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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Problem

Okay so about 5 months ago I put 10W-40 oil in my car by mistake. I drove with it for a little while, but then when it got cold in the evening or early morning my car wouldn't start. The engine tried to stay, but it would just shake a lot. So I changed that right away and it was fine after that.

My recent oil change, the deal i was buying only had 4 quarts of 10W-30, so I used 1 quart of 10W-40. The guy at autozone said it shouldn't be a problem. It's been fine for about 1000 miles so far - a two hour interstate drive immediately followed the oil change.

About a week ago, going up my steep driveway, the engine starting shaking violently again and I had complete loss of power. The engine would barely rev. I got out to look under the hood, and the entire engine was shaking. It slowed quickly until it stopped, and then I was able to drive fine. Today on the interstate, I sped up quickly to about 70. I noticed the tone of my engined changed - it got really deep and gargly sounding. I also had a loss of power, and the check engine light flashed on and off. I slowed down, and it stopped - went about 60, but I could tell the engine tone was deeper and I had less power.I made it home, no CEL right now, but still a deep gargly tone and loss of power. I have a custom SRI which is actually a little bit loose. Could this be the problem (obviously an easy fix which i'm going to do tonight when my engine cools) or is it more likely the oil? or something else?

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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 02:36 PM
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I had this problem when I was doing the tune on my car and my buddy didnt put the hose clamp on the TB but just above it creating an air leak. The entire engine shook and idle was really rough. It's a place to start.

---------- Post added at 03:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:35 PM ----------

^on the intake, I did not specify that part
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 02:44 PM
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Any air not metered by the MAF sensor will cause problems with fuel mixture. Make sure no air leaks in between throttle body mouth and airbox. If you have a leak engine will lean out and lose power.

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that actually makes a lot of sense. The intake is much more lose than it should be, so for now I'm going to assume that is the problem. Especially because I can hear such a difference in the sound.

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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So i took the SRI off and put it back on, making sure everything was still sealed and tight. Took it for a drive, and still the same problem. It's really gargly when I rev, and then when I accelerate it shifts later and tops out way before it should. I gunned it up the hill and lost power once I got to about 40 to 45. The CEL flashed on and off, but once I stopped accelerating and coasted for a bit it stayed off. Seems to be fine when I drive slowly and accelerate very slowly.

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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 08:12 PM
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Get the code read! You will have pending codes and history codes. Your CAT might be plugged.

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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bbqdhamster View Post
So i took the SRI off and put it back on, making sure everything was still sealed and tight. Took it for a drive, and still the same problem. It's really gargly when I rev, and then when I accelerate it shifts later and tops out way before it should. I gunned it up the hill and lost power once I got to about 40 to 45. The CEL flashed on and off, but once I stopped accelerating and coasted for a bit it stayed off. Seems to be fine when I drive slowly and accelerate very slowly.

Not saying you should lose power because of what you did, but the Cobalt has a feature which learns the primary drivers habbits, if you did what you said you did, it could cause a CEL, which usually goes away when getting back into normal habbits (Source of information: Dealership) , my brother in law always caused a CEL whenever he borrowed my Cobalt, it would go away as soon as I drive for a few minutes.

If you had an air leak, after the MAF sensor (additional air been taken on that is not measured by the MAF sensor, as Coby mentioned) you would also get bad shifting also, very jumpy. (If you have nice smooth shifting, an air leak is probably not your issue).

The losing power is an issue however, you should always use the correct oil, I believe its 5-30. (not saying oil caused it, just saying...).

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Last edited by johnccc; 05-02-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I wasn't sure if I would still be able to get my code read if the CEL wasn't on - I'll do that for sure.

I think it's unlikely that driving habits has anything to do with it - the problem occurred when I was driving normally.

I'm thinking it's still some type of air leak. The shifting is not smooth when I accelerate quickly.

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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:32 PM
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Something caused it to go into LIMP mode. Check throttle body make sure that there isn't something foreign in there messing with things(Happened to me). If your not hearing any knocking then your internals should be fine. Cant really tell anything till you get those codes read


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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:54 PM
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U said your CAI was home made, how well sealed is the mate between MAF and inlet pipe? Is MAF in deep enough? Do you still have OEM intake? That would eliminate air leaks.

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