1997 Chevrolet Cavalier • 129,000 miles

I have a Cavalier Convertible LS 2.4 and it's a great little car. My late husband bought it for me new and it has been wonderful and a lot of fun to drive. It has just started having a problem with the top not going up and down correctly. Most of the time, it won't go up or down at all but then if I continue moving the lever it will usually go up or down. When I take it to the mechanic it works fine for him and he thinks I'm crazy. : -)

When it does work the driver's side will start down normally and it seems to drag the passenger side down with it. Then when it is down, the passenger side sits about 6 inches higher than the driver's side. When it goes up, the driver's side goes up and seems to pull the passenger side up with it. The top edge on the driver's side lines up perfectly when the top closes but the passenger side has at least a 1/2 inch gap so you have to pull down on the top to close the lever.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm working in Costa Rica right now, no jobs in the US, and I brought the car with me. My mechanic has never worked on a convertible top before. So please be specific in your answers as we both need to understand them.

Maybe this is something to be considered, or maybe not. I had to change the battery since I moved here. I changed it about 4 months ago and this problem didn't occur until about a month ago Everything here is very cheap quality at a very high price. I'm wondering if the battery is not strong enough to power the top correctly. The battery is an Energizer EP-75-650 cca 650a ca810a cr95min 12V.

Thanks for your help, morlaine
November 1, 2012.

Have the mechanic check for leaks in hydraulics and see if fluid is up to proper level. Then check relays and switch

Nov 1, 2012.
Is that on the motor that raises and lowers the top? Am I correct in thinking that motor is in the back somewhere, maybe in the trunk and those fluids would be back there also? If that is the case, I know they have never been checked. My mechanic said he might have to take out the back seat (to keep it clean), so it sounds like he thinks it's back there. And he said something about taking off the hard plastic coverings on the sides (that the back windows go down into) so he can get at the frame parts that move up and down. Where would the relays and switches be located? I need to give him as much information as possible. I have the manual that came with the car but it doesn't give much info concerning the top. Thanks for your help, morlaine

Nov 2, 2012.
I goofedon this one, there are two motors one for left and antoher for right. There is aspecific way to check this so yo have to start with switches first.
1. Disconnect convertible top switch connector located at header latch handle assembly. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect fused jumper between switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) and
terminal "C" (Light Blue wire). If top does not operate,  go to next step. If top operates,  replace convertible top switch.
2. Turn ignition off. On convertible top switch,  connect fused jumper between terminal "B" (Orange wire) and terminal "C" (Light Blue wire). Disconnect convertible top relay 6 pin connector located behind left rear
quarter trim panel. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect test light between relay connector terminal "A" (Light Blue wire) and ground. If test light illuminates,  replace convertible top relay. If test light does
not illuminate,  repair open or short to ground in Light Blue wire. See WIRING DIAGRAM .


1. Disconnect convertible top switch connector located at header latch handle assembly. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect fused jumper between switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) and
terminal "A" (Tan wire). If top does not operate,  go to next step. If top operates,  replace convertible top switch.
2. Turn ignition off. On convertible top switch,  connect fused jumper between terminal "B" (Orange wire) and terminal "A" (Tan wire). Disconnect convertible top relay 6 pin connector located behind left rear quarter
trim panel. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect test light between relay connector terminal "F" (Tan wire) and ground. If test light illuminates,  replace convertible top relay. If test light does not illuminate,
repair open or short to ground in Tan wire. See WIRING DIAGRAM .


1. Disconnect right hand motor and convertible top switch connectors. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect fused jumper from convertible top switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) to terminal
"C" (Light Blue wire). Connect test light between right hand motor connector terminal "B" (Dark Green wire) and ground. If test light illuminates,  go to next step. If test light does not illuminate,  check for faulty by
pass switch located under shelf panel on driver's side of trunk. If by pass switch is okay,  repair open or short to ground in Dark Green or Purple wire from by pass switch.
2. Connect fused jumper from switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) to terminal "A" (Tan wire). Connect test light between terminal "A" (Gray wire) of right hand motor connector and ground. If test light
illuminates,  replace right hand motor. If test light does not illuminate,  repair open or short to ground in Gray wire. See WIRING DIAGRAM .


1. Disconnect left hand motor and convertible top switch connectors. Turn ignition switch to RUN position. Connect fused jumper from convertible top switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) to terminal
"C" (Light Blue wire). Connect test light between left hand motor connector terminal "A" (Light Green wire) and ground. If test light illuminates,  go to next step. If test light does not illuminate,  check for faulty by
pass switch located under shelf panel on driver's side of trunk. If by pass switch is okay,  repair open or short to ground in Light Green or Purple wire from by pass switch.
2. Connect fused jumper from switch connector terminal "B" (Orange wire) to terminal "A" (Tan wire). Connect test light between terminal "B" (Gray wire) of left hand motor connector and ground. If test light
illuminates,  replace left hand motor. If test light does not illuminate,  repair open or short to ground in Gray wire. See WIRING DIAGRAM .
This si all he should need to check it out.

Nov 2, 2012.
Thank you so much for the detailed information and the wiring diagram. I copied it to my computer, translated it to Spanish, printed it off, and will take it to my mechanic. He should be able to get to it in a week or so. An honest and good mechanic is next to impossible to find here, so he is worth waiting for. I will let you know how things transpire. Again, thank you so much, morlaine.

Nov 8, 2012.
Lot of work to do just to get your car fixed but when not in u.S. I guess that is what you need to do. If you need parts and can't get them there, go to GMPARTSDIRECT. Com and you can do it online an dthey use regular gmm part numbers or if you can find a place that sells dorman products they are pretty good too, bu todnt' know if they sell convert parts or not. Parts direct you just go to the catalog type in your info. Really easy and they have prettyr good service especially for overseas places.

Nov 8, 2012.