Ignition System Malfunction When driving Not applicable
Q: does not start sometimes, and after it is run about 55-60 miles an hour for 30 minutes or so it dies, then can be restarted about 3 minutes later. Cranks like it is out of gas, no problem with fuel system at all
A: check your crank senser it is bad but will work sometimes
Q: When I turn my emergency lights on for some reason light indicator for ABS turns on as well and it stays on until I stop and restart my car. Does it mean that when my abs indicator is on that I have no ABS or is just a fluke in the system? And how can i fix this problem?
Thank you Alex
A: If the abs light light is on.....the abs system is not active....I do not believe that the two systems should activate each other.......Ed
A: There is a sticker on the engine (or nearby) that shows how the belt is routed...
There is an automatic belt tensioner. Sometimes you can use a ratchet (the square head of the ratchet fits right in the tensioner) to release tension for removal and installation. If not a special tool is available.
Some people try to use a pry bar. Not a good idea. You can easily get hurt, or break something on the car.
Chassis / Suspension & Steering Malfunction When braking Always
Q: This started a month ago. It makes a big THUDDING noise that shakes the whole front of my car (comes from the right right I think) when I brake. It can happen just once when I brake and then stop if I continue driving or if I get it really bad, it will thud many times every time I brake, making it hard to stop.
Took it in, they replaced the left and right front control arm and sway bar links. Now a month later, same noise. Happened twice, it wasn't that bad and it stopped when I continued. I took it in, they said nothing was wrong.
Then this morning 2 days later it completely turned for the worst and I went to leave my driveway and while braking it thudded 5 times in a row very loudly jutting my car forward a bit each time until I stopped. I think it is the same thing, but the car place is trying to say it is my brakes which have been replaced.
I just want to know what it probably is so they don't charge me for something else when it's their previous work that is the problem (if that is the case).
A: I also have a 1997 cavalier that was doing the same thing only it was the rear brakes. What I did to remidie this was simply to adjust the rear brakes and thouroughly clean them. It almost seemed the problem was in the front especially if you are not experienced with cars, I think if the brakes need adjusted it can really mess with the antilock system on these cars.
Q: I am hearing a sound coming from the front wheels on my 1996 Cavalier LS Sedan. It is very high-pitched and I only hear it when I am NOT accelerating or braking. As soon as I tap the brakes a bit, the sounds goes away, but returns when I remove my foot from the brake. I had new brakes installed about 9 months ago, and new rotors about 6 months ago. I have not had any problem with the brakes thus far; the rotors needed to be replaced because the car was driven through a bad snow storm and then sat for 6 weeks after it without being cleaned. The rotors were rusted very badly. Any ideas?
A: It sounds as though the wheel bearings need to be checked out.
If it's not this, then it may be the brake discs.
But first of all check your wheel bearings.
Q: I would like to upgrade my engine from a chevrolet 2.2 4 cylinder to a bigger and faster engine it is a 95 cavalier with a manual trans can you tell me if ther is an engine for me and where I can get it?
A: 2.8 or 3.3 or 3.8 v-6. You need a complete doner car for this swap cause you will need a lot of parts to complete.... Ed
Electrical / Lighting Systems Won't Start Not applicable Not applicable
Q: My car began with the battery and ABS light coming on, then my speakers started making a heartbeat sound much louder than my music. the next time i started my car it wouldn't start. it would turnover but not crank. are these problems related, how do i fix them?
A: I had a similar problem on my car. As it turns out my battery terminals were rather nasty. Get a terminal cleaner and some baking soda and clean off any corrosion that might be on them. The "heartbeat" sound seemed to be feedback from the radio running just off the alternator with out the battery draining things.
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: I recently bought a 1994 Cavalier RS Convertible; 3.1 V6; 3-speed Automatic Transmission (no overdrive); 35,000 miles. The car runs and drives fine for about 20 minutes from a cold start. After the car warms up, the transmission starts acting up. When I reach 3rd gear(40-50mph) and start to slow doen to come to a stop it acts like it is still in a high gear. When I come to a stop, the car will stall out. It will stall everytime I put it in gear. I have to rev-up to 4000rpm then slam it into gear in order to start moving. Then it feels like it is in a high gear. Just like a 5-speed when you start out in 3rd or 4th gear. It must be a sensor or something, just not communicating properly. Please help.
