starting problem 96 Cavalier


Old 04-30-04, 07:51 AM
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starting problem 96 Cavalier

When I turn the key to start my 96 Cavalier 4 cylinder, I get nothing at first- not even a clicking; if I try several times , the engine starts. This has happened on occasion before, but is getting more frequent. I cleaned and checked the battery terminals and cables. I don't know if this is related, but the battery light comes on for a few seconds when I first start out and the engine is cool. Battery is fairly new. Any suggestions? George
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Old 05-01-04, 05:48 AM
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Lightbulb One Of Many Possible Causes

Hello: George

Likely but not positively, could be a problem with the key ignition. Internal contact switch may be defective. Ignition key switch(s) are sometimes overlooked item.

An occassional problem is always difficult to locate. Time consuming.

When condition appears, leave key in switch. Attach volt meter to switch. Check the start terminals on the key switch when attempting to start.

If problem again results, the volt meter will (usually or may) indicate no current through contacts of key switch, if the switch is the cause.

While I was talking with a boat owner having same type problem.
Causually mentioned to him...."did they check the ignition switch?

He did......Found the problem quickly.

Owner spent tons of $$$ for diagnostics prior. Problem never found than.

Discovered problem by testing switch.
$80.00 later, problem resolved. New ignition switch installed....


BTW: Everything for boats costs more than ever expected...

Professional mechanics in this forum will provide additional help.

Check back on your question again.

"My Two Cents"

Regards & Good Luck
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Old 05-01-04, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So Cal
Posts: 248

You can check your ignition switch by putting a test light or voltmeter on the purple wire at the starter and having someone hold the key in the 'start' position. If it lights or you get voltage, you've got a good circuit.

You also didn't mention if your vehicle has the factory anti-theft system or not. If you have a 'chip' embedded in the key, you do. Try cleaning it. Sometimes dirt keeps it from being 'read'. If you still have problems, you may end up having to replace the ignition switch which entails removing the steering wheel.

Let us know what happens.


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