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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow Cobalt owners,
Greetings. I am new to the forum so forgive me if this has been asked before. I am having an issue and was wondering if there were some Internet mechanics that could steer me in the right direction. I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with 173k miles. I bought it used 5 years ago and it has been a great car for me with minimum issues. This morning it was around 10 degrees out and when I went out to start my car it would rev up and attempt to start but ultimately it wouldn't turn over. I assumed this was due to cold and figured potentially it could be a battery issue. This evening I jumped the battery and got the car to turn over. The problem is that it started shaking horribly and sounded as though it was on its last leg. I assumed that maybe it was an issue with my alternator but when using a voltage meter everything checked out fine
During this ordeal a check engine also popped on and isn't staying steady but instead is flashing. My next step is going to be to get the code read tomorrow morning (if the car will make it the mile trip to Auto Zone) but I was just curious if anyone had encountered anything like this or had some sort of idea what it could potentially be. The only other outliner I noticed was that yesterday while driving home it seemed like the vehicle was using more gas than normal (with it being a floating gauge that's hard to tell but I drive the same route every day for 5 years and it had always been consistent). Thanks again everyone for giving the time to read this and provide any feedback and I will report back with the code.
 

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A flashing check engine light usually means the engine is misfiring. Has the timing chain tensioner ever been replaced? It could be possible that the timing chain developed enough slack due to wear and jumped a tooth.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion LS i will check into that. Regarding the codes, I received 3 error codes related to the throttle (P1516, P2101, P0121) and another code regarding the misfire (P1516). With doing some research it looks like it is a throttle body issue so I am going to clean/replace if its filthy and see if that will do the trick. My question is does anyone know if my car has the ability inside for the computer system to learn the changes or would I need to take it to a Chevy dealership to be relearned? Any feedback or any other suggestions would be truly appreciated.
 

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I believe that if you get an identical throttle body (i.e. one made for that L61 engine), then you shouldn't need to have to computer updated to accept the throttle body. If you were replacing it with a different throttle body (like one from the LSJ engine) then the computer would need to be updated, but there's no reason to use a different throttle body unless you're looking to increase the horsepower.

I don't know about the misfire though. Probably not if the issue gets fixed, but I'm not 100% on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All,
Just wanted to share my final verdict. So after driving around the block last night i noticed that the car was smoking pretty bad and it seemed to be coming from the Cat Converter. The Cat was getting extremely hot to the point it was starting to melt some of the insulation around it. I take it to an exhaust shop this morning and they test it and sure enough the Cat was showing an extremely high temp like it was clogged or something of that nature. I was working out the details on the pricing etc (wasn't going to be cheap at all) and in a last ditch effort we decided to test the engine coil (the shop had a spare one laying around from an engine replacement done on a Malibu with the same etech engine). No sooner than putting that on did the car fire back up and regain full power, and the check engine light stopped flashing. I have since drove it around 70 miles and its running better than it has in years. Long story short it ended up being the engine coil going bad that was causing all of my problems. If it hadn't been for the shop having a spare one just laying around, i would of dropped 500 bucks on a Cat that didn't even need to be replaced. Sometimes its good to be a little lucky.
 

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Good to hear everything's in working order! Thanks for posting what you found out. I'm sure it'll help someone in the future.

Also, for your own reference, ZZP sells replacement cats for much less than $500. Welding the replacement in would cost more than the cat, but I'm fairly certain labor shouldn't be more than ~$200/hr.

Catalytic Converters - Exhaust
 
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