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Gary, Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 17171
Experience:  15 years GM master tech/15 years ASE master
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2002 Pontiac sunfire: My trac..parked..40 MPH..driving down

Customer Question

My trac off light keeps coming on in my 2002 Pontiac sunfire. Sometimes it comes on as soon as I start driving after it has been parked a while and sometimes it comes on when I have been driving locally between 20 and 40 MPH and sometimes it comes on while I am driving down the interstate. It does not happen at any certain time. When it does this, I can feel something funny in the gas pedal under my foot. It feels like my car does not want to shift properly after coming to a stop and and going again. If I am driving down the highway and my car is not trying to shift gears it sometimes feels like it is puttering. In any case, as soon as I pull over and shut off the car and turn it back on again, the light goes out and drives fine again. After I restart it, it could be an hour, it could be a day or a week or a few weeks until the light comes on and it acts like that again but it keeps coming back and no one can tell me what is wrong with it. HELP PLEASE?????
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
ok lets start simple here..what size engine?does the amber abs light come on also?is the check engine light on?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
it is a 2.2 engine. The trac off light comes on and now more recently followed by the check engine light also.
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
ok as long as the amber ABS light is not on we are good shape..the check engine lihgt is on because it has a trouble code in it..more than likley it is a missfire...when it happens the computer dissables the TRAC thats why that light comes many miles on it?dont worry there is nothing wrong with your ABS or your TRACTION control ...let me know
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
151000 miles. it honestly feels like there could be a problem with the throttle because when that "trac off" light comes on, I don't even have to look at the dash for the light. I immediately know it is on because I can feel something happening in the gas pedal under my foot. Also, sometimes the car idles really fast and it feels like I have to press my foot harder on the brake when I am at a stop. When that happens the "trac off" light usually comes on not long after that.
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
the TRAC control is part of the ABS and when the light comes on the computer is telling you traction control is being dissabled..due to the check engine light problem..when an engine skips and you have you foot on the gas cruising along when it skips it almost feels like the car jerks and hicups and could make and engine sound liks it sputtering like is cruising way if you can not scan it for codes to see if you have a skip is start the car put on e-brake put it in park and with foot hard down on brake pedal floor it and see if the engine breaks up?it will go baaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbbaaaaaaa....the b's i said are the skipping the pahpahpah sound..can you do that?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am sitting at my desk at work right now and will need to get back to you on that as I can't do it right now.
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
thats ok..but i bet if you got the code scaned it would be a misfire code..and 99.9% will be fixed with a new set of spark plugs and a new set of sparkplug wires...let me know..hope im helping..
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay I will have them changed and get back to you.
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
ok gl..hope it works out..but make sure it is a misfire code before you put those parts in i dont want you to spend money that you dont have too...ok let me know
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
okay that solved the problem thank you!
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
wow glad to hear..hope you liked my answers...thank you for letting me know..glad i could help
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No Problem, so you know I amnot going to hit the accept button because this program already took the money from my account and I am not taking the chance of it charging my account twice if I hit the button. Thank you for all your help.

Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
no problem at all must be a problem at there just glad your car is fixed..look me up anytime if you need me..i was glad to help
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will thanks!!! I am a woman who is new to the area and it is hard to find a garage that when I walk into it someone does not take full advatage of me. I would much rather walk in there and say fix this this or this instead.
Expert:  Gary replied 8 years ago.
i agree..but most garages under estimate that a woman CAN know alot about cars..i am an automotive supervisor/teacher at a college and some of my best students have been woman!!