My son just saved up a couple hundred dollars & bought his first car; '98 Cavalier LS.It runs great, BUT when it’s idoling(sp.?) it knocks so bad that it shakes the car,(not like a loose rod but like a loose motor mount), If it’s idoling more than a minute, it starts smelling like gas and the temperature will go way up. My son would like to try and fix the problem himself. Any ideas on what’s wrong or suggestions on how to fix ? Thanks.Mom with little money.
Try removing the plug wires one at a time when its idling and see if it makes a difference. If you can isolate the cylinder that’s bad, you can do the repair. It might be a dead spark plug. I have had them act this way. I do understand the money, I am retired (disabled) and need to do all my own work now. A good investment might be the Haynes Repair manual for that car. If you son will read it, he can learn a lot about the vehicle and cars in general. It’s hard to find a good mechanic anyway and impossible to find one you can afford.
Isn’t your check engine light on? If so, get the trouble code read free at a car parts store, Autozone; possibly others.