the 02 sensor inorder to make the ECU lean out the fuel?

    Thank you for any tips or advice you can send my way!!
  • You need to take your Ignition Control Module off, and have it tested @ an Auto Parts Store such as O'Reilly's.
  • phadrephadre Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Chevy Cavalier, bought secondhand. I've had it around a year... had almost no problems with it. A few weeks ago I was driving and my 'trac off' light came on and then my 'check engine' light started blinking. :( Being about 20 min from the nearest civilization, I decided to keep going until I could stop and get it checked. The car ran fine, seemed ok, just had the lights on. By the time I got to town, the lights went off and stayed off. I had no idea what to do, since it went off I decided to leave it alone. :confuse: Since then every now and again my car will repeat the performance, only now its accompanied by a weird vibration, that has gotten progressively stronger. :sick: Having experienced the runaround with another car when the check engine light came on, overcharging and no real information and a doomsday diagnosis for something small, I am hoping that i can avoid a similar process and see if anyone can help me figure out what is wrong. Thanks a bunch for any help anyone can offer on this
  • swebsswebs Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Cavalier. The check engine/ETS off lights have been on steady for about 4 years... I can't remember the problem exactly, I think I was told it was a small leak in the gas line that no one could find...? It's been so long.

    Also, it starts kind of hard when the engine is warm. I live in northern MN and when it's -30 out, it starts right up. If the engine is kind of warm, like say I went to Target for 30 minutes and got back in the car on a nice 50 degrees day, it would start hard. Usually I get it to start by pushing the gas pedal to the floor before starting, or giving it a little gas while it is turning over (if I forgot to push the pedal down before starting).

    ANYWAY... now when the engine is warm, it is still starting hard, but temporarily the check engine light flashes. The whole car shakes and kind of smells like exhaust. I've tried letting it idle for a bit, giving it a little gas while it's idling... sometimes it works, sometimes not. Sometimes shutting it off and trying again works. Sometimes not. If I am not in a position to shut it off and try again the light stops flashing and goes back to just being on steady after 5-10 minutes. But the car is shaky whether idling in traffic or while actually driving. The shaking stops once the light stops flashing.

    I plan to bring it to the mechanic this week but in the event that it doesn't misbehave for him like it does for me (which is the norm) WHAT IS GOING ON? If it is a quirk I have to get used to, fine, if not, I don't want to make the car worse by letting it go. I have had this car since I was 16 - I am 22 now - and it has been an amazing car, I know its quirks, and I am hoping to hang on to it for awhile longer!
  • check engine light could be o2 sensor, need sparkplugs and wires, or heater coil.. ive had to replace all those.. when i had trouble with them the check engine light was on..
  • paplaypaplay Posts: 1
    I bought a second hand 1996, I have now had it for six months. The low trac light comes on when I start the car but then goes off after I drive a short distance, it also comes on when I park the car and turn the wheel to the curb. (IS THIS NORMAL, OR IS THERE A PROBLEM?) Last weekend the low trac, ets off and abs lights all came on and stayed on when I first started the car and stayed on even after driving for a few blocks. I pulled over and turned the car off and none of the lights came back on. Does anyone have any trouble shooting solutions or is this normal?
  • cdelahoyacdelahoya Posts: 1

  • ak23xak23x Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 cavalier that has been in a front end collision and it has some electrical problems, [the cd player doesnt work and sometimes when i turn on the brights i get some interference and i get a buzzing noise in the speakers] the check engine and trac off light have been on since i bought the car...
    i took the speakers out of the car to see if they worked and they do work, and i used a voltage tester on the wiring up to the front speakers and im getting a reading but since the airbag went off in the collison[before i bought the car] im afraid to take the dash off... what can be done to the cd player? and can i reset the check engine/trac off without taking it to a shop? :sick:
  • I have a 1998 Chevy Cavalier, and when it gets hot out the check engine light comes on and while driving in town my temp gauge drops from normal to cold, and when it does that my trans shifts hard. But when the light come on and im driving on the highway nothing esle happen it drives fine. Any sugestions?
  • If you have the Trac Off light coming on at random times and the transmission jumping into low gear here is the answer:

    Replace the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). $30 to $40 if you do it yourself or $70 to $95 if you have a service station do it. Of course you can pay a dealer to do it but they will charge you hundreds of dollars, (just my opinion).
    This will fix all of your problems related to the TRAC OFF light and transmission shifting into low gear.
  • Hi, I was just wondering if you, or anyone, has ever found out what this is about? I have a friend with a 2003 Cavalier with the trac off/check engine lights on. She has also recently had a problem with the coolant system, temp. gauge went way past red, but the car did not seem to actually be overheating. Then it did overheat and she had to have the thermostat and a hose replaced. Now the car only gets up to about 100 degrees and these lights are on. She is very frustrated and has been to two different shops already. All of these problems started after an emissions inspection while she was on a long drive to Ohio. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • My 2004 cavalier has the check engine light blinking. It also idles rough, has a burning smell when the enging runs for a while, it sounds like its going to turn off after i take my foot off the gas pedal, when it first started i had to turn it three times before it finally kicked on. it sounds like it misfires and the car shakes while in idle. it wasn't able to go above 3000 rpms when i last drove it (the only time i drove it since these troubles). I changed the o2 sensor before the cat conv, the spark plugs, and the coil pack and it has the same things wrong with it. A local mechanic looked at it and said he seen milky oil on the dipstick and under the oil cap. he said it may be a blown head gasket. The following codes come up when i scan the vehicle:

