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2001 Z28 Check Engine sensor

This is a discussion on 2001 Z28 Check Engine sensor within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Okay so I just bought a 2001 Camaro z28 coupe a couple weeks ago, it has 54,000 miles on it. ...

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Question 2001 Z28 Check Engine sensor

    Okay so I just bought a 2001 Camaro z28 coupe a couple weeks ago, it has 54,000 miles on it. I got it checked out by a shop and there were no major problems so I bought it. I changed the oil and it runs perfect. One problem I already knew about was the gas gauge is funky. What happens is the "check gauges" light will come on and my gas gauge will go to completely empty then go back to its position when the light turns off (usually when I push the gas petal up and let it go it'll turn off), and the light will go on and off constantly. So I figure there is somethin' wrong with the sensor in the dash. NOW all of a sudden the "service engine soon" light stays on. It runs great, & sounds great. So wtf is the problem? Is the sensors in the dash all messed up or somethin'? My bf knows alot about cars and he can't figure out what it is, he checked it out and can't find anythin' wrong that would get the sensor to come on.
    Last edited by kitty1987; 09-11-2006 at 02:44 PM.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Do you guys have an autozone out there? They will pull the codes for free and I think most parts stores do that now. Get the codes pulled and post back up what they were. That'll make it easier to help you.

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    no I dont, the closest auto zone is 2 hours away, i'll go ask around tomorrow, around this town they don't do nothin' free.

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    Do you have a Harbor Freight? They sell a universal obdii code reader for $39 if no one will read it for you - it's also available online on their website, item 46030-1VGA. Then you'll have one in case it comes back on.

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    Member SSpdDmon's Avatar
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    Sounds like the level sensor in the tank might be bad. The guage will read the signal sent. Chances are the part sending the signal is where your problem lies. Hopefully, you can read the codes and it's an easy fix. Otherwise, you'll either have to drop the tank to swap the part or cut a hole in your trunk to access the top of the tank. I'd highly recommend option 1, but many have cut an access panel without issue.

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Nope dont have one of those either... I'm not too worried about the gas gauge, it's not really a problem cause it still reads when the check gauges sensor light turns off. The service engine sensor is the problem, but I don't want to spend a shit load of money to find out nothin' is wrong with the engine, its just the sensor is messed up, i'm goin' to call around and ask about it. I was just wonderin' if anyone else had this problem before. I read online that this was problematic to the 98-02 camaros, that they had sensors that went off over nothin'.

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    SES coming on for no good reason hasn't been a problem I'm aware of on a stock car. Something's going on. You can try resetting the PCM to clear the code(s) and see if it comes on again, but idle will be grumpy for a few minutes until it relearns:

    Turn key to run
    Pull PCM BATT and PCM IGN fuses in engine compartment
    Wait 5-10 minutes
    Turn ignition off
    Replace fuses

    Some codes throw a light immediately, some take a couple cycles. If it comes back on I'd get it read, even if I had to pay. Could just be an emissions item - or something more serious.

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    My mom just told me somethin' about the transmission fluid might need to be changed... And that I need to go to a dealership to get it checked, and turned off, cause the car is Fine from what a couple different mechanics told me not even 2 weeks ago. This is just really frustratin' cause I cannot pay to get nothin' fixed right now, or even looked at.

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    Member SSpdDmon's Avatar
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    Did you buy it from a private party seller or dealership? If a dealership, didn't they give you a 12,000mi/12 month warranty? If private party, can't you go back to them and claim they didn't give full disclosure?

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSpdDmon View Post
    Did you buy it from a private party seller or dealership? If a dealership, didn't they give you a 12,000mi/12 month warranty? If private party, can't you go back to them and claim they didn't give full disclosure?
    I bought it from a dealership, but they were sellin' it for another party who bought it at auction, no warranty at all. Bought as is.

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    Generally, unless the SES is flashing it's OK to drive the car and just emissions related. Call the dealership where you bought the car and see if they'll just read the codes - won't take them but a couple seconds, surely they have an obdii scanner. Bet it's something simple to fix...

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Awesome. Its not flashin' so thats good. I just figure its in the dash cause the other gauges are mess up too, but I'll figure it out. I'll keep ya'll updated.

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    air in your fuel system will give you that "check engine" light on. make sure that your gas cap is tightly closed, or make sure its getting a proper seal. gas cap are only a couple of bucks to replace, which gives you the option to buy a gas cap with lock if you dont already have it.
    and i also think that the fuel gage uses floatation device, so the gage is only good to give you an idea on how much you have, depending on how you park your car, like if your leaning on the left side, your fuel gauge will point to the right more than likely even though you have a quarter tank.

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alkaydenz-28 View Post
    air in your fuel system will give you that "check engine" light on. make sure that your gas cap is tightly closed, or make sure its getting a proper seal. gas cap are only a couple of bucks to replace, which gives you the option to buy a gas cap with lock if you dont already have it.
    and i also think that the fuel gage uses floatation device, so the gage is only good to give you an idea on how much you have, depending on how you park your car, like if your leaning on the left side, your fuel gauge will point to the right more than likely even though you have a quarter tank.
    Hmm I never thought about the air in the tank would do that. I'll check that out. We don't pump our own gas here in Oregon so I dunno how tight they put it on, but we'll see. I knew about the leanin' tank part, I was told that alot of chevy cars have not so good gas gauges, so oh well on that.

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    Junior Member alkaydenz-28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitty1987 View Post
    Hmm I never thought about the air in the tank would do that. I'll check that out. We don't pump our own gas here in Oregon so I dunno how tight they put it on, but we'll see. I knew about the leanin' tank part, I was told that alot of chevy cars have not so good gas gauges, so oh well on that.
    yup. the diagnostic system will actually detect if your gas cap is not properly placed, (air and evaporation of fuel), just make sure you give it a few miles before the "check engine" clears.

