Please someone respond!?


I have posted 2 of these so far and had nobody respond, I was referred to this site by a friend that said someone helped him. I love my car, want it to run, nobody can figure it out. 99 chevy cavalier, 130,000 miles, gets hot and tries to die, replaced filter/checked pump (fuel), someone please, what can I try?? Took it to a mechanic and everything seems fine. This does not happen in the winter. There are (from what I was told) a million things it could be!!! I cannot be without my car, I have three kids, three grandkids…help.


Donate the Chevy and buy something decent like a Corrola or Geo Prism. (Same car). Or even a Nissan Stanza. Your discription of the problem gives us little to work with.


Caddyman’s reply was a bit abrupt but even so, there is not much that anyone here can do for you with such an inadequate problem description. Find another mechanic.


What do you mena by getting hot. Does it overheat. You need to give us (Well the others) More info here.


Dear Coloradonative, My best suggestion would be to go to the home page for Car Talk and type in your zip code in the space provide for finding a recommended mechanic in your area. There are several listed near the 80401 zip code for Beautiful Golden, Colorado. Pick one you like and give him a ride. The hot weather predicted for this coming Friday should make it a great day. jkd


Some more info would help. By hot I assume you mean the engine is hot, as in warmed up, but NOT overheating?

When it gets hot and dies will it restart if you hold the accelerator pedal down?

When it dies, does it sputter and cough or does it just flat shut off?


Yes, I do mean the engine getting hot. When it does die it starts right back up. While driving it if I let the RPM’s go down is when it starts acting up but if I shift down to a lower gear and get them back up it doesn’t do it’s hesitation/starving for gas mode. It actually has gotten so bad that it will almost jerk you to the stearing wheel when it bogs down. And to the other guy that told me to get a different car, I love my chevy it has only totally died on me once and that was my clutch. I have only replaced that and my starter to date with 130,000 miles, I think that is beating the odds.


You say it gets hot, but that could mean many things. What exactly are you observing that causes you to say it gets hot? When you say it tries to die, could you again provide details. Does it happen when accelerating, idling, totally randomly, as some specific time, occasionally, during every drive, continuously?

You say you replaced the filter, bit your car likely has an oil filter, air filter, fuel filter and maybe a transmission filter.

How long have the spark plugs and wires been in there.

Have you had any other problems with this car, how long have you owned it?


Oh, and when it dies it is after stopping, ie at a stop sign and then getting ready to take off again. Upon putting the gas pedal down it just dies…then I turn the key and it starts right up with no problems. It does it worse if the temperature outside is hot. With our 100 degree weather last week I would get in my car to leave work and within about half mile it would start acting up. Was told by the mechanics I have seen about it that since there are no signals on the “brain” that and all the stuff that can be tested test fine it is a hit and miss thing, start with the cheaper stuff and work my up.


I have owned it since 2000, had 24,000 miles on it. I changed the fuel filter in it about 2.5 weeks ago. I changed the plugs and wires 7 months ago. When it is in idle/standing still mode it seems to be okay, it is driving with low RPM’s or on take off, when I accelerate I have to push the pedal way down or it will try to die.


Oh and thank you to the guys out there trying to help me with this. I appreciate it alot!!! When my main mechanics are baffled not sure what else to do and do not want to be that little gal stuck on the side of the road.


Fixing your car will likely cost more than the car is worth, but if you insist, a new fuel pump, a new throttle body and MAP sensor, and if that doesn’t work, a new ECM. Those repairs will cost you way more than what your car is worth. MAYBE, if you can deliver the car to your mechanic when it’s acting up, he will be able to isolate the problem and CORRECTLY repair it. Otherwise, it’s just guesswork, changing expensive parts until you luck out and stumble upon the right one…


Caddyman, thanks but I have done that and when the mechanic gets in and drives it it stops. Is not a constant thing but is getting worse as time goes on. With the heat of the summer it has been worse. That and with medical bills really cannot afford to get into a car payment at this time. Must get her fixed. Thanks for the ideas one more question for you, would any of the things mention send a code to the brain? The mechanic that had it the other day check it and there are not any codes stored at this time.


The “brain” or ECM can record and save “trouble codes” but these are usually related to emissions problems and failures. Not all systems are monitored by the ECM. Your mechanic CAN check fuel pressure at the injector rail and perhaps spot a bad fuel pump, which is expensive to replace because it’s located inside the fuel tank which involves lots of labor to R&R.

The problem you describe is caused by lack of fuel being delivered to the engine OR an ignition system that has become glitchy and sporadic. I tend to think, in your case, it’s a fuel delivery problem. Try this. Have your mechanic CLEAN the MAS /MAP and the throttle body and check all the electrical connectors leading to these parts. If the problem persists, the fuel pump is the most likely cause, but it’s 50-50 at best…


Thanks Caddyman, I did have him test the pressure in the fuel pump and he says it is fine. He tested it the other day when temp outside was 95 degrees which it usually acts up when temp is about 80 or above outside. I will have him check all that out.


Sounds like its starving for fuel. I would install a fuel pressure gage and drive it while the gage is attached. Watch the pressure when it acts up.



We also live in CO and would like to know are you do for an emissions test as we presume from the 80401; you live in Jeffco? or did someone just guess Golden?

It sounds like if you cant get the car fixed with all the advice you are getting and its not going to pass the emissions; you need another car despite the 130 k miles on the car and that you love it.

Been there and done that on a money pit of a car and being stuck in the middle of no where so if you cant get her fixed; pls consider another car as its not worth it to put money in a car that is causing this many problems. We know one good Japanese mechanic in the Englewood area that we can recommend. Sure its far from Golden; presuming you live there but they do good work.


ok well this sounds like a manual?(transmission) is it possible your just messing up your shifting, and do you sit idoling in first gear instead of netural?


You said, to Caddyman, that you have changed “expensive parts”. What parts? As Transman said, your mechanic can check the fuel pressure under real-world conditions…by driving the car with a fuel pressure test gage installed. It’s not hard. It has a manual shift transmission? I assumed it has as you said you down-shifted. I’m inclined to think that this is an electrical/electronic fault. Relays which supply power to the ignition could be intermittent. A quick work-around is to swap much-used relays with little-used relays. The relays are in the engine compartment…often in a relay box. This is a very cheap test. Components in different systems could be intermittent. So, this is a difficult problem to trace. The more symptoms you give us, the better we may help you.


I don’t think you have a fuel pump problem. The symptoms for that are usually at high RPM, not low. You could have a problem with the fuel pump regulator. You said your mechanic checked the fuel pump pressure, was it at the fuel rail or the fuel line?

You could have a vacuum leak, which would cause a high idle. If the engine normally idles above 1000 rpm, then I’d be looking at that. You may have one of those problems that is just on the verge of going bad, so it hasn’t set a code yet. You may want to just live with it until you see a check engine light, then there will be a code and you mechanic should be able to pinpoint the problem.