99 cavalier will not crank


Old 02-25-09, 04:42 PM
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99 cavalier will not crank

I have a 99 cavalier that will not crank over. The starter is brand new and does crank the engine if I manually jump it, but car still doesn't run. Fuel pump starts when you turn the key. Will the cam or crank sensor stop the starter from firing? What about the shift lock? How do I check these components? My only other option is the ignition module but do not know how to check this either. I am Electrical-component-challenged-
Thanks in advance-- Matt
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Old 02-25-09, 05:39 PM
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Let's back up and make sure we're all on the same page. You've mixed up some terms which are not always universally understood. Cranking means the starter is rotating the engine. The engine will or will not crank (rotate) on the battery power alone without a jump?

Neither the cam or crank sensor will prevent the engine from cranking (rotating), but will prevent it from firing (spark) and running.

First things first and that is to try to determine if it is an ignition (spark) or fuel problem.

Assuming the engine cranks (rotates) when you turn the key, remove one of the spark plug leads and insert any metal object into the boot to make contact with the plug wire terminal inside. Then hold it so it is close to, but not touching, a ground (metal) on the engine. Have someone turn the key and watch for spark. Be sure to hold the plug wire away from the end or preferably with a pair of insulated pliers.

Also, did it die while driving or just decide not to start one morning?
Old 02-26-09, 07:02 AM
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The engine will turn over with the starter; I am jumping across the solenoid leads to check the battery and starter circuit. I have not checked the spark but feel it is getting a spark. When i do this the fuel pump starts when the key is turned, engine cranks over(jumping across the solenoid leads) and seems to fire for 5-10seconds and then stalls, which indicates the fuel is shut off. (all assumptions i know) I have a work injury which limits my ability to do all the checks the way we should. Thank you for your help. Matt
Old 02-26-09, 07:15 AM
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if your having to jump the starter just to get it to crank would be checking things like ignition switch, nuetral safety switch if automatic if it is an automatic have you tried it in neutral and park? clutch safety switch if manual transmission.
could even be a anti theft problem.
Old 02-26-09, 09:24 AM
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Before you go absolutely nuts over this, get the car scanned. Specifically the BCM....and see if there are any Vehicle Anti Theft codes in it
Old 02-26-09, 09:28 AM
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Not sure if this will help or not, but if there is a factory starter kill like in my 95 VW, to turn it off, lock then unlock a door with the key (power locks). It is somethng stupid easy to check and I hope that this fixes your problem.
Old 03-20-09, 07:00 PM
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Anti Theft ?

Sounds like the vehicle anti theft system thinks your trying to steal the car. Is the Security Light on in the dash?
Old 04-13-09, 03:47 PM
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maybe you can help me

i have a friends 99 cavalier with a similar problem. to bring some clarity though, his died while he was driving it. it started back up about 20 minutes later then died again while driving. it hasn't started again since. it cranks strong. i can hear the fuel pump kick in when i turn the key to the on position. i'm not getting any spark at the plugs though. any ideas on what i should test next? what is the diagnostic test for the ignition coil pack?
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