2003 Chevy Cavalier car engine shaking and check engine light is flashing.


Asked by Sep 27, 2016 at 08:01 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2003 Chevy Cavalier recently started acting up. The engine shakes very
harshly when it's idle. When I drive the shaking issue seems to go away but
the check engine light starts flashing when I accelerate. Also when I am
accelerating there seems to be a lack of power behind it. I have to really press
down on the gas to get it going at faster speeds. I think the problem might
have something to do with the cylinders but I'm not sure.

16 Answers


When was the last time you had a tuneup ?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Check your wires see if any burn marks or spilts

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Check Motor Mounts too.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

II changed the spark plugs to see if that would help. The check engine light was off when I turned the car back on, but the engine was still shaking vigorously. Then when I tried to drive it the check engine light came back on.


Kind a sounds like its out of time but it may be a computer issue.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I'm pretty sure it's a cylinder misfire, but I'm not quite sure how to fix it. besides changing the spark plugs, what else could I do?


Test them with a voltmeter in ohms. Put one lead on the tip that wire connect to and other lead to the metal threaded area it will read OL and the one lead to the other electrode tip that goes inside head and throws the spark and other lead to metal threaded area OL if neither or one reading is not OL its bad.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If all plugs are good wires can be tested too.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

the plugs should be good because I just changed them. I was thinking that maybe it could be the ignition coil? or maybe the fuel injector?


Check the connections to them first may just be loose.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Sounds like a miss on one or more cylinders.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

thank you guys for all of your help!


Hey guys, so it's definitely a cylinder misfire and I think I've narrowed it down to the ignition coils/control module. I used a test light to see if the ignition control module was distributing energy to the coils. When I checked them, 2 of the 4 prongs in the ignition control module weren't lighting up. So I assumed that that was the part that was broken. So I bought a brand control module to see if that would work, but I got the same result. 2 out of the 4 prongs did not light up. So now I'm completely stumped. Could it be the wires that connect to the ignition control module that's causing it to not work? PLEASE HELP


Crank shaft position sensor sends its message to the ECM/PCM and then the ECM/PCM sends the data signal to the Ignition control module and the ignition control module (ICM) then tells the 2 coils when to spark. I vote Crank Shaft Position Sensor or bad wires to/from it.


Check to see if there is juice to the crank shaft position sensor if no juice check the wiring and fuses under hood & dash.


It was the ignition coil! I replaced that, and everything is running great. Thanks for everything guys!

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