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Discussion Starter #1
I really need to spend more time on here. I feel bad for always asking, but not answering anyone elses problems. But again... I have a problem.

Yesterday morning it was probably 30F, and when I tried starting my car it would just crank but no run. Four tries later it starts but runs like shit. Tried it again, started but again, ran like shit. The day before it ran like a dream no signs of it hiccuping. Redid my timing chain 1000 miles ago since one of the cams (don't know which) were a couple teeth retarded, and my car got its balls back.

Symptoms:
-The tach show the rpm barely fluctuating.
-It doesn't idle worth shit.
-Acceleration is a joke, 0-30 in 30 seconds.
-It would seem its running lean, but its really running really rich.
-I got a P0300 (Random Misfire) that is it.
-And now my catalytic converter is glowing cherry red now.

Anyways changed spark plugs & the coil pack so far. No dice. Well I'm at my stepdads garage trying to diagnose it, so any help in the mean time would be appreciated.

Other Possibilities:
Fuel Injectors Leaking/Stuck Open?
Bad Fuel Regulator
Is there a cold start valve?
EVAP or PCV stuck open.

Any other ideas? Thanks.
 

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Burning hot Cat would lead me to believe a extreme rich condition, unburned gas in the cat heating up. Check Fuel pressure regulator, compression on all 4 cylinders, Make sure you are firing on all 4 cylinders (even though you replaced the plugs etc.) you may not be getting fire to one of the cylinders. Pull the plugs after it runs and see if any are fouled with fuel or any running lean and one that looks normal or semi black. Start small and work your way up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well Plug #1 & #4 tips had a heavy black soot. Plug #2 & 3 look decent. Although #3 was cross-threaded before putting in the last plugs, but somehow manage just to retain enough thread for it. Since I took #3 out this time, I have no thread, and my fear right now is if I got metal shavings from the last time crack something. IDK, I got a "fix-a-thread" insert, but I'm more scared that the damage has already been done. :worried: I mean it runs that bad. I don't think I have a choice but to remove the head... My ignorance will probably make me retap it. I hate my car, she was cursed from the get-go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well same story for plugs I put in the afternoon. The #1 and #4 plugs are showing that they are running hot, while #2 is clean. So what's up with this? #1 & #4 cylinders run upward in sequence together, but on different strokes. While #2 & #3 run downward in sequence, but different strokes. So -- who am I kidding anyway. I'm still stumped. Nothing but brainfarts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well something leaves me to believe that my vehicle has cracked fuel injectors. My car is consuming 4X the amount of necessary fuel (40mph in 4th gear usually is 45-55mpg; now its only getting ~13mpg). '06 Cobalt 2.2 & my VIN falls in the effected category of that Fuel Injector Recall. Sounds like this is the problem?
 

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Been said before but it needs to be repeated....check you ECM for codes! The ECM has a self diagnostic system that will store codes to help identify the problem. Without them all we can do over the internet is give "shots in the dark".

Had a similar problem on a Buick -- cherry red hot exhaust headers (factory headers) -- turned out to be the MAF. Again this was on that Buick -- may not be the same on the Cobalt.

Get a code reader ~ $60 -$100.
 

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I would check for spark on all 4 cylinders and make sure they are all equal and a strong blue spark. Second, I would do a compression test on all four cylinders. If you have good spark and compression than go test the fuel injectors. Make sure 2&3 are actually dumping fuel or not. A scanner would be the best bet right now to watch the MAF, TPS, Cylinders 1-4, and see if the O2 sensor is working correctly. You need to verify the problem by starting from point A to point B. The basics are essential before you jump to conclusions. Verify spark to the plugs, compression in cylinders, correct fuel out of each injector, proper MAF, TPS, O2 sensor readings. The O2 sensor will tell ALOT if you know what you are looking at using a scanner.
 

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DTC P0300 -- Condition for setting a P0300: The ECM is detecting a crankshaft rotation speed variation indicating a misfire sufficient to cause emission levels to exceed mandated standards.

Check for other codes TOO! If it is ignition related there would/could be additional codes.

It does not have to be an ignition problem to set this code.
Check:
vacuum hoses (brake booster for example)
crankcase ventilation system (hose from VC to intake, PCV hole inside intake manifold)
wiring grounds, loose connections
Exhaust system restrictions (Cat clear?)
Fuel contaminants (alcohol can set it - any chance you ran E85 in it?)

One of the first steps in diagnosing this problem (according to the factory service manual) is to accomplish a crankshaft position system variation learn procedure -- best done by a technician with the right tools.

Service manual (06 cobalt, vol 2, page 6-1562 - 2.2L): P0300 Diagnostic Aids. You must perform the CKP system variation learn procedure before proceeding with this diagnostic table. Did your dealer do this?
 

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Exhaust system restrictions (Cat clear?)

I agree with that statement ... if you read my prior post if you know what you are looking for using a scan tool than the O2 sensors can tell you alot. I believe there is one before the cat and one after the cat. You need to watch these BOTH!

Also follow what RED07SSNA said as well. He's right on with the code!
 

