02 cavalier no power in any gear but reverse

Damurda86

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May 13, 2021
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Make
chevy
Model
cavalier
Year
2002
Miles
92000
Engine
2.2l I4
I got a 2002 cavalier 2.2l with 90k miles, without warning while highway driving in started high reving and wouldn't go over 50, then stalled out. I towed it to our shop and then it wouldn't go over 30. It was running hot as well. Since parts are so cheap for it I just started dumping parts into it. New tps sensor, cleaned throttle body, new plugs n wires, new air filer, new fuel filter, new water pump and thermostat (that was the cooling issue), tranny pan drain and put in new gasket and filter, fluid looked good though. I noticed not much exhaust was coming out the tail pipe so I cut the cat off figuring maybe it couldn't breath. Still stalls after it gets up to temp and will usually only start back up if I hold down the accelerator unless it cools down for a bit. Wont go over 30 in drive but will go full speed in reverse. I'm stumped and ideas?
 

billr

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Any codes set? Are you using live-data at all?

When you say "won't go over 30", do you mean the engine won't rev up normally, or that the trans is stuck in a low gear??? Use a tach to correlate engine rpm to mph so we know which it is.
 

nickb2

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hmmm, wondering if I should even jump into this one.

Maybe we could put this one in the domestic section, and only thing I noticed from this, newbie cut off the cat no difference and why would it make a difference, a clogged cat would still bog down in reverse so that was a stupid move with no result as would be expected. Sherlock Holmes approach here plz.


Since this is a bit of an odd post, work good in reverse, but no go in drive or WOT or stalls when gives gas, sure sounds like a wide open crack in air intake boot. MAF is not giving good data.

But wait, there are two 2.2l engines for this vintage which one is it, newbie will hopefully follow through. VIN 4 or F.

Bill asked about codes, lets be clearer, is the yellow engine light thingy on when it actually idles or does loops in reverse. ;)

When you towed back to your shop, does your shop have a multimeter or a bi directional scan tool or just a code reader from walmart are questions that come to mind, but I find my questioning may be uncomfortable and condescending, so I will phrase this this way,

Is your shop equipped to deal with injection cars.
 

Damurda86

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hmmm, wondering if I should even jump into this one.

Maybe we could put this one in the domestic section, and only thing I noticed from this, newbie cut off the cat no difference and why would it make a difference, a clogged cat would still bog down in reverse so that was a stupid move with no result as would be expected. Sherlock Holmes approach here plz.


Since this is a bit of an odd post, work good in reverse, but no go in drive or WOT or stalls when gives gas, sure sounds like a wide open crack in air intake boot. MAF is not giving good data.

But wait, there are two 2.2l engines for this vintage which one is it, newbie will hopefully follow through. VIN 4 or F.

Bill asked about codes, lets be clearer, is the yellow engine light thingy on when it actually idles or does loops in reverse. ;)

When you towed back to your shop, does your shop have a multimeter or a bi directional scan tool or just a code reader from walmart are questions that come to mind, but I find my questioning may be uncomfortable and condescending, so I will phrase this this way,

Is your shop equipped to deal with injection cars.
Vin is a 4, no CEL, no codes. I didn't realize it had full power in reverse until today. I cut the cat off a week ago. The shop is our landscaping shop not an automotive one. We got Jacks, lifts, and basically every hand tool ever made. I do have a multimeter.
 

Damurda86

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Hooked it up to a better scanner and got a P0562 low voltage alternator code. But as stated before no CEL
 

nickb2

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can your scanner read mode six data or at least which monitors have completed, and if so, you must have freeze frame. Dont erase anything, tell me what code reader you have
 

Damurda86

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The one that gave the alternator code was an Autel elite was from the shop down the street. He just showed me the code, ran live diagnostic and said he was getting a slightly "wonky" reading from the MAF sensor. But told me he thinks I need a new torque converter and quoted me 1200 for a tranny/converter swap. I'm not a car expert obviously but I know a bit and that doesn't make any sense to me.
 

Damurda86

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And to clarify, it only stalls when slowing down or stopping after driving. Never while accelerating. In my mind if it had anything to do with the converter it would possibly be the TCc solenoid but then again why isn't it throwing a code?
 

billr

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"hmmm, wondering if I should even jump into this one."

^^^^ +1

If the engine revs up OK, but the car doesn't move at a comparable speed, then it seems like it is a trans problem for sure. You need to use a scanner that will show trans live-data, to avoid throwing even more parts at it. Check the "gear commanded" vs "gear selected", check "turbine speed/slip", check TC lock/unlock status.
 

nickb2

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Never while accelerating. In my mind if it had anything to do with the converter it would possibly be the TCc solenoid but then again why isn't it throwing a code?
That is a very good question. Also, as usual, I disclaim, this site has taught me that, I am not a trans specialist.

If you still have access to that autel elite, you can actuate that and see.

I think I am still right in the stalling issue. The MAF WILL CAUSE stalling. So if your buddy who has the autel tool, and he says the MAF was wonky, start with that as this is the most plausible issue.

I own a autel pro, job has 2 elites, and I know the special functions here for sure.

But sometimes I mix up the weeds, and your post is now clearer.

So here is another disclaimer, I have been in this field for 29 or so yrs now, TC lock up should affect reverse also, but BP is our in house guru. But he usually only follows the trans forum, not the injection forums.

When you say your buddy said MAF was wonky, what does that mean. Can you go back to see him and get a live reading I can look at, cuz the elite has some nice recording options for that.

My $.02, clean maf, take vacuum readings and get some live data going on at time of no power slash stall, thise freeze frames are essential to a proper on line diag.

Just sayin.

But I do however commend you on posting back, it shows some assiduousness. ;)
 

nickb2

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My next post is for personal usage only and to show that sometimes, when you get a complaint at work, you got to start with basics.

Here is a case in point I never thought would happen. but it ended up this way. It is a bit on topic, but different brand, but goes to show why a tech needs a sherlock holmes approach.

A few decades ago, I had a hyundai in shop. It would drive fine in forward, but would stall in reverse.

After three days of trying to replicate, found that when in reverse, contacts from fuel pump relay on firewall would pull out just a bit. In forward, no movement of harness.

That is where I found the logic of wiggle testing.

If you dont know what wiggle testing is, you should go see your buddy.

I fix that no reverse function by tightening up the pin to fuel pump relay, never saw that guy again for that problem. But it had no codes, never would have found it soley relying on a scanner.
 

billr

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Have you taken compression readings yet?

Does this engine have VVT with that "phaser" thingy on the exhaust cam?

It still isn't clear to me if the engine is running too poorly to go over 30 mph, or whether the trans is not shifting properly into higher gears. Or, is something dragging (brakes, etc) so bad that normal engine power is not enough to get it over 30??? In the weeds here...
 

Mobile Dan

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How does it accelerate/run 1mph- 20mph?

Does your 30mph "top speed" change if you drive uphill or down hill? Can you feel transmission shifts happening?

Any report on that intake duct between MAF and engine?
 
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