Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The mass air flow or crankshaft position sensor may fail causing the engine to stall intermittently. Proper diagnoses will be necessary to determine the cause of any stalling condition.

Clogged drains can allow rainwater to accumulate in the plenum tray (at the base of the windshield). The water may leak into the vehicle's interior, brake booster, or electrical components, which can lead to major problems. Our technicians recommend keeping the tray clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate.

The camshaft driven distributor can leak oil and cause a malfunction of the crankshaft position sensor. The engine may crank but not start or run very poorly.

A "tapping sound" may develop from the drivers side of the engine. The noise may be associated with the variable valve event and lift actuator. Our technicians tell us a software update for the powertrain control module (PCM) is available to correct this issue.

The transmission pressure control solenoid may fail causing erratic shifting. Our technicians tell us that partial dis-assembly of the transmission is necessary to replace a failed pressure control solenoid.

The CD player in the radio may fail. Our technicians tell us that the radio will need to be removed and sent out to a radio repair shop to correct this condition.

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

The automatic transmission may develop shifting concerns. On lower mileage vehicles, upgrading the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and the transmission control module (TCM) may correct the problem. As the mileage increases, internal transmission damage can occur. Repairs could involve replacement of the valve body or a complete transmission rebuild. Whenever major transmission repairs are made, it is important to be sure the PCM and the TCM have the latest software updates to help prevent these issues from reoccurring.

Nissan issued a recall on the fuel pump for premature failure. There was an owner notification program and labels were placed on the fuel pump access panel and next to the AC charge label in the engine compartment.

Owners have reported a number of prematurely worn front wheel bearings. As the bearing fails, a rotational humming or grinding noise may be noted from the front as vehicle speed increases. Replacement of the bearing would be necessary to remedy this condition.

The blend door actuator for the HVAC system may fail causing a continuous loud clicking noise when cycling the recirculation button, or switching from heat to air conditioning. Replacement of the actuator is required to remedy the issue.

We have had several reports of the brake lights staying on at all times, even when the engine is turned off. We have not found the cause of this issue yet, but these problems normally result from a sticking brake light switch. If your brake lights are stuck on, try to see if anything is interfering with the brake light switch, or if it has become dislodged. 

A rattle-type noise may be noted on cold start-up due to a failing timing chain tensioner. Chevrolet revised the design of the tensioner multiple times over the production of the Cobalt, replacement is necessary to remedy this condition. A failed chain tensioner may result in a broken timing chain and subsequent engine damage if the issue is not diagnosed and repaired.

As the motor mounts break down or wear, additional noise and vibration may be noted when the vehicle is at idle. Replacement of the motor mounts would be required to remedy this condition.

Owners have reported a number of prematurely worn rear wheel bearings. As the bearing fails, a rotational humming or grinding noise may be noted from the rear as vehicle speed increases. Replacement of the rear hub assembly, which includes the bearing, would be necessary to remedy this condition.

The rear evaporator tubes in the rear HVAC unit may develop small leaks, causing weak or no air conditioning. A new rear evaporator unit has been designed to address this and should be installed to address this condition.

Many electrical problems can be caused by a failing Body Control Module or BCM. Before replacing, the system should be properly diagnosed to verify there are no other issues, such as electrical shorts or other failing modules. Remedying the condition requires replacement and programming of the Body Control Module.

As the vehicle ages, the plastic end tanks on the radiator may crack and cause a coolant leak. Because of the placement of the radiator, the leak may not be visible in the engine bay or underneath the vehicle. A radiator replacement would be required to fix this condition.

Bogging, hesitation, or stalling may be experienced during moderate to heavy acceleration. This can be caused by a failing of many sensors or modules in the fuel injection system. It is recommended to have an experienced shop perform diagnosis to find the root of the problem.

Vehicles equipped with the 4.6L engine may develop excessive oil consumption. Please be advised that under optimum driving conditions, using one quart of oil every 2000 miles is acceptable. This Cadillac standard applies to vehicles with less that 50,000 miles. Our technicians tell us that if you experience excessive oil consumption it may be caused by built up on the piston rings which restricts movement, preventing them from wiping all the oil from the cylinder walls. Oil left behind is then burned during the combustion process. There is a special ring cleaning procedure which can help this situation. The GM service bulletin number is #02-06-01-009C.

A ticking noise may be noted when vehicle is cold due to an exhaust leak caused by broken exhaust manifold bolts. Replacement of these bolts and associated gaskets is necessary to fix the condition.

The AC compressor may seize resulting in loss of cold air from the AC vents. Often when the compressor fails in the fashion, debris is spread through out the entire air conditioning system resulting in very expensive repairs.

If the engine is misfiring, it may be caused by a damaged wire(s) which connect the fuel injectors to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The damaged wire(s) can be repaired or the emission wire harness replaced. A misfire can result in a loss of engine performance and illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The upper dash may crack, most commonly on vehicles in warm climates and exposed to a lot of sunlight. The common repair is to replace the upper instrument trim panel. Information on a technical service bulletin or extended warranty is not available at this time.

It is not uncommon for the clear coat paint to develop white spots and begin peeling. In most cases Mitsubishi will not cover out of warranty repairs for this condition.

The distributor may develop internal faults. This can cause a rough running engine or stalling condition, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Our technicians tell us that the distributor should be overhauled or replaced to correct this concern.