1995 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 120000 miles
My wife has a 1995 Chevy Cavalier, 2.2L, 4 cylinder w/about 120,000 miles on it. She just bought it used +/- 6 months ago. Over the last couple of months she's been having a problem starting the car butonly once in a while. I only use it once in a while and I'm never around when this happens. When I start it, it starts fine. I removed a plug and checked for a spark and that seemed fine. She said she's smelled gas so I assume it's getting fuel although that might indicate a flooding situation; but this seems strange for a fuel injected car. The car seems spunky enough when I'm driving it; good acceleration, no misfires, smooth running, so I'm guessing that that indicates that the compression is pretty good. I haven't seen anything disconnected or broken and all the fuses are fine.
Sounds like the Ignition module is the culprit. However when they go it is usually down for the count. It could also be the CSPS (crank shaft position sensor) I have seen some act up intermitantly. Have you hade any (DTC Diagnostic Trouble Codes) or a check engine light stay on or come on and go off?
February, 12, 2009 AT 4:42 PM
The Oil light comes on and off intermittently but that's about it (oil volume is OK). (I was going to work on that issue when the no start problem came up.) However, my wife can drive forever with a warning light on and not give it a second thought. I haven't scanned it with my code reader yet. I put my code reader in a " safe" place because it was so expensive and now I can't find it. I plan on doing some diagnostic testing this weekend.
Ie: Check for spark again, if I can I'll test the ICM and the CSPS, fuel pressure regulator, vacuum leaks, Fuel Pump relay, fuses, and just about anything likely or unlikely.
February, 13, 2009 AT 12:37 PM
That is a good clue some vehicles have a oil psi sensor that shuts off the feul pump when you have low oil psi. This is a safety feature built in to save the engine for the driver who can ignore the warning light. I am not sure about this particular model I just seen your response and thought I would give you that info. I will check and see if your vehicle has this safety feature built in and get back with you. Just one of many things you may have to check to get it going again. Good Luck
February, 13, 2009 AT 4:56 PM
Thanks you very much for all of your help.
I checked my shop manual and it said that there is a " Oil Level Switch" and a " Fuel Pump and Oil Pressure Indicator Switch". However, unless I'm wrong, these seem to be " Indicator" switches as opposed to " Safety" or " Fail Safe" switches that will prevent the car from starting if there is low oil pressure but I'm not certain of that. The Oil level is fine because I just changed the oil and filter. I'm going to put a new fuel filter in tomorrow but I'm not optimistic about that being a solution.
February, 13, 2009 AT 7:55 PM
That may be the case. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction. Just remember if
the oil psi switch is a safety it will energize and
de-energize the feul pump based on oil pressure
not based on volume in other words the level can
be perfect but if your not building enough psi
to make the switch the feul pump will not energize.
February, 18, 2009 AT 10:16 AM
Thanks for you all your help. It looks like you steered me in exactly the right direction. I replaced the Fuel Pump/Oil Pressure Switch and the Oil Level Switch and it started right up. One of the new spark plugs that I installed 2 weeks ago was cracked when I pulled it to check for spark. But I think I did that when I was pulling it as opposed to it being cracked all along and causing my no start problem. Plus I think a broken plug would have caused a rough running situation instead.
In any case, it's running and both I and my wife are happy and grateful for your help.
February, 18, 2009 AT 2:39 PM
Hey that is great to hear. Glad we could help. Make sure to tell your family and friends where you got help from 2CarPros.