A: The torque convertor clutch is staying engaged. Unplug the 4 wire plug on the side of the trans to confirm. Not usually expensive at a trans shop. Ed
Q: I am kind of asking blindly, since my daughter has the car in Florida and I am in Illinois, but here goes. We recently had her water pump replaced and hopefully all is fine there. But now she called and said that her car runs fine until it warms up and then it wants to stall out all the time. She has to keep giving it gas and when at a stop has to put it in neutral (automatic trans). We thought maybe the fuel filter. Is there anything else you can think of? She is just too far away to run there and have Dad take a look!!!!!
A: Idle air control motor needs to be cleaned. And then, disconnect the negative battery cable for a minute or two. Ed
All Part Groups Malfunction When driving Not applicable
Q: This is a rediculous question...but I, along with 2 MECHANICS are perplexed. Where is the drain-cock on the radiator of a 4 cyl. Cavalier?!?! I can't find a diagram and it's a HORRIBLE car to work on. So far, everything has been in the way, so I'm wondering what I have to dismantle to get the this part?
A: Some of the cars are ridiculous...... Down low on the side facing the engine or the very bottom usually on the passenger side (no guarantee)..
Sometimes a recessed plastic plug.... Ed
Q: Sometimes my car will not start at all until I pump the brakes several times. I found this out after I replaced the starter and the battery and the car still wouldn't start. The car also stalls when stopping quickly unless it is put into neutral.
A: It sounds like your master cylinder for the brakes has a vacume leak, I had a VW bus that did the exact same things, look into replacing the master cylinder or the seal so that the vacume pressure doesn't escape, killing the engine when coming to a stop. It won't start probably because the air leaked out after sitting, therefore pumping the brakes returns the pressure and enables you to start it.
Heating / Cooling System Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: engine temperature gauge reads above 220 degrees, cooling fan turns on only while in idle.
A: The temperature sending unit needs replaced. Check the left corner of the block where it meets the head, on the drivers side. See if antifreeze is leaking on to block 2.2 engines are known for bad head gaskets.
Q: How do you tighten a new belt? I just put the new belt on, but it still squeals very loudly and can find no way to tighten it. Thank You for your time. Wendy King
If you're talking about the auxilliary drive belt there is a spring loaded tensioner that idles against the belt. There is no adjustment feature you can adjust to tighten the belt.
It is possible the tensioner is damaged and may need replacement or it could be a component that the belt is running, like the water pump,alternator, a/c, power steering etc.
Q: I have a 1993 Cavalier with 154,000 miles. Car will start and run fine until it reaches operating temp. I will continue to run fine until you shut the key off and try to restart.
It will turn over fine but it will either start and run extreamly poor or won't start at all. After cool down 20 min.
It will fun fine and repeat the problem. It does not store any codes.I have replaced the coil packs (2) icm, cps, and tried 2 used ecm. help!
A: Is your car the 2.8 or 3.1 liter engine?
The crank shaft position sensor looks for 6 pulses and one sync pulse created by the crankshaft. each of the 6 pulses tells the dis to fire a specific spark plug to a a cylinder. the 7th pulse tells the dis which pulse is the #1 pulse for the number one cylinder.
Once the dis sees the sync pulse, it no longer needs it to have the engine running. the ecm does not take control of the dis system until after 600 rpm, so that is not the problem unless there is a bad wire running to/from it.
The module that sits under the coil packs may be tested to see if it is working properly, it probably is ok if your car starts intermittantly, it just isnt seeing the sync pulse. if you have a scopemeter/oscilloscope, you can connect it to the cps (should be on the back of the engine, right above the oil pan) and watch the pulses as the engine turns over. when the car heats, your faulty cps does not properly see the sync pulse generated by the crankshaft, so the engine never fires. the icm must see the sync pulse before it fires the coil packs!
