1996 Chevy Cavalier Battery Connections

Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
I replaced my battery and accidently connected the cables reverse (+ to - and - to +). I connected the positive and only touched the negative cable for a moment when I realized my mistake. My car started but I had all the warning lights on the dash flashing. I moved the car and parked it. I later tried to start it and it turns over but will not start. I checked the fuses in the engine compartment and all are fine. I do not know how to check the relays in the engine compartment. Any suggestions on what damage I may have done?
Thanks, Fred
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 AT 1:52 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Check around the starter for fusible links pull lightly on each one to check them
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 AT 5:48 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Checked my fusible links (the only one I could find was at the starter), all my fuses are good, but I did notice that the anti-theft light flashes for a long time after the ignition is turned off. If it is flashing the car won't start. Once it stops flashing the car will start. I'm just affraid to head down the road in it for fear it will die in the middle of nowhere.
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Monday, March 10th, 2008 AT 5:59 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Turn key on
security light flashing
try to start and let go leave key on
security light flasher for about 10 min
when it stops
turn key off and start car
key needed to be reprogrammed
happy driving after that
in some rear cases you may have to do that 3 times total of 30 min
good luck
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Monday, March 10th, 2008 AT 6:07 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
OK, that worked for the theft light but as soon as I put my car in drive and moved a few feet all the warning lights started coming on and blinking again. Are there other fusible links that I may have missed or do you think I cooked my computer?
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Saturday, March 15th, 2008 AT 6:06 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
If it started I would say ECM safe
can you start it back up
check the battery terminals and make sure they are tight
do the key thing again
let it idle for 5 to 10 min
then try driving it
let me know
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Saturday, March 15th, 2008 AT 6:30 AM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Took me a while. My primary car died also and it had to be repaired before I could get back to the Cavalier.
I checked the battery terminals. OK
I did the key thing again, 3 times.
I let it idle 5-10 min, 3 times. No lights flashing.
I put it in drive and before I could get out of the driveway the following lights on the dash start flashing or stay on;
brake- on
abs- on
theft- on
airbag- on
seatbelt- on (even when buckled up)
daytime running lights- flashing
check oil- flashing
low water- flashing
battery- flashing
oil pressure- flashing
seatbelt/key/headlight chime goes on and off while driving.
All this starts when put into drive.
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Sunday, April 6th, 2008 AT 12:26 PM
Tiny
GTRGILBERT541
  • MEMBER
Sounds like you might of fried the Engine computer they are usually located behind the dash board, i would consider other options before going and buying new engine computer even though that's what it sounds like they usually cost between $100-$160

Computer


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/181828_ecc0254mu1_1.jpg

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Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 AT 10:08 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Trying to get back to work on this. Checked wiring again and found no problems. Sounds like a computer is next. My repair manual says that the home mechanic cannot install and program the computer and it must be taken to a dealer. Anyone know if this is true? If I have to take it to a dealer, the $100-150 will triple and I don't know if I'm willing to put that kind of money into it.
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Monday, October 6th, 2008 AT 11:32 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Yes its true you can not replace the PCM with out programming it
it has to go to the dealer
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Monday, October 6th, 2008 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Is there some special equipment involved that only the dealer would have or would most any auto repair shop be able to replace it? Seems like after 12 years most any shop should be able to replace and program it.
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Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 AT 6:03 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
You can call around I'm not sure in your area!

I know its a software issue( more then machine or an equipment) as GM will not release it so other have no access to it
I would make sure and be 100% sure its the PCM before I go for replacement

good luck
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Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 AT 6:17 AM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
You have read in my previous post what I have checked to this point, so what would you recommend I try next. Is it possible for my ignition switch to be causing some of my problems? I have noticed that I have to play with the key to get it to unlock to start. Anything I may have missed?
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Thursday, October 9th, 2008 AT 5:59 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Lets start fresh
it will take me a week to go back and check all was said before
tell me again what is going on
and what did you replace
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Thursday, October 9th, 2008 AT 6:22 AM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Take the week to go back and read. It'll take me 2 weeks to compile the list of things I've done. Take your time and read everything. Maybe you have some other suggestions.

Thanks
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Thursday, October 9th, 2008 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
I do NOT think its the PCM
Can you do this
run a new temp ground wire to engine from the battery negative side
and let check if the flashing stop
I was checking the wiring diagram and all have one common ground
its right front of engine compartment
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Thursday, October 9th, 2008 AT 7:22 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
I'll give it a try this weekend and let you know of any changes.
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Friday, October 10th, 2008 AT 5:57 AM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
It's been raining here all weekend and I started to give the other negative cable a try. Did you mean to run a new cable to a new location or an additional cable (2 cables from Battery to engine)?
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Sunday, October 12th, 2008 AT 9:48 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Run an additional ground line
from the battery to the engine
dont remove or replace any cables.
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Sunday, October 12th, 2008 AT 5:24 PM
Tiny
IMAFISHINGFRED
  • MEMBER
Gave it a try this morning. Only change is that the theft light is no longer flashing. Engine turns over but car won't start/run at all. May have to go back to square 1 and make sure I have fuel and fire.
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Monday, October 13th, 2008 AT 9:11 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Best to do
start fresh like its just happened check the basic
security light out is a good thing
like you said check for spark and fuel pressure
just make sure you have fuel in the tank and good too
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Monday, October 13th, 2008 AT 6:04 PM

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