Cavalier that starts runs for few miles then dies wont start for 10 minutes and repeats?

Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 124 MILES
I have a 1998 cheverolet Cavalier automatic 2.2l engine with a random dying problem. Its been an ongoing issue for a long time with multiple attempts to fix and strange symptoms but to try to sum it up the car runs perfect parked never dies (seems to hit rev limiter early when revving really cant tell without tach) but for some reaon when I take it out it runs great for about 10 minutes (sometimes more sometimes less) and dies generally when coming to a stop or when about to go from a stop sign, it then will not start for atleast 10 minutes after which it randomly starts working and runs again for a short ammount of time. I was able to take it to the coast once (over an hour away) without issues so im thinking either stop and go driving is making something hot or there may be an idle issue but I have replaced fuel filter, spark plugs, wires, coils, ignition control module (junk yard part but have tried 2 still possibility), water pump (unrelated issue) and possibly more that I cant remember

What could possibly be causing this issue? Could it be the fuel pump? When I first bought the car it leaked when the tank was full I eventually dropped the tank and fixed the rubber ring around the tank that was not attached properly, The pump sounds loud but I really wouldnt know how loud its supposed to be. Noone will drive the car so its really hard to figure out whats wrong when it dies because noone wants to be in it when it happens. Please help me this car has minimal miles and I have dumped alot of money into it and need it to be running.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:02 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
And have a computer scan for codes yet?
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Is the Malfunction Indicator Light showing? Have you checked for trouble codes?
When it could not be started, you need to check what is missing then. Fuel pressure, ignition sparks or others.

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-cranks-but-wont-start

Check out the above.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
No check engine light although it has popped the camshaft and crankshaft position sensor, I replaced both never had another issue with the camshaft sensor but I did eventually have an issue with the crankshaft position sensor. I took the car to a mechanic for a free diagnosis of the dying problem (no check engine light at the time). He couldnt get the car to die in his shop it kept dying down the street hed pull it back with his truck then by the time he went to test it it would start back up. He finally ended up replacing the crankshaft position sensor (without asking whether I had did it already) and then when I come to get my car (not very happy that hed done something id already done without asking and said if it works I owe him money). I pull out of his driveway the car dies and the check engine light comes on. We did this 2 times with new sensors him claiming it was fine and me not even getting a block away before bringing it back. Finally he puts my original (new) sensor back in the car and says he cant help me and I again leave and the car tries to die check engine light comes on and we barely make it home chugging. I have no idea how I managed to fix this problem but eventually after messing with wires and removing and re putting the sensor back in a couple times the check engine light went away and the problem stopped. I still have the dying issue but no check engine light and now not sure if thats also the issue. I havent been able to test it when it dies as ive only been in the car a couple times but I am pretty sure I have heard the fuel pump running still. It never dies in a place I can test anything and now I cant get anyone to drive it long enough to figure it out. Was really just hoping there would be a more definite idea to what could cause something to randomly die and not run for like 10 minutes (till it cools off maybe?) Then start again fine.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
Also I had even more issues with it dying when it was REALLY cold outside. During about a week of snow I could get the car to run sitting but when I moved it from the driveway it died. Then it died again when I tried to move it in front of the neighbors house. Couldnt keep it running. Doesnt have that issue anymore but I just remembered that happening maybe a clue toward the issue being heat related? Theres so many possibilities im stuck with hardly any money and not sure what to do next.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:29 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The crank sensor episode could be due to a loose connection somewhere and your meddling with it seems to have solved the problem

I would sugggest checking the idling sysytem. Have the throttle body and IAC cleaned and retest. If the idling speed is erratic, it can casue the symptoms described.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So the check engine light doesn't come on but have you still checked to make sure there aren't any new codes?When. It dies and wont start the first thing I would check for is spark.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If its dieing while your driving down the road then it wouldn't be the iac but if would die at stop then it could be. Also if you give it has and it still doesn't start and atleast run with you giving it gas it'd not a iac.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 7:56 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
IAC has been cleaned and sprayed throttle body out best I could. It improved throttle response but nothing major. I did that a long while back.

And no there are no new codes, It just wont pop one for this issue I really dont understand why.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When. It dies and wont start the first thing I would check for is spark.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:11 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
And as I said I really havent had much dead time to test its never at an opportune time and now noone wants to drive it. I dont think we had spark when trying to start it but really dont know. Im doing everything I can to save money to get plates put back on it and drive it to continue testing but I was hoping someone may know the likely issue or what to check first
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:13 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
If I dont have spark and the coils wires and plugs are all new and the ignition control module is the only thing from a junk yard is that the only possibility? Obviously could be a faulty part but assuming everything works is this the only possibility?
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:14 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Yes, it is possibile you have a bad rreplacement part. Prior to replacing the ICM, was the problem exactly similar or were there any difference?
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:18 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
It seemed like it was better for awhile then it happened again. But at the same time the car has done that before without replacing parts. It will randomly work for a few days without issue or even weeks. Then come back again. It did do that when I replaced the icm once and I thought I had fixed it. Then the second time it seemed like maybe it did for a day or two but then same thing. Its so intermittent that I really cant tell. I have another junkyard ICM that I havent used yet but I also have been running the car randomly in my driveway to keep the battery good (already killed one battery and now have a new one) and not had any issues with it dying so I wouldnt know by replacing it right away, then again if it happens again I wouldnt know if its because yet another faulty junkyard part. A new one is $250+ and I dont know of any reliable online parts stores that are safe, it seems all the ones on ebay are un-reliable parts. Its only $10 at the junkyard.

So I guess now my question is. If there is no spark (once I have this established as I believe this to be the problem if not fuel pressure that I have no way to test especially when randomly only dead for 10 minutes) is this the only possibility? Is there any other thing that could cause this issue? Could the computer cut the engine off for any reason without popping a code? Or could the computer (pcm whatever its called) overheat? I must establish im no master mechanic by any means im self-haynes/chilton taught with minor help here and there. I would just like to know all my possibilities.

If its no spark is the ignition control module only possibility?
If its bad fuel pressure is fuel pump able to die only when hot and then only work again 10 minutes later? Or can the pressure regulator have that issue?
Im down to these are the only 2 possibilities and im pretty sure its spark but wont know more till later but the issue isnt just gone so id like to stop poking in the dark and know the only possibilities
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:42 PM
Tiny
DAVIDMORGAN
  • MEMBER
Also another question regarding fuel pump, how loud is too loud for the fuel pump to be? It seems abnormally loud, especially after I fixed the o-ring on the top of the tank, it seemed quieter before I fixed it but it also obviously didnt have proper pressure. I fixed the leak/pressure and now its really loud is it possible the pumps burnt up? Can the pump cause these issues? Im pretty sure I heard it running when the car was dead once but im not 100% on that. I know I can still hear the fuel pump when behind the car while the cars running and its fairly loud. Is this an indication its bad or is that a known cavalier noisy fuel pump?
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 8:47 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Fuel pump would not operate with too much noise. You would only hear a slight vrrrr and only if you pay attention or is close by. Excessively loud noise can mean the pump was not installed correctly.

If you do not have sparks, it could be an ignition switch fault, EFI relays or ICM which do not throw codes. The crank sensor is also a cause for no sparks but it would usually throw a code.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 9:15 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The crank shaft sensor is easy to check with a multimer. First thing you need to do is see what you don't have when it doesn't start spark proper fuel pressure lack of injector pluse?Thats where you need to start to see which direction your going to start looking and testing. Otherwise its a wild goose chase and a guessing game.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
RENEGADE65
  • MEMBER
CMP or CKP
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Saturday, January 5th, 2013 AT 10:05 PM

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