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Latest Chevrolet Repair and Repair Manual Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

2003 Chevrolet Venture Heating Problem

Showing 2 out of 11 Posts | Show 9 Hidden Posts
Question From lawden on 2003 Chevrolet Venture Heating Problem

I am currently experiencing a heating problem with my 2003 Chevrolet Venture. When the van is idiling, the heat stops blowing and slowly gets cold. When I start traveling again, the heat begins working again. Coolant levels are ok and all hoses appear to be sealed and in working order. I was told that a valve could be responsible for not keeping the heat in when the car is idiling and then closes when the car begins traveling creating the necessary vaccum pressure to push the heat into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Any ideas what else to look for and to bring the heat back into our car in this most necessary time of the year?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

It's still blowing air right? If coolant flow thru core is weak this could happen. I'd feel the heater hoses and see if there is a sudden drop off in temp along their route. Vacuum may control air direction and a heater control valve in some cars (not sure for this one) but vacuum is higher at idle then going along so that's not the likely problem so far.

Sometimes the water pump impeller itself isn't up to snuff and just needs more RPMs to push coolant around. Personally that problem has never happened with car for me but it has been reported here and elswhere that it in fact can be the source of a problem like that,

T

Response From lawden

Yes, air is still flowing, it is just cold when idling. A visual inspection of the hoses found that they appeared to be o.k., but I must admit that I do not know which hoses are the heater hoses. Any suggestions on where I can find a schematic to determine their placement within the engine compartment? What are my options if coolant flow thru the core is weak? Flush the heater core?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Flushing system would be a good thing anyway. Heater hoses are dang near universal in that input line is 5/8 hose and output 3/4 hose. They should go towards firewall on passenger's side. Usually the input line starts near the water pump and may go thru a heater control valve with either or both electrical controls and a diaphragm to control water flow for selected temps.

The input line would be engine temp (watch that!) and would stay about the same temp to the control valve if used and on to firewall. You might have to wait a bit but if it get cold along the route then something is wrong there. The output hose is less temp if heater is blowing the hot air but could be the same if it can't exchange the heat.

Weak coolant flow for any reason - low coolant, plugged, would result in less heat. Since driving along seems to make it behave then the flow is in question - we know that.

Sometimes things as simple as the pressure cap isn't holding pressure can alter the volume of warm/hot coolant to core. Any air in the system just messes up all diagnosing so you always need to know that's not a factor.

I'm no thinking of a wild variety of problems because you said it behaves when driving along,

T

Response From lawden Top Rated Answer

Ok...The heater core has been flushed with no problems noted. The hoses have been checked signaling proper air flow across the heater core. I was told that a possible check valve might be responsible for the problem. A repair manual has been consulted for the vehicle and no mention of a check valve is made, but the book is not very thorough. Does this vehicle have a check valve and could this be the source of the problem? Thanks for your ongoing help.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Just looked and couldn't find a heater control valve listed for this vehicle?? That would be in line to adjust water flow thru core and not all systems do it that way. I think this uses an electrical actuator for a temp blend door in distribution box plenum. I would think if that wasn't diverting desired air flow % thru heater core it would be warmer at low speeds so let's not make that conclusion quite yet.

Feel the in and out hoses to the core when it's idling and blowing cold. Are then both hot or both cold? Then try lowest fan but highest heat request and rev up to about 1,500 RPM and see if hoses warm and air get warm in cabin.

Let's see if we can narrow down the possibilities of what's up with this,

T

Response From lawden

Tom,
Recently the van has now began to leak antifreeze. I had a mechanic look at it and say that it is the intake gaskets that need replaced. I had these replaced in Nov. of 2006. Do they need replaced already? I called around for a service quote and was told anywhere from $500-$1300 with the dealerships winning the upward total (suprising I know). Does this sound right?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

The intake manifold gasket are somewhat common and there was or is a settlement with GM about this - check on that for the cost of the first round. I've never heard of this twice! OE gasketing stunk and the OE dex-cool was blamed for problems with the whole cooling system not just gaskets.

Quote of $1300 seems way too high! What was to be done with that? $500 around here would be more like it - perhaps less. Gasket are cheap - it's a labor thing. Aftermarket gaskets are frequently better than originals in my experience.

