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Consumer Assistance

2003 Chevy Cavalier with Check Engine Light On

I have a 2003 Chevy Cavalier and the check engine light has come on over night (meaning it came on this morning). It has well over 200,000 miles on it. In the past 4 months I have replaced the alternator, battery, and cable that changes my gears. I tightened the gas cap well. I had a diagnostic check ran on it at AutoZone and (although this guy was rather clueless) was told that something could be wrong with the vacuum system or, like I said, that gas cap was loose. I drive this car out of town every weekend and a very long distance 2 days a week to attend classes. It is the only vehicle I have and I must fix the problem immediatly.


Your Chevy Cavalier's On-Board Diagnostic system (OBDII) is designed to monitor all aspects of your engine's emission conditions and report this information to a central database within it's computer.

If a decision has been made to alert the driver of an emissions problem, the "Check Engine" or "Engine Malfunction" light will illuminate on the vehicle's dashboard. Along with the "Check Engine" light being illuminated, there are stored computer codes in your Chevy's ECC (engine control computer) which the smog station will be able to retrieve and use for diagnosing purposes.
In order to learn which emission system(s) need repairs you must have the trouble codes. Our recommendation is having a certified smog repair shop conduct a complete hands-on diagnosis.  The retrieved trouble codes will more then often direct a smog technician to finding the fault.

posted by SmogTips Support 07-30-2012 05:13 PM

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