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Davo, Master technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE Master Technician/Advanced Automotive Diagnostic Technician
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1997 Chevy Cavalier. Troubleshooting the ETS (enhancced ...

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1997 Chevy Cavalier. Troubleshooting the ETS (enhancced traction system) system. Common problem with ETS light comming on, car runs badly and gas consumption goes up.Check engine light also comes on. What could be the problem?
Ron Harding [email protected]

Optional Information:
1997 Chevrolet Cacalier

Already Tried:
Checking the cooling system fuses. OK there

Davo/diablo666 Requested

It sounds like you may have a misfire on one or more cylinders.You could have the codes checked at autozone at no charge if you have one nearby.Chances are you are going to have to replace plugs,wires and possibly a coil depending on condition.If you find rust,white powder,black soot or anything that doean't look quite like a shiny new coil tower it's bad.Get the codes and if it's a P0300 or 301,302 etc replace the mentioned parts.If you have a dfifferent code let me know.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Davo/diablo666's Post: The code that Auto zone read was 141. The oxygen sensor or heat sensor? Some of those guys don't know what they are talking about. The one oxygen sensor was replaced, but I don't think that has anything to do with the tractiopn light staying on. Now maybe the heat sensor?Wnen the ETS light came on so did the check engine light. The computer controls the idle I think when the tire spins on ice. Lowers torgue or upshifts the transmission. Its all tied together.
That code is for the O2 sensor behind the convertor.The ehater circuit of the sensor specifically.It will not change the way the car runs.The ets system is tied into the engine and abs systems.If you have an abs light on the ets will not function.If the engine is running bad is it vibrating at idle or while accellerating?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
vibrates while Accellerating. It has new plugs

I'll bet the wires are bad and check the coils as previously described.Spay water on the engine at night and start the engine looking for sparks on the wires if it will start wet.If it won't start or is much worse than when dry you need wires.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
this car really doesn't have spark plug wires per say. The plug are under a plastic cover over the valve valley cover. There are individual weird looking towers that go over the spark plugs (attached to the plastic cover that comes off. This is some funky lookin set-up. Gm sure designed a lemon. I've heard about lots of these cars with this problem. I will pull of the cover tomorrow and look at all that stuff. Thanks for all the replys.
I will admit I was guessing because your car came with a 2.2 or a 2.4 engine and they use different ignition systems.You will probably have to replace the housing assembly and the insulators to correct the problem.The housing will burn out and you can't see the problem.The insulators will sometimes show a powdery gray spot where the electricty leaks through the boot.I would replace both.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
thanks. Will that solve the Ets problem
Enhanced tracking system
The O2 sensor will need replaced also any pcm trouble code will stop the ets from working.It may be best to change the O2 sensor first and then drive the car.That sensor will not make the car run bad though.That's where the tune up work comes into play.After you fix the problem get the code cleared.Autozone can do that also.It would be polite to buy the sensor off them for their help.Just remember according to the code you gave me its the one behind the convertor.
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