Again, the icm is not under any control by the ecm until after 600 rpm, where it takes over spark advance / retardation.
Replace the cps, make sure the hole is clean, make sure the connection is good, and hopefully it will work this time. - joe- email@example.com
Q: I have a 1993 Cavalier with 154,000 miles. The car will start and run fine until it reaches operating temp and you turn the key off. It will roll over fine but will not start or will start and run extremely poor (backfire, no rpm’s). After cool down 20-min. it will start and fun fine again. To date I have replaced the crank position sensor, Ignition control module, 2 used electrical control modules coolant temp sensor, battery, and fuel filter. It will run if you manually poor gas in the air intake and appears to be getting spark. Are there other sensors that will shut of fuel feed?
A: it sounds like when your computer gets into "closed loop"(when your engine reaches operating temp it starts using info from your o2 sensor to regulate fuel) its leaning out, or richening the air/fuel ratio, have you tested or replaced your 02 sensor? also dont forget to monitor the fuel pressure when it does start when its cold and compare that when its running rough to spec. if it doesnt change it could be your injector pulse width is too long(the time they stay open) which is controled by your ecm with imput from sensors including the o2.
Q: no spark on number 4 cylinder. plugs and wires replaced but engine still misfiring on number 4.
A: If you have spark on all the other cylinders except #4 and you replaced the plugs and wires.. Start simple.. check and make sure that your #4 wire is correctly plugged into the coil pack on the back side of the block, if it is, try swapping that wire with one on the #3 cylinder. If still no spark, it is a bad coil pack and you will have to replace it. The coil pack is fired by the computer which gets it's signal from the crank position sensor. The GM coil packs are infamous for going bad since there is a coil for each cylinder.
Heating / Cooling System Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: I have a smell of coolant in the passenger compartment with a puff of vapour when the fan and heater are first turned on and the car is warmd up. Checking under the hood I noticed what looked like a hose nipple leaking rad fluid. It is located on the firewall below the fan assembly. Should there be a hose connected here? Or is my heater core blocked.
A: Sounds like the drain tube for condensation and if by chance your heater core develops a nasty hole. Run your hand over carpet under the glovebox on passenger side probaly will be sticky and slightly wet.
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When braking When warm
Q: It's a 4cyl, automatic. When stopped or at a stop sign,
I have to put the transmission in neutral so the motor
won't quit running.
If I do stop with the transmission in drive, the car
starts jerking and dies, I have to wait about ten minutes
before starting the car again.
(The ten minutes lets the transmission cool off enough that
I can put the car in drive with one foot on the gas pedal
and one foot on the brake.
Letting my foot off the brake and giving it gas at the
same time, it usually goes like it should until the next
stop. Any information or help you can give will be
Thank you Ron S.
A: Ron......sounds a lot like the torque convertor clutch
is staying engaged....at the front of the transmission on
the driver's side of the car from under the hood is an
electrical connector...I think it is a 4 wire connector
.....disconnect it and try driving it.....Ed
Heating / Cooling System Other When driving When warm
Q: Heat indicator goes up past half when warm, and keeps climbing up, unless heat is turned on to keep temp down.
I have replaced the thermostat twice and seems to fix temporarily this happens with any weather and with coolant and oil level full heat works great but makes for a very hot summer please provide some insight as to what this could be?
A: Check for proper coolant flow. Water pump could be bad. Another strong assumptions is the cooling fan... does it operate?
Brake System Malfunction When braking Not applicable
Q: ABS light is on all the time when driving, we know that the ABS is not active. But from time to time the light will go out, when this happens the brake pedal pulsates then drops to the floor.When this happens there are no brakes at all.Upon release of the brake pedal the brakes will return as before with the ABS light on.Any ideas on the possible problem?
A: i would say you have a bad wheel sensor ,but without doing a test it is very hard to tell
All Part Groups Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: The water pump is faulty and antifreeze is leaking out of the weap hole. THe haynes manual for the car says that I would have to take the timing belt out to change the water pump. I dont see why i would need to do this. THe car is an automatic and traversely mounted.
