1989 Chev Cavalier - cutting off

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  #1  
Old 01-13-07, 06:56 PM
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1989 Chev Cavalier - cutting off

Need help for my sister's 1989 Chev Cavalier - she drives 5 or 6 miles and car cuts out......after sitting approx 10-15 minutes, car will start up again - will again travel 5 or 6 miles - cuts out again.

Have been told that it is either the Fuel Pump or the Fuel Filter - any advice or suggestions ? It's her only car and her only means of transportation for her and her children.

Thanks in advance!
Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 01-13-07, 07:54 PM
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I would check the fuel filter first.
 
  #3  
Old 01-14-07, 06:42 AM
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Wink cavalier

First you have to know if it's ignition or fuel related problem. Get a can of spray type carburator cleaner, and a well insulated #2 phillips screwdriver. Get somebody to go with ya'. Drive it till it quits, get out remove air cleaner & spray a small amount of carb. clean in the throttle body(looks like a carburator) if the motor starts & runs for a little while it most probably a fuel problem, and most probably you need a fuel pump, as it is a very common prob. wiyh most American made cars. Don't forget to change your fuel pump screen(sock) & fuel filter along with your fuel pump. Usually what takes out the pump is the plugged up fuel filter. MAXCHEVY ASE MASTER AUTO TECH since 1972
 
  #4  
Old 01-14-07, 10:45 AM
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Maxchevy

Sounds like you know what you're talking, good information.
Yes, if the problem is with the fuel pump we will definitely replace the
screen and also the filter. I understand everything you mentioned except
for the well - insulated #2 phillip screwdriver. Why "insulated"? I'm sure you have a reason.
Thanks for the information
 
  #5  
Old 01-14-07, 08:09 PM
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Insulated, because the next step was to check for spark and an UNinsulated screwdriver will lead to an uncomfortable feeling if the ignition is up to snuff
 
  #6  
Old 01-17-07, 10:51 AM
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Question 1989 chev cavalier - cutting off - *UPDATE*

Since you guys took time and responded to this problem, I would like to give
an up-date. My younger brother and my sisters son bought the fuel pump, screen (sock) and fuel filter and was going install them theirselves,me being
older and wiser (I think) I told them not to attempt the job after finding out how they intended to raise the car. (outside, un-level driveway and only bricks under the front wheels, and a couple of bumper jacks. Removing the gas tank, which was in the center of the car, and width of the car. I told them it wasn't worth it, too dangerous. I feel safety comes first, I told them to take it to a mechanic that had the proper equiptment, I would pay for it instead of getting hurt. to make this short as possible, wrecker took car to shop, he installed the fuel pump, screen and fuel filter. picked up car and headed home, car quits after 8 miles, called mechanic, he said bring it back we made it back with no problem, his top man said it was the electrical module. Installed module, the owner road tested with my sister 25 miles, no problem, we headed home,I was following in my truck ( about 50 miles) no problem. she ate dinner and decided to go to Wal-mart. (about 4 miles) car quits on her 3 times???? I have paid thus far $632.41. Should I be calling a priest instead of a mechanic? What else? Any ideas. Would love to hear them
I hope to get some of my money back for wrong diagnostic and guess work. We called the garage and they say "bring it back". could sure use some help here. Thanks
 

Last edited by verner34; 01-17-07 at 10:55 AM. Reason: to check spelling
  #7  
Old 01-17-07, 11:00 AM
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Not trying to beat you up, but it would have been a good idea to be more certain on the fuel pump before having it done by doing a pressure test. Second item (or first) would have been to check for spark when it was in the "dead" mode as wrench47 alluded to. There was a chance it was electronic-related. Often the electronic components will start to fail when they heat up, after cooling down they will work again. Ignition modules commonly do this, but there are other components that begin to show signs of impending failure in that manner.
I'm guessing the garage took your word for it initially that the pump was bad and simply changed it out without any further testing or troubleshooting; can't blame them for doing as you requested. At this point I would take it back and see what they come up with. Just curious, but has it been scanned for codes? That's OBD-I and the codes can be pulled DIY.
 