    P1137 - Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Bank 1 Sensor 2 Lean System or Low Voltage
    P1138 - Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Bank 1 Sensor 2 Rich or High Voltage
    P1133 - Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Insufficient Switching Bank 1 Sensor 1
    P0137 - O2 Sensor Circuit Low Volts (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
    P0138 - O2 Sensor Circuit High Volts (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
    P0140 - O2 Sensor CKT No Activity (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
    P0136 - O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
    P0300 - Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

    any help with be greatly appreciated, i need my vehicle for work....
  • austin21austin21 Posts: 1
    my check engine light and ets off lights are on. i replaced the tps sensor and it started shifting better. i hooked a code reader up to it but it wasnt any help. anyone have this same problem and if so any suggestions on fixing it
  • caveman55caveman55 Posts: 2
    Im working on an 03 cavalier with a 2.2 ecotec. It idles and runs rough at any speed. Codes were 171 bank 1 lean, 108 map hi input 128 coolant temp not in spec and random misfire. Map was replaced, new plugs, new coil unit. TPS seems to be ok. Pulled the new plugs and they are black seems rich to me not lean. All cylinders are at 205. Any suggestions where to look.

  • My abs light just came on all of a sudden and i had the brakes done a few months ago and the fluid level is full. Anyone know why it would do that? :confuse:
  • I know you posted this a while ago but did you figure out what was wrong with it? My cav is doing the same thing and I don't know what it is. If you do and you could let me know that would be great. Thank you.
  • I found excessive slack in the timing chain and it had jumped a couple of teeth. The timing chain guides were also broken. Check the timing chain ASAP because you can mess up the valves and you'll have to rebuild the head.

    Good luck
  • have 05 simliar trouble, replaced tps, plugs, crank sensor, coil packs etc, just kept throwing money at it, Found out that cavaliers are real sensative to poor grounds..the cable from battery (ground) down to the battery tray was not making a good connection at the tray (body ground) was very rusty, replaced it, the same
    cable goes to the right side of the engine (stud sticking out of engine block) also the 2 wires from the main harness also hook to this stud, they were corrected a little, snipped them off put ona new connector and HOLY CRAP this car never ran this good, no propblems or lights on since.
  • Don't listen to whoever replied to ur question I has the same problem it's the tempature control censor sum people call it coolant control censor and it's about 25
  • It's about $20 try that I'm almost positive
  • so i have 1998 chevy cavalier, the problem is when the weather its cold, when i turn on my car it won't start, so i decided to just turn to run position. And after a while (depend how cold the weather is, sometime it took 10minute,somtime 30minute,sometime 1hour, sometime i need to wait for the sun to sunrise first) then the all lights on the dashboard will on (they are blinking for a while, and needle it was like shaking). So after all the light on, and completely stop blinking, i start to turn on the engine. But it won't start, because the THEFT system light is blinking. And i wait about 10 minute, then the THEFT SYSTEM lights stop blinking. on that time it will start right away. But it's totally diffrent if the weather is warm. if the weather was warm, i just turn on to run position and all the lights on right away and i just turn on the engine and its working. I already change the iginition key for 200$ and 40$ for ignition starter switch . But i still have this problem. PLease kinda help me to fix this problem. i do really appreciated it.
  • fortyfordfortyford Posts: 1
    edited June 2013
    the engine light is off until a few miles down the road and over 40 miles an hour , but when you shut off the motor , and turn back on the light is gone until you are over 40 , does this over and over , the car seems to run just fine with no other issues , anyone have any ideas , taken to autozone , but when the go to check the code the light is gone and they get nothing :confuse:
  • mserymsery Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 cav 2.4 and all three lights were on when i bought it. I found out one of my abs sensors was getting a bad connection. got another plug in and spliced it on. all 3 lights turned off. not saying this is your problem for sure but is pretty easy and cheap solution worth taking a look at
  • loislane999loislane999 Posts: 2
    edited September 2013
    I had the same problem. just got the fuel pump fixed... it will go and sometimes when it stops it wil not hold and it will die. have to restart again. it has 130 miles... is somtehint wrong with it or does this particular vehicle have probs. its either a 1999 or 2000 cavalier..also my ets lights and chk engine lights are on. did not chk if gas cap was tightend
  • for a blown headgasket, try steal seel first at
    its like $90 bucks.

    its worth it. will repair a headgasket that is blown ( not fully blown but worth a try since theres a money bak guarantee. have a mechanic put it in. I did to mine. thanks
Sign In or Register to comment.