1999 Chevrolet Cavalier

Computer problem
1999 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 120000 miles

Hi there,

I'm writing about my '99 Chevy Cavalier.

I starting having problems starting it a couple of months ago. It would crank, crank, crank and sometimes start and other times not. When it wouldn't, it would seem to 'reset' itself when I turned the key to the totally off position and wait a second or two. Then it would start right up.
I also got the occasional backfire.

Next the check engine light came on and the speedometer went nuts so I brought it to the shop.
Code P0335 came up and they replaced the crankshaft sensor. That didn't fix the problem and I had to bring it back. They replaced the battery which was testing bad which fixed the speedometer and initially seemed to solve the trouble I'd been having starting the car. The next day, however, the problems returned including the backfiring (speedometer remains fixed). The check engine light is also on and still gives the p0335 code.

I brought it back to my mechanic a third time and he spent a day and a half trying to figure out the problem, to no avail. He said he even swapped the ignition with one from another chevy cavalier to eliminate that as the problem. Ultimately, he was stumped and referred me to the dealer.

The dealer has been trying to diagnose the problem now for 2 days and $400, but they have no answer yet and I'm still waiting. The only thing they know for sure is that I have a P0335 code and that there is a possibility that the crankshaft sensor is broken again even though it was replaced 2 weeks ago. They re-flashed the computer and that also didn't solve the problem.

Does anyone know what the problem might be?
November 24, 2009.

If the same code keeps coming up, the problem lies there. The new sensor may not be good. THey can test it to make sure. If it is good, then the problem has to lie in the wiring to the sensor. I would be checking for damaged, freyed, wiring. Also, I would be checking for continunity in the wiring to make sure there isn't too much resistance causing the problem.

If you can, let me know what they have spent 2 days on.

They say they checked the harness, the ignition, the crank shaft sensor and the PCM. I am going to ask for a more detailed list.

They still aren't sure of the problem. They say they're getting an error code from the PCM, but they can't tell me what error.
Also, they removed the crankshaft sensor when they were poking around in there and weren't able to get it back on because they say it was bent. They charged me for a new crankshaft sensor, but not the labor.

Their $408 dollar diagnosis is just a 'maybe'.
They want to replace the computer ($676) to see if that fixes it. If it doesn't, they want another $318 to remove the oil pan so they can get a better look at the wheel to see if it's the problem. I don't have how much it will be to fix the wheel if they find that it needs replacement.

Nov 24, 2009.
What wheel are they talking about?

Oh sorry. The flywheel

Nov 25, 2009.
THere should be an inspection plate to remove and see the flywheel. Regardless, the flywheel isn't causing this problem. If they say it to you again, ask them how a flywheel can cause the car to backfire and run poorly. Let me know what they say.

I'm still waiting for them to return my call.
WHen they first mentioned the flywheel, they said they thought it was a possibility that the flywheel & crankshaft sensor were not aligned. Also, when they weren't able to get the old crankshaft sensor back on, they thought it could be because of the flywheel.

Nov 25, 2009.
. One more thing. They mentioned the reluctor in conjunction w/the flywheel. I don't know much about cars, but got the impression they were both part of the same thing and that the crankshaft sensor is somehow attached?

Nov 25, 2009.
Okay, I finally heard back from them.
Here are the problems they list: 1. Starter is slow, needs to be replaced
2. Flywheel is damaged due to slow starter
3. &Quot; Internal open at PCM" --need new PCM
4. Possible problem with reluctor, but they need to remove the oilpan and they want $318 just to check.

I think I misunderstood about the flywheel vs. Reluctor.
I guess the starter/flywheel is another issue altogether.

Nov 25, 2009.
That makes more sense; however, a slow starter doesn't damage a flywheel. As far as the reluctor, it is on the crank and that is what the crank sensor recognizes. Now I understand why they need to remove the pan. If there is an internal open in the PCM, it isn't repairable. I would suggest if there is an open in the PCM, start with that. Chances are the other work (oil pan / reluctor) won't need touched. If the starter is bad, that will still need replaced, but I really question how a slow starter damaged the flywheel. In all my years (30) I have never see a slow starter damage a flywheel.

Thanks so much Jacobandnickolas : )

It is peace of mind for me to have your advice!
I'm going to tell them to proceed w/the PCM and see what happens : D

Nov 25, 2009.
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