  #8  
Old 01-18-07, 05:21 AM
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Question 1989 chev cavalier - cutting off - *UPDATE*

Thanks "tow guy" for the information and response. After checking with my sister, she tells me they did write a note for the mechanic and sent it along
with the fuel pump, only if he thought it needed a fuel pump, to install.I don't know if he did a pressure check or not. we are taking the car back to him this morning, I will be sure to ask him. The mechanic did tell us there were no codes and had anyone ever removed the codes???? That's a mystery to me.
My younger brother will take the car back this morning, he will drive the car,I will follow him in my truck. The reason we never checked for spark in "dead" mode, I was following my sister (by the way, I have one leg and it's a little hard for me to do this, and she doesn't know anything about a car except to drive. we are prepared to do that test today if it should cut off on us. I'm also taking a copy of the responses you guys have given me.
I will post "updates" on the "Saga of the 89 cavalier" as I get them and will continue to do so til it's fixed, hoping our problem will help someone else.
Thanks a lot.
 
  #9  
Old 01-18-07, 10:28 AM
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The absence of codes doesn't really mean much; a bad fuel pump and/or a bad ignition module will not set a code. They're not items directly monitored by the OBD and would only set a code if they affected engine operation in some manner that would set a code.
 
  #10  
Old 01-18-07, 01:47 PM
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Unhappy 1989 chev cavalier - cutting off - *UPDATE*1-18-07

Thanks tow guy, we took car back to mechanic this morning. Car cut-off 8-
5-1.5- 1.3- 1.7 miles. (5 times) then it went approx. 10 miles to the garage. the last time it stopped we did a spark test on "dead mode". we like to have never got the plug wire off, my brother was afraid he was going to damage the metal tip, and thats exactly what happened, he first used a screw driver and there was no spark, then he grabed it with his bare hand while I turned over the engine (NO SPARK) we repaired the wire. It so happen it stopped in front of a Express oil change station. one guy that worked there asked if we had replaced the ignition module? we told yes and then he asked if the "crank sensor" was changed????? first time we've ever heard of such a thing.Are you, or anyone else familiar with this.
The saga of the 89 cavalier continues--- check back with us
Thanks guys
 
  #11  
Old 01-19-07, 04:58 AM
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Yes. The crank sensor is one of the many electronic sensors that sends a signal to the computer. A faulty one will generally give you a check engine light. It is not a routinely replaced maintenance item like plugs and plug wires, etc.

Here's some info:

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/0f/04/26/0900823d800f0426.jsp

In addition to the crank sensor you can find info on other electronic controls there. Probably time to get it on a scanner with a knowledgable mechanic.
 
  #12  
Old 01-19-07, 06:23 AM
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its not likely to cause a check engine light on a 89 cavalier but can cause a no start or dying condition due to no spark and no injector pulse and could very well be the problem as they usually fail more often than the ignition module itself.
testing requires checking for a signal when the car is acting up with a lab scope or voltmeter by backprobing the sensor connector, given the inexpensive cost of the part and how long it could take to get the car to act up and hook up a lab scope for testing, most mechanics would probably just change it out and test drive it, when they suspected a possible crank senor failure and should of been suspect on any gm distributerless ignition system as it can cause the same symptoms as a bad ignition module might also be a good idea to look at the crank sensor wiring harness as any bad spots could ground out intermitantly resulting in dying or no start problem also.
 
  #13  
Old 01-19-07, 04:22 PM
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Hey Bej..........easiest way to go about it is to get it into "failure" mode.....Hook up a scanner and crank the engine while observing RPM on the data screen..........No RPM=No crank sensor signal
 
  #14  
Old 01-19-07, 06:31 PM
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no rpm signal on the scanner tells you the computer isnt receiving a signal but it doesnt tell you wether its ignition module or crank sensor related. the crank sensor sends the a/c signal straight to the ignition module not to the computer the ignition module then converts the a/c signal to a square wave and sends an rpm signal to the computer.
 
  #15  
Old 01-25-07, 04:05 PM
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Question update on 1989 cavalier - 1-25-2007

Guys I will update you on this car, as I told you I would, for sticking with me
when I didn't have the slightest idea what was wrong. The mechanic told me
since the car was that old, it didn't give a lot to work with as far as codes.
He did say he did a scan. He says he could never get the car to cut off, there by, making it difficult to find the problem.
My sister an I met him at the garage on Sunday, he and my sister drove the car about 25 miles, nothing happened. We started home ( about 50 miles) no
problem. this is thursday and the car has not cut off, the mechanic said the only thing he did to it, was replace the ignition wires?????? This car has about drove us nuts. I don't know why,but it's running and as long as it does
I'll be happy. Can anyone explain this? I would love to hear any explainations.
Thank for your help guys.
 
  #16  
Old 01-25-07, 04:47 PM
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My best guess is that the plug wires were routed in such a way so that one or more bad one was occasionally arcing to someplace it shouldn't, like a sensor or wiring, and somehow causing the computer to go out to lunch. Hopefully it's really fixed and the problem won't resurface.
 
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