A: Because the water pump is ran off the timing belt.
Q: My 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier has a developed a problem recently. We were taking it on a trip and as we started to go up a hill and pressed the accelerator it went into passing gear, but then the engine bogged down to about 35 mph. On level ground the car eventually picked up speed. The engine is surging rythmically with the vehicle in park and the engine at about half throttle. I've replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump, map sensor and cleaned the idle air control valve all to no avail. I examined the vacuum lines and made sure the throttle body was tight to the manifold. Please help!
A: Possibly the catalytic convertor is plugged. Ed
Q: The engine sounds as though the automatic choke system is on always. It is a 1.6 carburetor engine, was tuned recently, and the revs then were 900rpm now they are 1100rpm.
Please could you suggest what this could be, and is it repairable by myself.
A: Should be a throttle body injection system..... Probably the idle air control motor.... Ed
Q: 91 Cavalier. Two of my spark plugs are not firing. I have replaced them with new plugs and cables. Still, two of the plugs aren't firing.
I believe it to be the power pack (coil pack).
Heres the question. I have little experience
when it comes to working under the hood. To replace the coil pack, is this a do it yourself
job or is best for a mechanic to do the work?
Cost is an issue. Is there any info out there
on how do replace this?
A: they range from 30-60$ its real easy just 2 small bolts, unplug it and plug in the new one.
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: My car seems to have no power when you accelerate anywhere from the range of 35 mph to 55 mph. The transmission shifts into 2nd gear, but it accelerates so slowly.
Is that the way the 3 speed transmission is supposed to be?
A: Not entirely sure what "no power" in 2nd gear means.... if the car accelerates better in 3rd gear than 2nd gear... you do have a problem.... is there more information I can work with???.... Ed
Q: The computer of the car is damaged and needs to be replaced: it was not sending the proper messages to the carburetor. Where exactly is this computer located and what is the part number for a Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon with automatic transmission? Other symptoms are it would accelerate the engine without driver intervention.
A: The computer is behind the passenger kick panel. How do you know it is damaged? Ed
Q: Hello there. I have a 1990 Z24, 3.1L V6, 5-speed.
I have recently had my mechanic's install a flowmaster 40 series muffler. It sounds awesome upon acceleration but whenever I downshift and the car rears back as the RPM goes up I hear a loud popping. For instance
3rd gear at 2700rpm....
downshift to second
and I get a series of loud "pops" in succession.
My mechanic says that "it goes with the Flowmasters" but I don't believe that. There are NO holes in the system anywhere for SURE!!
Plus the cat is brand new as well.
A: You have a leak in the system that is letting fresh air in and it then re-ignites with unburned fuel in the exhaust. Ed
Q: I have a 3.1L V-6 with a 5-speed and no A/C. The car will intermitently stall and/or rev wildly. The stalling and revving occur when you take you foot of the gas. Shutting it off and restarting doesn't help. The car has been scoped numerous times. The fuel system has been checked, fuel pump and filter replaced. The fuel system has also been flushed twice. New plugs and wires. The computer doesn't show any codes. It seems more frequent after driving at highway speed for a period of time, 15 minutes or more, but is not a guarenteed occurence. Seems to be a little worse in wet conditions, but again, it's not a sure thing, as it will misbehave in dry weather. Any suggestions? Also, I have moved from an inland mountain area to an island off the southwest coast of Canada with no change in symptoms.
Electrical / Lighting Systems Smelling When stopped When warm
Q: Whenever I usually stay in one place while the car is still running I start smelling this horrible smell that smells like eggs kind of.
A: The smell you are smelling is the catalytic convertor.You can buy a fuel additive that in therory will help the smell,never used it so dont know anything about it,more than likely you will have to replace it.
