1992 Cavalier problems starting


Old 02-06-10, 08:55 AM
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1992 Cavalier problems starting

I have a 1992 Chevy Cavalier coupe, manual transmission, 4-cylinder, 2.2L, very basic. Twice in the last three days, I've gone to start it and it will turn over but not start. First time was early in the morning after sitting all night. It had run fine the previous day. I left it sit that day thinking I would look at it when I got home. When I got home, it started right up. Next morning, started right up, drove it to work. Started right back up when I went to lunch at noon, but when I was heading back to work, wouldn't start. Turned over fine, battery charge was great. Let it sit about 10-15 minutes and it did finally start up. When it runs, it runs great, doesn't miss, hesitiate, bog down, etc. I'm stumped, and don't really know where to start. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-06-10, 11:29 AM
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Check the basics, Fuel, Spark, Air.

Fuel: While someone is turning the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body. If you get a response, then this is a fuel problem.

Spark: Remove a spark plug and place the side screw portion against a piece of body metal or engine metal (grounded to battery negative/ground). Then watch as someone turns the key to start. See if there is spark. Advanced spark testing is to use a spark testing tool which would typically have a gap of .25 inch. You should see a crisp blue spark. This is a larger gap than a spark plug and tests that the coil is producing a high enough voltage. (Good spark as opposed to weak spark.)

Air: Slightly press on the accelerator while trying to start. Normally the throttle is completely closed and the IAC (Idle Air Control) valve adjusts to admit air into the engine. By pressing slightly on the accelerator, you are bypassing the IAC valve and allowing air to enter the engine.

Combination test: While someone slightly presses on the accelerator and turns the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body.
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