Just purchased 1999 cavalier that I believe has a 2000 2.2 engine starts and idles fine. Runs good up to 50 mph about 3800 Rpm Seems like it is hitting rev limiter. Any suggestions?
I dont know for sure on this year but normally the rev limiter cuts spark or more likely fuel when it hits & drops down about 500 RPMs then turns whichever back on, then up 500 RPM cut & back down... Is this what you are seeing or is it more just a loss of power & wont go any faster? What happens when its out of gear? Will it rev up to 5500 RPMs? Will it go past 55 in another gear if you can get it there? Are there are Check Engine codes?
From what you have told us I would suspect cam timing issues on a 2.2L OHV, Vortec 2200 I think its called, since they had issues with the timing tensioners. It also could be the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) on the trans. This is a stretch on my part for that one. On a manual its a plug on the top of the trans about straight down from the brake reservoir. Just for grins you might unplug it (from underneath) & see if anything changes.
If you get in to check the timing chain make sure the cam sprocket dowel is not sheared off.