My car is running rough and acts like it is missing at times, running very rich on fuel!

Travis Tedrow

Asked by May 12, 2013 at 10:52 PM about the 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1997 cavalier Z-24 racecar. We installed new plugs into the car before starting the season. We noticed that the car had what seemed like a misfire and was running rough and smoking. It was running very rich. The car has an aftermarket inline pump that is pulling from a fuel cell with clean gas. We have replaced the fuel pressure regulator with no change in the engine. I have also swapped to another set of plugs and after 30 minutes of running the car they were blackened. I have checked the system for codes and there are none on the car. I also removed the air idle control valve and cleaned it up. It acted like it helped but then the car went right back to running bad. I have not messed with the map sensor or the tps. The car has just one o2 sensor on it the other one has been replaced with a resistor. I have cleaned the throttle body and that also helped it a little. I think my next check is going to be the map sensor. Does anyone have any ideas as to what else could be used.

5 Answers


Here's a thread about a race car that was blowing blue smoke. The Cavalier uses the same 2.4L and 2.2L engines. --

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
Dan Malloy

lol racecar cavalier.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Travis Tedrow

I read the thread you linked me to. I do have a catch can but have not checked it yet. If it is full would it cause my problem? Im gonna check it out when I go to the shop to work on the car. I still have not checked the map sensor either.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Travis Tedrow

and yes it is a racecar. got us 5 wins last season.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Travis Tedrow

I began by checking the catch can but that was not the issue. I have since replaced the map sensor with no results as well. We then began to look for a vaccum leak but found nothing. we used the method where you spray brake clean all over the motor but nothing happened. We then checked the coil pack but found nothing wrong with it as well. We have checked all sensors on the vehicle and nothing has had an affect. We then began messing with the fuel system. If we reduced the fuel pressure from 45 to roughly 25 the car would run fine. I know the car requires 41-47 psi of fuel pressure. We checked the fuel injectors and everything was just fine. I have a complete engine harness but dont know if replacing it or the controller would have any affect. I would love some advice.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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