Q: 1989 Cavalier wagon with 2.8L V6. I need to replace my exhaust system. There are several leaks and it has no more catalytic convertor but the exhaust manifold is still good. If I want to use the parts from a 2.8L Z24, will it fit if I change the exhaust manifold as well? Are there many engine differences between the 2.8's that are in the Wagon and Z24? What kind of stuff won't fit at all? Thanks!!
A: Personally, I wouldn't even try it. The bottom of the cars are different, and so is each little bend and twist. Ed
Drive Train / Driveline Other When stopped When warm
Q: Runs well until coming to a complete stop, then motor stalls, sometimes stalls when trying to take off if engine or transmission is warm.
A: It sounds like the fuel filter is bad. Just replace it. Your fuel filter hould be replaced every 5 thousand miles. I used to work at a chevy dealership. No one tells you this. You will notice a power difference when you change it.
Q: Gentlemen, My 1989 Cavalier Z24 2.8L v6 was running great until it suddenly quit.
To date I have replaced the crank position sensor, ignition module and coils and the fuse to the injectors.
There is 42 PSI fuel pressure checked at the port on the fuel rail.
I have spark checked on #6 plug and the noid light I attached to #1 injector wire does not pulse.
What am I missing and where do I go from here?
Any help would be appreciated.
A: If the fuse was blown there is a good chance the computer has been damaged. Shorts any including shorting injectors can cause this. Have the injectors ohmed out. If problem is not corrected new computer may fry.
Are connections okay at ignition module and computer.
This is an old question here.
Have you already fixed problem?
Q: My Cavalier Z24 starts fine when cold (lots of crank, starts fine, etc), but after driving a while and stoping then attempting to start again (i.e. stop for gas) starting the car is difficult - it rolls over slowly and often won't start again until it cools down or is jump started (its a 5 sp. 2.8L).
A: Have your charging system output checked. (alternator and battery)
Q: I've had a problem with my engine cutting off for well over a year.
Over that time I have replaced such things as the alternator, MAP sensor, Oxygen sensor, Vacuum switch? in an effort to correct the problem..but no. Basically sometimes the engine cuts off if I take my foot off the gas or if I touch the brake. it starts right back up. A big pain in heavy traffic. Othertimes the RPM's shoot way up when idle and the car wants to shoot forward. It is also very shaky when idle at a stop light.
IT gets very loud and the engine light comes on. Now, after driving to work today it won't start at all. I'm at a loss.
I have replaced everything the codes have said. Any ideas would be great. Cavalier '89 Z24 v6
A: No spark? crank sensor or ignition module.
If you need more detail... firstname.lastname@example.org
I get many emails, so remind me what you drive/problem/etc.
Oh, you also have a problem with the tcc in the trans. email me
Heating / Cooling System Other Not applicable Not applicable
Q: My heat,a/c,defrost etc... does not work.I turn the knob for any of the above to go on and I have nothing.I did check the fuses and they are good.Is there a solenoid to control this unit or something else?The only noise I get is a click sound when you listen for any type of noise under the hood.
Q: My automatic Cavalier will stall when the engine is warm.
It will run all day long but once you come to a stop sign or such and the car is almost at a complete stop in gear it will die out. If it is in neutral and you are still coasting a bit you can put it in drive and it will keep going but once completely stopped it won't move until cooled off.
Although it will start every time, it will just die when put into gear. I have replaced the fuel filter, MAP sensor and O2 sensor.
Q: The car is 'bogging down', so to speak, when I hit the accelerator....
It will not move at all, but it will start... It will only stay running if I depress the accelerator pedal....
I put in a new fuel filter and EGR valve, and tested the fuel pump... All of these things are in good working order.
I have also checked all vaccuum hoses and all are in good repair.... WHAT DO I DO????????
A: Did you check fuel pump pressure????.....
It can be running just fine but not delivering enough fuel.... Ed
Drive Train / Driveline Upgrade When driving Always
Q: I am wondering if p185-80-r13 tires will fit on my 86 Chevy Cavalier hatchback 2.0 which have p175-80-r13 tires on the car now.
Will the other size fit on without rubbing the fender or no please contact me as soon as possible and let me know.