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    I am having a similar problem to this.

    1. This only appears to happen when it is cold outside (below 70 maybe) When it is warm or as it warms up outside it goes away.

    2. It is very intermittent.

    3. The following gages all go to zero instantly when this occurs. Fuel, Tach, Volts, Temp.

    4. The idiot lights start comming on. (almost all of them.) Including the following. Service Engine soon, Brakes, ABS INOP, Service Vehicle.

    5. Spedo and Oil temp stay functioning.

    6. Pontiac services hooked up to it several times and all they can tell me is the amount of times the ECM checked for signal to the dash (I think the Dash cant recall) and got no response. They could not tell me jack about anything really. paid several hundered because they claimed my battery cable was corroded and that was causing my problem. I knew I had a bad post because I had to change the battery a short while before that but never noticed the bad wire. Needless to say that did not fix my problem.

    This problem cannot be repeated on purpose I will need to leave it with them to see it happen when the outside air is cold. (colder than what actual degree I cannot tell it seems just colder than the engine compartment.

    I am thinking it may be the air flow sensor on the intake or maybe the MAF.

    Still looking for clues myself.

    Does this sound like the same problem to you?

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friptzap View Post
    I am having a similar problem to this.

    1. This only appears to happen when it is cold outside (below 70 maybe) When it is warm or as it warms up outside it goes away.

    2. It is very intermittent.

    3. The following gages all go to zero instantly when this occurs. Fuel, Tach, Volts, Temp.

    4. The idiot lights start comming on. (almost all of them.) Including the following. Service Engine soon, Brakes, ABS INOP, Service Vehicle.

    5. Spedo and Oil temp stay functioning.

    6. Pontiac services hooked up to it several times and all they can tell me is the amount of times the ECM checked for signal to the dash (I think the Dash cant recall) and got no response. They could not tell me jack about anything really. paid several hundered because they claimed my battery cable was corroded and that was causing my problem. I knew I had a bad post because I had to change the battery a short while before that but never noticed the bad wire. Needless to say that did not fix my problem.

    This problem cannot be repeated on purpose I will need to leave it with them to see it happen when the outside air is cold. (colder than what actual degree I cannot tell it seems just colder than the engine compartment.

    I am thinking it may be the air flow sensor on the intake or maybe the MAF.

    Still looking for clues myself.

    Does this sound like the same problem to you?
    shit, that sounds worse than mine. The only thin's that happen are what I explained before. I havnt been drivin' my car for like a week now cause I can't afford to.. (lost my job for not smilin' anough) So I can't really afford to fix nothin' if anythin' is REALLY wrong, and town is like 20 minutes away, so i've been lazy and havn't gotten it checked yet. I know that it doesn't happen when it gets colder though cause its been hot. I started my car to see if the light is still on and it is. I tighted the gas cap and that doesn't seem to be the problem. It even says on the cap that that could be a reason why the "check engine" light comes on. Sounds to me your gauges are fucked. LOL sorry, car still runs great? Maybe.. I dunno I can't give assumtions cause I dunno alot bout cars. Sorry good luck though.

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    Junior Member PIMP_2's Avatar
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    Had same exact problem with guages (fuel/check guages lights) Your gas level sending unit uses a ground to send back to the guage, not a + wire, for obvious reasons, gas just happens to be flamable. Anyways mine was doing that and I had wires checked, turned out level sending unit was grounding out. Basically the lower you gas level gets the more voltage you sending unit sends to the guage, on a scale of 0-12volts. 0 being full and 12 empty, when the sending unit grounded out there was no regulation of voltage, just a straight 12 volts which would cause your gas guage to plumit. The check guages light is automatically programmed to come on when any guage on your instrument is in the "RED" which would explain why it is on. This problem will NOT throw a Service Engine code, so I would expect that to be something different. But probably like these guys said it is probably emissions, always seems to be the culpret in my case, to cheap to replace O2's. Good Luck

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    Junior Member kitty1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PIMP_2 View Post
    Had same exact problem with guages (fuel/check guages lights) Your gas level sending unit uses a ground to send back to the guage, not a + wire, for obvious reasons, gas just happens to be flamable. Anyways mine was doing that and I had wires checked, turned out level sending unit was grounding out. Basically the lower you gas level gets the more voltage you sending unit sends to the guage, on a scale of 0-12volts. 0 being full and 12 empty, when the sending unit grounded out there was no regulation of voltage, just a straight 12 volts which would cause your gas guage to plumit. The check guages light is automatically programmed to come on when any guage on your instrument is in the "RED" which would explain why it is on. This problem will NOT throw a Service Engine code, so I would expect that to be something different. But probably like these guys said it is probably emissions, always seems to be the culpret in my case, to cheap to replace O2's. Good Luck
    Did you fix yours? & how much did it cost to fix? Ya I figured the check engine light wasn't somethin' to be too worried about, so i'll get it fixed when I can.

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    Junior Member PIMP_2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitty1987 View Post
    Did you fix yours? & how much did it cost to fix? Ya I figured the check engine light wasn't somethin' to be too worried about, so i'll get it fixed when I can.
    Been a while since I fixed it, I dont remember exactly what it cost. The expensive part was labor for them to drop tank and replace. If it isnt bothering you I would wait on it and fix SES light. If you emissions are messed up, you probably running lean or rich. Either way isnt good long term, I drove 3 months on SES light when O2's were bad, got horrible gas mileage and fouled two sets of plugs, plugs aren't expensive but a hour and a half process with busted knuckles. The gas mileage was really horrible like 170miles a tank. So in reality it would be cheaper to fix ASAP. The sending unit problem will definatley cost more, but like i said if you can live with it cool.

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