Check on that GM/DexCool settlement. All I know is that the V8s were excluded for some reason?? Something with the Dex-cool anti-freeze was different and caused plugging up of things real early. I've not seen it in person but there are tons of pics of fairly new GM V6 and some others with gummy rust that would collect even at the radiator caps and showed dismantled engines that were a nightmare.

You might find the pic at www.GoHTSN.com - I think they discuss the problems. Hope you keep records. This could be one of those problems?? Look for gunk at the radiator cap for now and something has to give with it leaking anyway. You do not have to use the OE Dex-cool anti-freeze again as far as I know. I won't again,

T

Response From Tom Greenleaf

http://www.gohtsn.com/article_1084.shtml


That should hav info on the settlement,

T

Response From lawden

Thanks, the first time I had it done, I thought I would be good for more than the year and a half it has been since it was replaced. Now looking at another repair bill, this is getting tiring. I think that this is probably the source of my heating problems as well. What will the settlement mean for me? I have only used Dex-Cool antifreeze because that is what the manual said to use. What do you recommend I use from now on? I will not use it anymore if I don't have to.

Thanks for your help

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Des-Cool is still an "EG" anti-freeze - 'Ethylene-Glycol' based product. It first claimed it didn't need to be changed for 5 years and it's a different color as you know. In general it's best to ge with what a manufacturer suggests for a vehicle and that's where GM got caught up as there apparently were enough problems with it's properties to cause real engine problems associated with not controlling corrosion.

For some time engines have used more alloys and things that needed extra help and along comes this product and the vehicles clearly stated to use only that in them.

I've seen the pics of engines torn down that showed incredible build up and damage that ruined parts that would ordinarily last the life of a vehicle.

With anti-freeze the level of freeze protection does not expire with EG but the additives do. I have dealt with vehicles off new car warranties and read the product claims looking for "Meets or exceeds new car requirements" and have done well with that.

I'm seeing brand name products with no color added with claims to be compatible with the other EG based products out there and will start using that with the next change out/flush when vehicles are past warranty.

The gasket problems have happened to many of these vehicles but I was blaming that on the original gasket and still have not seen the damage that this original anti-freeze is blamed for causing. You are the first I've heard of with a second go around with the gasket - and with a 5 or so year old vehicle!! Something isn't right with that!

T

Locating Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From vwchest on Locating Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)

Year of vehicle: 1994
Make of vehicle (Ford/ Chevrolet): Ford
Model of vehicle ( Taurus/ Cavalier): Taurus LX Sedan
Engine size (2.0/ 5.7): 3.8L V6 EFI
Mileage/Kilometer: 206000 miles
Automatic Transmission

I am trying to find the exact location of the VSS on this car. I am a "shade-tree" mechanic and have very limited resources. AutoZone's component locations said: on transmission. Chilton Auto Repair manual said to remove HEGO (oxygen sensor?), Y-tube exhaust pipe, and VSS heat shield on 1992-1995 models implying VSS is on the rear, lower, and central area of the engine. I have rubber-necked and crawled around with a flashlight trying to verify that I can see the VSS before I go disassembling anything. Anything exhaust means rust and tight as hades nuts and possibly breaking stuff. I really want 100% confidence of VSS location before I act. Access to anything on this car requires miniature size and hydraulic strength (haha) but her 206000 miles attests that I like it and shes durable and possibly that I'm cheap. Also would like to know if there are any special considerations when removing and installing the VSS. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Wayne Chestnut

Response From way2old Top Rated Answer

Here is adrawing of it's location. Good luck.


2006 chevy cobalt erractic idle

Showing 6 out of 7 Posts | Show 1 Hidden Posts
Question From Clayton1000 on 2006 chevy cobalt erractic idle

Hello. I have a 2006 Chevrolet cobalt, engine 2.2, mileage 110,000. My cars idle fluctuates and sometimes stalls.
This problem has started about 6 months ago and has gradually gotten worse. There has been no trouble codes from the computer. When I press on the gas the car hesitates for a moment and the runs great. I have the Haynes repair manual which which suggests checking the PCV system. It's instructions lacks clarity so here i am asking for help on this forum.

Following the books instructions i removed the PCV hose and checked for a vacuum? Which port? On the engine port or the air intake system port? I put a vacuum gauge to the engine port and I got a very slow pulsating pressure increase which is normal to me as blow by past the piston rings. If there is supposed to be a vacuum at the engine port (in the crankcase?) as the book implied, where is this vacuum coming from? I did not finish this test and will later check to see I have a vacuum at the air intake system port which I think would be normal.