A: Yes, the 185-80's will fit. The only difference is the 185 is a little smaller tire. The first number (185) is the height of a tire, the second number (80) is the width of a tire. So yes, they will fit, and they will be about an inch shorter.
Ignition System Won't Start When stopped Not applicable
Q: I was at a stop light and it just had rained that day for the first time. The car just died while waiting for the light no chugging no nothing, it just quietly died. Checked fuel filter. Works fine. Battery has juice. It will turn over but not start. Friends say its either a coil or ignition module. How difficult are these to replace? And do I need to replace the fuse also? Does the horn have a fuse?? thanx
A: Horn yes, ignition no. Find the fault and replace that part only. Ed
Electrical / Lighting Systems Won't Start Not applicable Not applicable
Q: I was driving down the road,it was raining, and I had the lights on, defrost on and wind-shield wipers on... and out of the blue it died. I had a horn,lights no blinkers or turn signals.
I have replaced the starter,plugs and wires and the fuse ( 20 amp ) near the fire wall.
I traced a wire ( yellow) from the fire wall which lead to the Computer in the glove box.
I am not for sure that is the problem, but I was told when it goes bad, the car does not run.
I would like any help,please help me,I am not by any means a mechanic.
A: If the fuse you mention was blown , then the replacement was a good idea . The starter , plugs and wires were not a good idea . Catastrophic engine failure as you describe is not related to the plugs , wires or the starter . Look for a burned out fuse link . This will look like a wire , but is actually a special type of fuse wire . Check the battery , make sure it is still in good shape , holds a charge and so forth . Besure the alternator is okay , but do have the computer checked . No computer , all you have is a big paper weight . And yes , a new computer is going to be expensive . There is one way around this . Find a crunched car of similar model . A check with a parts store will tell you what models you can select from . Provided that the damage done to total the car does not include the front , as in where the computer would be , you stand a chance of getting the part that you need . Strip the car of anyother parts that you may need if you plan to keep yours , and the ill fated machine was basically in good shape , and sell what is left to a steel recycler . If you do this , be sure that you can buy the car for its' scrap metal price , about a penny per pound .
Heating / Cooling System Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: Obvious heater core leaking, hose going into core is very loose, water just pours out. How difficult is it to replace?
A: Heater core is in the center of the car. Disconnect the hoses and drain the fluid. From inside the vehicle you can remove the console and radio. This should give you enough room to remove and replace the heater core. Takes about three hours if you dont hurry and are unsure, no special tools required just patience.
Q: The carburater floods it's self so much the car won't start unless I take the air cleaner off and and let the fuel evaporate away. It has a new air and fuel filter.
A: Check to see whether it also floods itself if you leave the air cleaner off ??......
Also GM had a problem with carb floats absorbing gasoline and getting heavy....... they sank a little.... sounds like the problem you may be looking at.... Ed
Heating / Cooling System Won't Start Not applicable Not applicable
Q: I have an '84 Cavalier. It has a few problems, such as idle being too high, the blower motor won't come on, and the speedomoter doesn't work.
Would that be the ECM and if so, where can I find one? AutoZone doesn't seem to have it.
Electrical / Lighting Systems Other Not applicable Not applicable
Q: Replaced headlights & headlight buckets from a wrecked front end. I need to know how to reset (adjust) the headlights to proper specs. Thanks.
A: Park the car against a wall and mark the light beam centres on the wall with the lights on.... back up 20 ft and adjust the lights to still be centered on the marks....f lat surface of course.... Ed
Q: The engine cuts out when trying to drive from a stop. It idles fine, but under load it cuts out like it's either getting no gas or no spark (can't tell for sure). Also, when it's warm it dies when you push the clutch in. When you do get it to move & begin to stop it dies. It will restart & idle again. Fuel filter has been replaced. It has the 4 cylinder engine with TBI.
A: The tourqe converter clutch is locked up. If you look under the hood, at the tranny, you'll see - towards the bottom of the transmission - there is a 4-wire square plug. Unplug that, and you'll have no problems. Any questians e-mail me at email@example.com.