90 Chevy Cavaliar


Old 06-08-13, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada
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90 Chevy Cavaliar

I have a 1990 Chevy Cavaliar. When I turned on ignition key to start the engine, I noticed the brand new battery was dead. When I put on booster cables, strange thing happened ... radiator cooling motor was on, running and the engine won't start. Where and what went wrong?:
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Old 06-08-13, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 539
You may not have done anything wrong

A few questions first:

Are you sure you got the cables connected properly when you tried to jump the car? Besides the fan coming on, did the dashboard light up normally? Did you get a click from the starter? Did it even try to turn over?

If the battery was really dead, you may need to leave the cables on for a while before you try to start it. Make sure the cables are connected correctly, and just let it charge for about 10-15 minutes. The battery voltage may be too low for the computers to work properly.

Not starting, no ideas here, except maybe an anti-theft/alarm system, either factory or aftermarket. If the battery went dead, it may keep the car from starting until it is reset. Check your owner's manual. I don't think alarms are common on these cars, but you never know....

As to the fan, a few possibilities: first, it may be normal, if the either the engine was hot, or the A/C switch was left on AND the key was in run. The fan could also be stuck on, but I would get the car started and see what happens from there---it may fix itself.

Do you have any idea why the battery was dead? Lights lefts on? Stereo left on? Sitting for a while?

If you haven't already, I would charge the battery. You can do this in the car, if you have a charger, or can borrow one. I would let it charge overnight. If you don't have one or can't borrow one, then remove the battery and take it to a parts store. Most will charge it, either free or pretty cheap. They may also test it for you.

I hope this helps!
Old 06-08-13, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
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With most vehicles.......the electric fan goes off with the key and with some vehicles it stays on after the key is turned off.

Either way....if it's running with the key off and the engine cold.....the cooling fan relay is stuck on.

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