jammerbeas

Check engine and traction control light on when cold

9 posts in this topic

I have a 2015 Chevy spark LT. Past couple of mornings it's been cold and for the first couple of minutes the check engine and traction control lights come on and the car vibrates a bit. We have checked the engine code and it's pulling the P0304 error code. Anyone else have this issue?

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#4 cyl. is misfiring..maybe a bad coil or most likely a fouled plug that cleans up after heat burns the oil off...Could be related to a bad PCV valve that usually shows up after about 18Kmi and if it presents the symptoms after driving for about 10 miles. Cracked valve is also a possiblity...I would take it in ASAP as all that is warranty covered under powertrain.

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Thank you so much for your help. I have an appointment tomorrow at my dealership to look at it. The last 2 mornings it hasn't done it though. It's very weird. The last 2 mornings have been a little warmer than the 2 mornings where the lights came on. That's the only difference I can think of.

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Mr. Gearhead, Sir, I think I saw you post on a much longer thread on this issue. I tried posting to that one, but no one is responding on this issue now. I am a 52 year old widow who hates dealing with service managers, so if you could indulge me a bit...I had the same issue, and chose to park the car for a time and drive my late husband's Tacoma for a while, because I was in the middle of moving. When I finally decided to deal with the car, the light was no longer coming on. I called one dealer, and was told that, in the event that powertrain does not cover it (it's a 2014 with just over 50K miles), I will pay a large fee just for the diagnosis. I generally don't use dealer service departments, unless covered by warantee. I found that to be a "Catch-22", so I was going to take it to Autozone to get the info about the code, but Autozone says the light must be ON in order for them to determine anything. I can try the original dealer where the car was purchased, now farther away, to see if they at least seem to be aware of the issue. Any helpful advice? 

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If the lights do not come on all the time and the car runs normally, it is probably a minor issue such as a sensor. I would just drive it and if the car runs abnormally and or the lights stay on...then take it in. Mostly these things are under powertrain warranty if they are causing the car not to run properly. The posts on the longer thread relate mostly to the 2013 spark with a recall and fix regarding the PCV valve failure. This was fixed on the 2014. That's really the best I can come up with without actually driving the car. BTW..check your oil and coolant tank for proper levels..Unlikely that is the cause..but just to rule that out. Often these lights come on with regard to higher than normal emissions due to a dirty sensor and as long as the car idles and runs OK that is likely a temporary issue. Hope that guides you in the right and inexpensive direction...might also be a fouled or bad plug or coil, but that would make the car idle and run rough and is very inexpensive to fix.

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Also the light doesn’t need to be on to retrieve a trouble code , in fact sometimes a fault won’t trigger the light . If you can a check engine light it will typically go off by itself after so many miles or key cycles . The computer will then scan as it normally does and if the fault is gone then the light will stay off but the code was still stored if there was one . Or if it finds the fault again it may turn the light on . This  may take 50-60 miles of driving to go the test cycle . I have had multiple faults , bad sensors . Some i replaced others I clear the code and sometimes it doesn’t return . 

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Thank you both so much for the help!

 

 At the time the lights came on, I did notice some engine noise and vibration that you would probably call "rough idle". I also noticed an abnormally strong odor a couple of those times. I think 3 or 4 times all together. Both lights came on, together, at least twice. Once or twice, it MAY have been a single light. The weather was probably colder than lately, when all those things were happening.

 

Since I started using it again, I briefly saw the traction control light just once, when I was about to make a left turn on a wet street. It went off quickly. I have also noticed an occasional sort of jerky feeling in the steering column. There are moments when I have felt, lately, that the acceleration was sluggish, but I have had SOME of those moments ever since I owned the Spark, so I can't be certain that it's MUCH worse now, in that regard.

 

Since I am mentioning everything else, I got an alignment a while ago, because it was pulling to the right, and I had some unusual tire wear. I had to replace two tires, but the other two are still good. It is back to pulling right, again. Not sure it ever stopped. Sometimes my attention and memory aren't what they should be.  I was inclined to blame it on THAT service manager, who was more interested in selling me both shocks and struts, but told me that it had been only slightly out of alignment. A second opinion indicated that he was trying to sell me unneeded repairs. I only went there because there used to be a guy there who was very straight with me.

 

I drive from Texas to Louisiana a lot, because I have an 80 year old mother. I was thinking it is safer to take the truck there, until I know for sure about the car. But I miss hopping in the little car without worrying.

Edited by KermitCar

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The traction control light comes on relatively frequently on my Spark . Sometimes I hit the same bump every day while accelerating or just turning too fast of a slippery surface and triggers the traction control and light . Bottom line is you need to know what the fault code is so your going to have to get it scanned . I would try a different auto parts store , most major chains to it for free . Then you will at least have a basis for repair when you take it in for service .  Some sensors like a coolant temp sensor can cause rough idle or cause  the  cooling fans to run far more frequently.  Because you have some drive ability issues I wouldn’t let the problem linger .

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Thanks again. Mr Fanatic

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