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Mechanic Mystery Problem- car shuts off?

I recently bought a 2001 Chevy Cavalier with 85,000 miles in October 2014. Since that time, I’ve fixed the brakes, done emissions testing, etc. But recently the car started to act funny: the trac off and engine light would appear and then the shift between 1 / 2 gear or 2 / 3 would rev up high. I’d stop, pull over, turn off, turn on, and then continue. I was worried, so I took and the mechanic changed the transmission fluid. However, the problem is getting worse. I was driving, the trac off and engine light came on, and about 30-secs later the oil and battery light appear and the car shuts off. I took it back in and they ran tests to check it, but have no idea what the problem could be. I don’t drive my car very frequently, mostly weekends to visit my family who live about an hour 1/2 from me. But so far everytime I drive it, the car stops.

Some suggestions I’ve heard:
– low fuel injection?
– wheel speed sensors

I don’t have a lot of money and am hoping that suggestions and ideas on here can help me avoid paying too much for trouble shooting. Additionally, I drive home to be with my family because my sister is battling with cancer. It is important to me to try and solve this problem as soon as possible.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

I did some surfing and found someone with a similar problem and it was the coolant temp sensor. But fuel pressure could also be a problem with the engine cutting off. The mechanic could drive it and check the fuel pressure when it dies.

Just as some simple possible band aid work arounds, change the steering tilt and drive the car with one key in the ignition and no other keys or key chains. If life is good ignition switch issues.

I’ll say it, because nobody else has . . .

I don’t think it’s wise to use your real name

Not that anything will necessarily happen, but I think it’s wiser to edit your post and remove your name

On that note @db4960 I was looking up uhaul rates, and ended up with a price from point a to point b. It was $268 or whatever, but mentioned no time frame. So I called the local dealer to ask how many days it was good for, 3 she says and $18 per day afterwards. Now today uhaul associate calls me, knows my name, and point a to point b and asks me if I would like to reserve a trailer. I never gave them my name, it is a cell listed under a business account with no name associated , creepy! My best guess phone and name associated under previous rentals, though I never provided a name or phone for inquiry.


Has anyone at least pulled any diagnostic codes on the car? If you have an AutoZone, O’Reillys, Advance Auto, etc in your area they will do this for you free of charge. You might have that done and post back with any results.

As to using your real name I also suggest that be edited.

I’ve got a very unusual name and there’s no way I want it out there publicly on the internet. I spent most of my school life swearing that when I turned 21 I was going to change it legally due to the non-stop parade of puns I had to listen to for year after year.
By the time I graduated high school I learned to accept and like the name. The same old cliches still surface but half of the time now it’s “Is that really your name?”. Yep, so says the birth certificate… :smile:

two mechanics have run diagnostic tests but no codes appear. the second mechanic said he drove 30 miles and the light never came on. it’s a very sporadic problem, which i’ve noticed only when driving slower. otherwise i haven’t noticed any patterns to replicate it when i want to. i did do some research and saw others with the same problem, usually with more mileage. however, i haven’t seen any answers to how they solved the problem.

for all those concerned that my very common first name is exhibited- i will see if i can figure out how to edit it.

I pulled this off a Cavalier site and it seems to be the fix.
“Same issue with Trac light abd engine check light. Changed spark plugs, spark plug wies and the TPS sensor…plugs had never been changed in 126k miles. TRAC light is not on anymore and car does not stall at lights and transmission shifts smooth again.”

Also, was this one of the cars recalled for the ignition switch? Was the recall done?

Yeah I’m the only one in the world with my name and its amazing what information is available publicly let alone in the Walmart files. I hope they enjoy the TP brand information and my addiction to Captain Crunch.

I got a flyer for a lawn service and they had a birds eye view of my house. Kinda creeped me out and you can get floor plans and everything else on the net. We had a friend in Amsterdam that thought he was doing us a favor and set up a web page for us. Names, phone numbers, picture of our house and wife, map coordinates, and of course the schedule for the next European trip when the house would be empty, and world-wide access. We kindly asked him to make some quick changes.

Gotta be a little careful these days. There are fruitcakes all over with nothing else to do.

The trouble you are having may be due to a faulty alternator. You could disable it for a little bit to see if the trouble goes away when you do that. The battery warning light will come on and the battery won’t be charging but leave only the basic accessories on that you need. To disable the alternator remove the plug on the back side of it and then start the car and go for a test drive.

Bing: the trouble is, information posted on the internet is there forever. There are dozens of sites that backup and copy other sites. Deleting something rarely actually removes it.

Hee, hee. Funny. Few people are more safety conscious than I am. I have visited and lived in Mexico for 32 years, including walking the streets of Mexico City, alone, and have yet to be robbed. (Knock on wood.) But, the name Laura is not at all uncommon in a nation with 300 million people.

Note that over 780,000 women in the USA were named Laura since 1880. And, from around 1950 till well into the 90’s, from 5,000 to 18,000 babies were named Laura each year. Most of them are still alive.

So, Laura, do not worry about your name Laura appearing in your posting. If you wanted an anonymous name, Laura would be perfect.

Safety conscious is one thing. Unreasonable fear is another. One thing you learn living in another country is the US is a nation of a rather easily frightened population.

But, historically, more affluent populations tend to be more easily frightened.

Did you ever figure out what was wrong with your car?

Yes. I took it in and to them to start by replacing the TPS sensor. That
totally fixed it and no other problems afterwards. It wasn’t that
expensive either.

1 Like

Also, how did you change your username?

Is her/his/it’s name violet, Laura, or something completely different? Regardless, a first name only is not much of a risk.

I made that comment in June of 2015 . . . at least you DID eventually respond :stuck_out_tongue:

Bird’s eye view of everywhere on Google earth. Floor plans from county assessor’s office for a small fee. Privacy is obsolete. After 30 years military my SSN (military ID number) is global! Lately I have been getting emails concerning my PayPal and Apple accounts. I have never had either. The sender email addresses are not from PayPal or Apple. I advise everyone to be very suspicious of everything. I view posts and photos from actual friends and relatives on Facebook but have not posted anything for several years since the smiley face little Chinese bastards hacked my email twice. MSN blocked my email and when I contacted them online they emailed me a security code to unblock my blocked inaccessible email account??? I finally watched “Idiocracy” a few days ago. A world populated by morons 500 years in the future? I’m afraid it is much closer than that!