1996 Chevy Cavalier car not starting.

Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 182,000 MILES
Sometimes when I turn my car off or on my car will make a slight buzzing coming from the steering column near the ignition. Well recently it has not wanted to start usually I hear this noise before the car wont start. I recently just put a new starter on it and replaced the cooling fan. Have you ever heard of this problem? It is driving me nuts. I hope you can help.
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 8:53 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

To better assist you is your model just the Cavalier, or the LS or the Z24? Also can you tell me your engine size in liter and the 8th digit of your VIN.

Just a few questions. Why did you change the starter and the cooling fan?

Was it making this sound prior to this?

When you say it has not wanted to start. Does that mean you turn the car on, the key all the way to start and nothing. No sound nothing. The dash lights are on but no starter sound?

Or, the car turns over and is making noise but it is not starting up?

Just in case, please go to Auto Zone (AZ) or O'Reilly's (OR) and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery and alternator.
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
When I turn the wheel a certain way it makes a buzzing noise from the steering column sounds electrical. Also its a 2.2 L 4 door Chevy sedan I guess you could say. The Check engine light isnt on so I didnt know I could get the code read for it. When I turn the car over itll crank just wont catch or whatever you would call it to start. My cooling fan wasnt working so I had to replace it and my starter went out, when I would try and start it nothing would happen changing the starter fixed that problem. Now when I go to start it all lights come on and everything. It usually starts in the mornings its later in the evening I have troubles with it.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 7:54 AM
Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
The other day I started it and it made the same buzzing sound and then my engine revved up like I was pushing the gas. It did this for like 15 seconds.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 8:00 AM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

Okay. Good info. And you can tell that each time the sound is coming from the same area, the steering column. Is it near the ignition switch, in the lock cylinder or the steering wheel pad area where the horn is.

Have you done any wiring in any of these areas. Accidents etc
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 8:38 AM
Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
It seems to be coming near the bottom near the lock column close to the ignition. I have not have any wiring done while I owned the car, but it does not look like anyone else has either. Im going to go out and try and start it. Ill also get the 8th digit of the VIN. Thanks for ur help so far impala
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 8:42 AM
Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
I just went out and it started. The 8th digit in the Vin is a 4. It seems when I turn the wheel the engine seems to surge. Maybe its just my imagination.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 8:57 AM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

Okay, great info. Thanks

You have 182K on the car so it is time for things to start going.

I would still like you to get the codes checked per the instructions above. That may help us.

Next, when was the last time you did a tune up. Plugs, wires?

We need to figure out if it is electrical or fuel related. Pull a plug wire off of the spark plug and insert something into the end of it and have someone try to start the car and have the metal object really close to a piece of metal on the engine and see if you are getting a good strong popping blue spark. Don't have your hands on any part of the metal! If there is no spark, then it is electrical.

If you are getting good spark then spray some starting fluid in the throttle body and try to start it and see if it tries to start then.

You may need to get a fuel pressure check on the fuel pump to ensure it is putting out okay. We will see.

If the car is turning over but not starting then for now that kind of rules out the ignition switch.

As for the buzzing sound. You may need to remove the steering wheel pad and see if there are any broken wires. For now check the steering column really good for any loose or broken wires. My only concern with you removing he pad is the air bag. Have you done anything like this before and feel you can do it safely?
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

Okay, great info. Thanks

You have 182K on the car so it is time for things to start going.

I would still like you to get the codes checked per the instructions above. That may help us.

Next, when was the last time you did a tune up. Plugs, wires?

We need to figure out if it is electrical or fuel related. Pull a plug wire off of the spark plug and insert something into the end of it and have someone try to start the car and have the metal object really close to a piece of metal on the engine and see if you are getting a good strong popping blue spark. Don't have your hands on any part of the metal! If there is no spark, then it is electrical.

If you are getting good spark then spray some starting fluid in the throttle body and try to start it and see if it tries to start then.

You may need to get a fuel pressure check on the fuel pump to ensure it is putting out okay. We will see.

If the car is turning over but not starting then for now that kind of rules out the ignition switch.

As for the buzzing sound. You may need to remove the steering wheel pad and see if there are any broken wires. For now check the steering column really good for any loose or broken wires. My only concern with you removing he pad is the air bag. Have you done anything like this before and feel you can do it safely?

Thank you very much for the donation

Please let us know if what the final fix was for your car so we can better assist others. Thanks!

Find a car repair manual for your car repair questions.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 10:49 PM
Tiny
ELAMJA2
  • MEMBER
Ok. The car made the same buzzing sound and now will not start at all. I checked the plugs and wires and there is no spark. I sprayed starting fluid in it and again nothing. I took off the steering colum and do not see any messed up wires. I am clueless, my dad keeps saying that it is something with ignition thus the plugs arent sparking but I do not know. Can you give me something to look at. Could it be the coils or the ign module? How do I check those?
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Monday, September 14th, 2009 AT 4:25 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

So if I understand you correctly, you can turn the key....the engine turns over, spins, acting like it is going to start but does not.

