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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I inherited a free 2010 Chevy Cobalt L from a friend a month ago. It has 108,000 miles and so far the only service I've had done is an oil change and a valve had to be replaced in the transmission.

Since then it runs great, the mechanic even told me the car was in good condition and it had been serviced regularly.

That takes me to last week:

After a fill up of gas, the car was idling strange and the "yellow engine light came on" so I took it in since it was due for an oil change. The mechanic said it could be some bad gas or if I didn't tighten the gas cap correctly. Upon examination, the gas cap really was bad, stripped and not sealing correctly. So, I went to Auto Zone and bought a replacement gas cap. As soon as I replaced the cap, the car seemed to idle much better and the engine light went off. The guy at Chevy also told me to ad some "Octane Booster" since the gas could have a bit of moisture in it.

I bought a bottle, added it and the car very quickly improved.

Fast forward to today:

Again yesterday I bought some cheap gas and filled up, no problems until this morning. On the way back and forth doing errands it was fine. Then, as I left for Wal-Mart, it began to idle even worse than before. It was "lurching" a bit and acting like it wanted to stall, only when idling. Since then I went to Wal-mart, shut it off, went in and completed my errands. Upon leaving, it was idling fine, purring and nice and quiet, however, the "yellow engine light" is back on and has been staying on.

I'm going to monitor it and see if it doesn't go off. So, not sure if anyone has any ideas or has experienced anything similar" I wondered at first if maybe a plug wire or plug was or is going bad, because it was "missing" a little. However, no I'm just wondering if it could be some crappy gas that has moisture in it. However, now it seems like it's idling as it should.....this is really weird

Any idears?:weird:
 

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Get the code read and come back. Might be a sticky cam actuator.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope actually...it's something entirely different..

I went to get gas and noticed the gas cap was very loose. So I called my wife and she said: "We just got gas yesterday had 3/4's of a tank, and we now have less than a quarter"

Somebody stole gas from me, either earlier this morning or last night. I filled up, tightened the gas cap, light went off, no problems runs like a charm. We are gonna by the gas cap with the key....should've bought that one and not this cheaper one..

Stealing gas!!?? My sister told me last week she thought she noticed she had less gas, has this ever happened to you?
 

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Time to set-up a motion activated camera. Then again they might steal that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Actually, I've since had to get gas a few times and am still getting an intermitent "check engine light"
Well, stoppd into "Auto Zone" and had the codes read. I'm getting a P0010 code and a P0011 code...you mentioned something about a sticky cam actuator?

Code P0010:
Intake camshaft position ( CMP ) actuator solenoid -
The EMC has detected a fault in the camshaft actuator solenoid circuit bank

Probable cause ( it says on the print out )
1. Open or short circuit condition bank actuator solenoid circuit
2. Failed actuator solenoid bank
3. ECM fault


Code P0011
Intake camshaft position ( CMP ) system performance bank. The ECM has detected the desired camshaft position and the actual position do not agree -

Probable Cause:

1. Open or short condition
2. Mechanical condition with CMP actuator
3. Failed CMP actuator solenoid
4. Low oil level


according to "US News Best Cars" here "should" be the price for repair including replacement and labor:

Repair Cost Estimate:

Averages between $153 to $235
Labor: $102 - $131
Parts: $51 - $104
Parts Needed: Camshaft Position Sensor

Common Misdiagnosis:

A camshaft position sensor code isn't always triggered by a defective camshaft position sensor. It can be triggered by other issues, such as a worn timing belt or timing chain, or a defective ignition module, crank shaft position sensor, or mass air flow sensor.


So, any ideas on what the repairs would be like a guestimate? I read somewhere on another forum that these sensors are easy to replace and get to? I haven't noticed any oil leaking underneath and I actually just got an oil change recently, not even a week and a half ago ( since it was due.

So any ideas, course of action. Luckily I have a back up vehicle since I start a new job next Monday. Any advice is welcome...
 

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Check wiring first but these are notorious if you go too long between oil changes. Intake cam actuator is about $30-$35 and easily changed (one bolt)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Well, the car was given to us by a close friend, he told me he kept up with the service on it. When I got it in August I got an oil change on it, and just recently another one after 3,000 miles. Because of the cars age and because oil changes are cheap, I'm sticking with every 3,000 on changing the oil, so I JUST had the oil changed and I don't see any leaks or any pools of leaky oil or fluid of any kind under the vehicle.

I just called a shop and they charge $57 bucks just to diagnose ( Chevy charges $89 ) but if it's as simple as you say to change?

Any links on the part I need and illustrations on how to change the sensor?


I just checked the oil level and it looks good, it's right where it should be, oil looks fine as well... Like I said, I've changed the oil in twice already since I've had it ( 2nd week of August ) since I'm changing every 3,000. The entire engine has some kind of a plastic covering over it.
 

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Okay, first of all if you check the owner's manual it suggest synthetic and the oil monitor is calibrated for synthetic. Synthetic oil doesn't tar up like dinosaur oil. The problem that these actuators have seen is just that tar accumulating inside the solenoid and jamming it tight. Changing is as simple as one bolt. remove cover, remove bolt and connector, pull actuator out and reverse procedure.

http://www.gmpartsgiant.com/parts/gm-valve-12655420.html?Make=Chevrolet&Model=Cobalt&Year=2010&Submodel=&Filter=()
 

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I am having this exact problem. Sorry to bump, but where is this on a 2010 cobalt? This problem has been coming and going the past month.
 

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If you take the black engine cover off you will see the 2 actuators sticking out to the left in the galley between both camshafts .
 

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Thank you for your help. I need to go back to my friend and get him to run the codes. I forget which sensors are action up. I found the actuators thanks to you. Looks really easy. Hopefully this fixes my problem.
 

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Hi. Long time lurker, first time poster.

How difficult is it the remove the engine cover? I have a 2009 g5 with the 2.2 ecotec.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

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Only 2 spigot hold it. Yank strait up from rear left and front right.
 
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