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i was getting the same code but my cat wasnt glowing but it was running sluggish i was getting gas from a place that sold 10 % ethanol i switched to 100% gas and havent had a prob since
 

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Just a craniums-up...found this on Cobaltss.net:

#08-06-04-046: EI08325 - Intermittent Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) - Check Engine Light On, Reduced Engine Performance, DTCs P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303 or P0304 Set (Engineering Information) - (Oct 6, 2008 )


Subject: EIXXXXX -- Intermittent Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) -- Check Engine Light On, Reduced Engine Performance, DTCs P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303 or P0304 Set (Engineering Information)


Models: 2007-2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR

2007-2008 Pontiac G5, G6, Solstice

2007-2008 Saturn SKY

with 2.2L or 2.4L Engine (VINs F, B -- RPOs L61, LE5)



Attention: Proceed with this bulletin ONLY if the customer has commented about this concern AND the EI number is listed in GMVIS. If the customer has not commented about this condition or the EI does not show in GMVIS, disregard the bulletin and proceed with diagnostics found in published service information. THIS IS NOT A RECALL -- refer to Service Bulletin 04-00-89-053B for more details on the use of Engineering Information bulletins.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Condition
Important: If the customer did not bring their vehicle in for this concern, DO NOT proceed with this bulletin.

Some customers may comment on a intermittent MIL/check engine light illuminated. The customer may also comment about poor engine performance.

A scan tool may reveal one or more of the following DTCs stored:

• P0300

• P0301

• P0302

• P0303

• P0304

Cause
This condition may be caused by water intrusion into the spark plug well.

GM Engineering is attempting to determine the root cause of the water intrusion. Engineering has a need to gather information on vehicles that may exhibit this condition. As a result, this information will be used to "root cause" this concern and develop/validate a field fix.

Instructions
If a vehicle is encountered with the above condition, please follow the steps listed below prior to performing any repairs.

Remove the ignition coil and inspect for presence of water in the spark plug well.
If water is not present, visually inspect the boot and spark plug for signs of rust.
If there is evidence of water intrusion, contact the engineer listed below for additional instructions.
The engineer may want the camshaft cover, ignition coil, and spark plug. Parts will be requested back using the WPC return process. Do not ship parts until a request form has been received from the WPC.


This says 07-08, I know the OP has an 06 but it's something to look for. Take a look in your spark plug wells for evidence of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Problem Solved

I really despise the people who ask for an answer to a problem, but they don't follow up after they figured it out. I got over my dealershipphobia disorder, I took it in.

They found out it was a bad ignition control module. Those hot spark plugs were actually what was keeping my car running. The remaining spark plugs that remained clean were the misfiring cylinders. Who would have thought? Should have went with KTOHIO's idea to actually look for sparks. Coil-on-plug just took that motivation away.

The ICM must of fried or the cold weather cracked a connection. Or the coil pack that had a crack in it could have shorted it. Not for sure.

Also my thermostat must have been stuck open. That would explain why my car was running 150-170 deg. I don't know what the culprit really was, but its fixed for $578.

P.S. I definitely cannot take my third spark plug out. It's like hanging on by single thread, a single crossthread that is.
 

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ecm

hey i have a 06 cobalt 2.2 and i had the exact same problems. Im pretty sure that it has to do with the ecm. my car is in the dealership right now because i replaced every possible problem except the ecm. has your car ever thrown a p0128 code? cuz that would tell me for sure
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, as much as I would love to blame the computer for everything, the truth is that the PCM is unlikely to cause problems. But it still can happen. The only way to blame the ECM/PCM is if you have a Tech 2 scanner. If you take it to a dealership and the PCM really is the problem, they will not tell you and charge you for another part. Depending if its glitched or actually damaged, a manufacturer can be held liable for frequent occurrence or even federal emission violations. Sources include a GM tech, and a servicing manager for Dodge. Newly engineered vehicles, such as 05-06 Cobalts, will have a higher risk of malfunction. That's why when you take your vehicle in a dealership they have "PCM flash updates" to prevent further issues. The only PCM problem I heard of is getting stuck in the open-loop. BCM (Body Control Module) has been known to make Cobalts flip out, such as doors locking & unlocking by themselves, lights turning on and off, and a dashboard warning light show. On the other hand, '05 and early '06 cobalts do not heavily rely on sensors. Cobalts rarely need special tools, and its about possible to repair anything. Don't get me wrong. It's not only GM that has these problems, but Chrysler, Ford, Toyotas, and even BMWs also do. Welcome to the 21st Century!


Even though I'm answering a week later, I did have a P0128, and the thermostat was changed. I doubted the thermostat needed changed, because running on two cylinders, the engine isn't going to run a normal temp. A P0128 by itself probably means the thermostat is stuck open. Or unlikely, a coolant temp sensor.
 

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My car is now having the same problem, ran fine on the way to work, got down to about 20 degrees that night. tried to start it and nothing turned it over a couple more times and it ran like crap, it vibrated like a tank. got it home and checked the plugs the #2 and #3 plugs were black. hooked it up to a code reader and it said miss fire in all or random cylinders. Is it worth it to buy the coil pack or get the ignition conrol module first?
 
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