Nothing that has been done to this car has shown an improvement. Here is what has been done in the last couple days. The MAP sensor has been replaced from a junkyard. The MAF sensor has been removed and cleaned twice with a spray can of MAF cleaner. I sprayed the throttle body with a spray can of carburetor and choke cleaner. Here is what has been done in the last 6 months. A new air filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs. If I hit the problem will I see an immediate improvement? Does the computer need to be cleared by disconnecting the battery?

Any suggestions to help me solve this erratic idle problem will be greatly appreciated.

Response From Discretesignals

You should take it to a shop that can access datastream information. Looking at datastream information might give some clues as to what is going on. They could also smoke check the engine for vacuum leaks that you may not see using conventional methods.

Response From Clayton1000

Thank you for responding!

As I went to complete the testing for the PCV system I noticed that the air intake had oil inside. The engine was sucking oil into the air intake through the PCV hose. I checked the engine oil level and the oil level was above the max mark on the dipstick. The car was taken to a garage that does nothing but change the oil. The car was almost due for an oil change. They said that this engine takes 5 QTS of oil and put 5 QTS of oil in the engine. After the oil change I checked the book and they were right, this engine takes 5 QTS. I checked the dipstick over and over again and the oil level was above the max mark on the dipstick. The next day I drained just over a QT of oil out of the engine putting the oil level on the dipstick ¾ of the way full. I wiped the oil out of the air intake. I took a toothbrush and carburetor cleaner and cleaned OIL out of the throttle body. The car now idles perfectly.

Take care Clayton

Response From Hammer Time

This engine takes 5 quarts with the filter. Running it low will do harm to the engine.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Clayton - some questions, thoughts about this: I can't think of anything more important to an engine than proper oil, oil pressure and level. It is TOTALLY worth paying attention to and always was. Changing it on manufacturer's schedule listed in car's manual OR many will suggest 3 months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first.

Seems everyone is pretty sure that 5 quarts with filter is the proper amount.

I'm still concerned that you found oil in the intake. To me that's a terrible sign and worth total investigation as to why. Many PCV systems operate on the same basic ideas for decades on end now. Some blow by is going to happen such that all that fumes in crankcase sealed areas are polluted air with oil mist frequently in it so the idea is to burn that off in a metered manner that a PCV valve does using manifold vacuum. It also should separate out oil mist as a system and pick up filtered air in some manner to replace the vapor removed done in assorted ways but to achieve the same goal.

When/if blow by exceeds what the PCV system is burning off you can get pressure instead of slight vacuum in crankcase sealed areas that are all thru up to the valve cover(s) and any remote oil fill caps and so on. When pressure is there either clogged PCV hose to it or however done many can send the mist backwards ending up in a puddle that you did just spill there.

It's not my place in this world to bash the oil change only places but they haven't had the best history at least local to me when the idea became popular and no argument it's handy for customer's.

The scare is some are advertising how fast they can change oil down to a 10 minute guarantee! WHAT! Have come to find out they are sucking oil out thru dipstick tubes not even touching a drain plug! Now I'm more scared and can't believe that gets all of it or dependable vehicle by vehicle types. Marine engines using automotive type engines did plan on that - different reasons and not this issue.

There's a chance of getting the wrong dipstick IMO with this rat race oil changing. Drain plugs stripped, caps left off. Wrong fluids put in topping things off, leaving an oil filter gasket stuck on engine from old one and the list goes on.

Can you change your own oil at least once letting it drain for a good while, filter too, measure and know you have the exact amount, run engine to circulate then let it sit level for at least 15 minutes and see if it's on the right mark?

I've done that to all (100s over the years) of my own assorted vehicles all used and found many wrong to WAY wrong! Would even purposely only fill to read one quart low and see if that mark is right too. You can't do that in quick change places - no time for it. That was also to check if ones with an oil level warning system really warned you if you were really ONE quart low. Most don't! Has to be more than one quart too low if they work so I don't trust that bull on new or older vehicles.

One more and enough of this novel - sorry. The dipstick is also a seal for the crankcase.

The subject is too important to ignore. Too many perfectly good engines have been destroyed by things going wrong,

T

Response From Clayton1000 Top Rated Answer

Thank you all for responding!


