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Old 09-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Mystery Problem- Chevy Epica 04

Hello!

Car: Chevrolet Epica 2004, also known as the Verona.
Year: 2004
Mileage: 108000 kms (I bought it in April 2012 with 98000kms, i am hardly driving it now though so its hardly progressed since hitting 108000kms)
History: Has recieved a computer update
Automatic.

Problem:

1. While idling, car will either rev self, or almost stall.

2. When stopped and i press on the gas, call will not move for about 10 seconds then shoot forward. (It will also either rev itself, or almost stall)

3. While driving, will speratically have RPMs shoot up much higher than necessary ( I will be going 60, and the RPMs will be at 3 )

4. When gas tank gets below half way, the fuel sensor thing will drop as if it has no gas whatsoever. When i fill it, it reads fine, until that halfway mark.

5. While driving, car will hesitate

What has been done thus far:

1. Bannister Chevrolet dealers cannot pinpoint the problem.

2. New parts/attempts to try and fix the issues are:
- Spark Plugs
- Throttle body (also came with a new throttle sensor)
- Fuel Filter
- Loose wire was reattached
- Fuel Line has been blasted/cleaned
- Sensors have all been checked and are apparently A-OK
- Oil etc fluids are all good

Other:

1. We cannot seem to pinpoint the cause. The issues happen speratically. I have tried to pinpoint it to heat, elevation, how much gas it has, how fast i am going, temperature conditions

2. I now STRICTLY get my gas from Chevron (as suggested by dealer as apparently they get really clean gas)

3. Engine light will only come on when the problems occur 40% of the time.

4. Dealers have reported numerous error codes, however they all led to saying the throttle body/sensor was the problem. I have had this replaced, however the problem has continued....

5. I bought the car on 2012 April, the problems began 2012 June. They have periodically occured since.

6. I do NOT let my cars gas amount hit half a tank. I always now fill it up before than just to be cautious.

What is left now to do?

I am at my wits end with this car. I am a University student and have already forked up 2 grand trying to fix this car. Winter is approaching and im scared of driving it once the roads are icey etc.

I just want it fixed but no one seems to be able to.

I can hardly afford to take it to the dealer to 'try' as even when they dont know what to do and do NOTHING with the car for 24 hours, they still charge me a $200 bill. I am fed up and just want the car to get from point A to point B safely.

Does ANYONE have any ideas? I do not know cars very well at all! Any suggestions i hope are confident ones, as id be having the dealer do them and that means pricey. But if it works im happy as hell.

Last edited by MeaghanElizabeth; 09-24-2012 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Meghan, just wondering if you ever got this mess figured out because my mother in law has the same car and is having similar problems. She also cannot afford to spend a fortune on it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello Jeff!

I am ocean deep in trying to solve my car problem right now funny enough.

My Chevy dealer (after much persuasion and difficulty...) took my car for 2 weeks and gave me free diagnosis. His mechanic drove my car EVERYDAY to and from work with their own computer devices attached to it to pick up error codes etc.

Long story short, they say its my computer. You can only tell this by driving the car with this machine (sorry i dont know what machine they used) to read what the computer is reading and giving to the rest of the car.

For example. When the car is driving at 80km per hour, the computer is reading that it is going 300km per hour, which is literally, impossible.

Another example is when the RPM's are at 3000, the computer is reading it at 24,000, again, impossible.

This took forever to discover because computers tell what is wrong with the car, HOWEVER it will NEVER say that itself is the problem. Its too smart that way haha.

I am getting a USED computer installed by MY mechanic this week for $200. The used computer has to have the EXACT same code on it as the one you have, but is MUCH cheaper then a new one which the dealer was pressuring me into getting for $1000. Also you will have to reprogram your keys, they call this 'reflashing'. Dealer said they could do this for $200, where I found an electric company who handles cars as well, to reflash it for only $100.

There could be more problems, but we wont be able to tell until the computer is changed out because the computer is what tells what else is wrong with the car. This could be the fix though.. it does all add up. So we will see. I will repost here once I know! I've spent $4000 experimenting on a car that cost me $4000 in the first place, so hopefully all it takes is a $300 fix....

Good Luck!
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info Meaghan. What a mess!! Please keep me posted on your progress. Not sure what I am going to do with hers. It's not worth spending a fortune on although she had just spent over $500 to get it safety inspected before this problem started.
Thanks again
Jeff
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello Jeff,

My car went through an inspection before I purchased it as well and they did not discover the problem them. It's just such a unique situation that it is very very difficult to diagnose. I've spent about $4000 now trying to figure it out (thats the same as what I paid for the damn thing...)

Had my mechanic install the new computer. It works but I cant get around the security lock on my computer (so the car wont start) and word has it only the dealer can do it (reflash). I've put the old computer back in in the meantime so I can still drive it until I can get it to the Dealer. I'm hoping they can reprogram the 2 key chips that I have and don't have to buy 2 new ones.. this is going to be about $200 to reflash it through the dealer. That's my next step. I'll let you know if it works out!

P.S.
The new computer + shipping + installation/labour cost $300
New ' used ' key cost $75.00
Reflashing by the dealer, yet to be performed is estimated to cost $200.00

The cost is slowly increasing and I do not like it haha
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ALSO!

I forgot to mention. My original post was before winter 2013. During winter 2013, the problem completely ceased and stopped! It returned the warmer it got and is at its worst in the heart of summer.

The mechanics and dealer state that the reasoning behind this is because it works like any other regular computer. Once it gets hot, it's much more likely to malfunction and act up.

Perhaps the inspection on your mother in laws car was done while it was cold out and this is another reason why perhaps they didnt catch the problem?
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok thanks Meaghan. Looks like we will either have to junk it or find a good used computer. The heat thing makes sense, the car works perfect at first but after about 10-15 minutes it starts acting up. A mechanic friend of mine jokingly said that these cars were junk from the start and that GM bought them all back and had them crushed but somehow must have missed this one...lol
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