Even though I stated earlier that this car is MY car, its not really and I was not the one who regularly checked the fluids. With that being said, I have no comparisons as to whether or not there was an issue with the oil level right after an oil change in the past.

This car has had regular oil changes (every 3000 miles) at the same oil change business. I am suspicious that their oil regulator that they set to 5 qt s may be faulty or the guy in the pit did not let all the old oil drain out and I had not returned there to inform them about this issue. I would suspect that they would have been aware this by now if this has been an ongoing problem for 6 months.

I have continued to check the oil and the oil level is still at 2/3 up to the full mark on the dipstick. When it comes to a choice between the book specification or the dipstick I can't ignore the dipstick. This car was purchased 2nd hand with very low mileage and the previous owner was a car rental business. With this having been said I'm finding it hard to believe that this car has the wrong dipstick. The car has continued to idle perfectly and no oil in the air intake. I have not found a reason to believe that engine coolant is ending up in the oil pan.


The next oil change will be done at home so we can see if there is a problem with the oil capacity.


Here's something interesting to consider!


When I took the car to the oil change place I told them that I'm troubleshooting a rough idle problem and their reply was we see a lot of that with this model.
I was told by employee at an automobile auction that every Chevy Cobalt that passed through there had a rough idle problem.


Take care Clayton

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Quote ">>I was told by employee at an automobile auction that every Chevy Cobalt that passed through there had a rough idle problem. "

Perhaps the have a propensity was told by employee at an automobile auction that every Chevy Cobalt that passed through there had a rough idle problem. Is this to say they make the same mistakes over and over or are better trained at excuses?

Agreed, the dipsticks are the way to go to be sure but know it's the right dipstick.

BTW - if coolant was getting into oil it would froth up like a milk shake. Fuel can get into oil and make it so thin and too full you get cylinder wash/wear and destroy an engine.

If they have faulty equipment and are not checking it's negligence on their part. Makes you wonder if they are motivated to care,

T

2000 Cavalier: Electrical Loss

Showing 4 out of 4 Posts
Question From DustinM on 2000 Cavalier: Electrical Loss

2000 Chevrolet Cavalier, 2.2L 4cyl, 125,000mi

This past weekend I changed the starter on my car. During this process I made the error of not marking what wires were coming from which post. After getting the wires crossed a couple times, letting some sparks (from the neg. post) fly when I reconnected the battery, I finally got it wired correctly and it starts.

The real problem is that my alternator is now not putting out any voltage. I tried several things but my multimeter kept coming up 0.0 off the back of the alternator. I took it off and ran it to my local auto parts store where they bench tested it, and it passed. I brought it back home, put it back on, tried multiple times and still 0.0 on the volts. I went back and bought a new alternator and it doesn't put anything out either. Still 0.0 volts off the bolt on the back.

I'm just at a loss on this one. I've had my car almost 10 years and this is the first trouble it's ever given me. Does anyone have any ideas at all why even a brand new alternator will not put out any volts? My only suspicion is that my problem may have something to do with the plug on the top of my alternator. I don't know what it is or where it goes. The wiring schematic in my repair manual says it goes to the powertrain control module.. again, over my head, but I'm not sure this would have anything to do with it.

Again, I'm just at a loss for ideas and I'd really like to not have to take it in somewhere being as I'm already several hundred dollars in on new parts. Does anyone have any ideas on a fix, or things I might be able to try? Any information or suggestions would be awesome. Thanks!!

Dustin
Springfield, Mo

(Post intact - just removed hyperlinks)

Response From DustinM

I ended up taking it to a shop that just does auto electric and as it turns out, I had a couple wires on my starter crossed. They rewired it and sent me on my way, problem solved.

Response From James_85_jr

the main charging wire on some cars hook up to the battery cable on the starter you can trace the wire from the hot post on the battery to the starter then from the same post on the starter back up to the post on the back of your alternator.

i have had the same problem on a pontiac grand am and ended up running a heavy wire strait from the back of the alternator to the hot post on the battery.

hope this helps

Response From nickwarner Top Rated Answer

I had an identical issue with an Oldsmobile, and after a lot of cursing and pinning wires found that the wire supplying voltage to the field coils ran off the starter battery terminal as suggested previously. What I didn't realize is it had a fusible link in it which fried. Have a look and see if you have the same thing.