You checked for spark but no spark........

I didn't see where you went to Auto Zone to check the codes.....since the car won't start please go to Auto Zone (AZ) or O'Reilly's (OR) and use their tool check out program and get the code scanner. Check your codes, if you find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that.

Okay check Ignition Fuse, 50A in the engine compartment...use an ohm meter to verify it is good.

Check Fuse 1 15A ignition fuse.........

Check Ignition Coil

IGNITION COIL POWER SOURCE

Turn ignition on. Check Pink/Black or Pink wire of ignition module for battery voltage. If battery voltage is not present, check ignition or PCM fuse. If fuse is not blown, check for open between fuse and ignition module.
IGNITION COIL RESISTANCE
If ignition coil is suspected of causing misfire or no-spark condition, switch coil locations on DIS module. If problem follows questionable coil, check ignition coil resistance or replace original coil. For ignition coil resistance, see IGNITION COIL RESISTANCE table.
IGNITION COIL RESISTANCE
Application Ohms
Primary (1) *

Secondary 5000-8000
A defective crankshaft position sensor will prevent a spark, here is a check you can do to see if the sensor is okay

CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR
A malfunction in the crankshaft position sensor circuit will set a related diagnostic trouble code. For testing procedures, see TESTS W/CODES article. To diagnose crankshaft position sensor, the following procedures can be used:
1. If a scan tool is available, scan RPM parameter while cranking engine. If RPM is indicated, crankshaft position sensor is operating properly.
2. If scan tool is not available, disconnect crankshaft position sensor harness connector. Set ohmmeter to 2-k/ohm position, and measure resistance across sensor terminals. Resistance should be 800-1200 ohms.
3. On all engines, set voltmeter on the 2-volt AC scale. Crank engine and measure output voltage across sensor terminals. Voltmeter reading should be .8-1.4 volts. If resistance reading is not as specified or sensor does not produce the specified output voltage reading, repair faulty wiring or faulty crankshaft position sensor.

CRANKSHAFT POSITION (CKP) SENSOR PICK-UP COIL SHORT &
RESISTANCE CHECKS
1. Set DVOM on 2000-ohm scale position. Connect DVOM leads to CKP sensor connector, located on side of engine block. Turn ignition off. Disconnect ignition module connectors. Check resistance between CKP sensor terminals at ignition module connector.
2. CKP sensor resistance should be within specification range listed in CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR (CKP) RESISTANCE table. If resistance is not as specified, replace CKP sensor. If sensor is within specification, go to next step.
3. With CKP sensor installed in block, connect one ohmmeter lead to either sensor terminal at ignition module. Touch other lead of ohmmeter to engine block. No continuity should exist. If continuity exists, sensor or harness is shorted to ground and must be repaired or replaced.
Application Ohms
2.2L 800-120

It may be the engine coolant temperature sensor - here is that check

ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE (ECT) SENSOR
If a coolant sensor-related diagnostic trouble code is present, see TESTS W/CODES article. An out-of-calibration sensor may not set a diagnostic trouble code. Use following procedure to test sensor calibration. Disconnect ECT sensor connector. Measure resistance between sensor terminals. Resistance should be high when engine is cold and drop as engine warms. See ECT SENSOR RESISTANCE VALUES table.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_ECT_Chart_1.jpg



Info on checking the ignition system

Ignition System
1. Install scan tool. Check for stored Diagnostic Trouble Code(s) and diagnose DTC(s) first. Scan TP sensor voltage. TP sensor reading should be less than one volt. If reading is not as specified, use DTC P0121 test. See TESTS W/CODES article. Scan ECT sensor temperature. Coolant temperature should be close to ambient temperature. If not, diagnose using DTC P0118. See TESTS W/CODES article.
2. Scan 7X reference pulses while cranking engine. If reference pulses are not present, go to step 11). Crank engine and check for spark using Spark Tester (ST-125) on spark plug wires No. 1 or 4 and 2 or 3. Check one wire at a time. Ground companion spark plug wire and leave other wires connected to spark plugs while cranking. If spark is not present on either wires or spark is present on only one spark plug wire, go to step 6).
3. If all parameters scan okay, probe fuel pump test connector (Red wire located behind left front shock tower) using a test light connected to battery voltage. With ignition off, test light should be on. Turn ignition on. Test light should go out for about 2 seconds and then come back on. If test light functions as described, go to next step. If test light does not function as described, check fuel pump relay power supply, driver circuit and windings.
4. Disconnect all injector connectors. Connect injector test light to injector No. 1 or 4 connector. Crank engine. Connect injector test light to injector No. 2 or 3 connector. Crank engine. Test light should flash on both tests. If test light flashed, perform injector balance test. See INJECTOR BALANCE TEST in SYSTEM/COMPONENT TESTS article. If test light did not flash on both tests, or flashed only on one of the tests, or was on steady on one or both tests, go to step 17).
5. Install fuel pressure gauge. Turn ignition on and note fuel pressure after 2 seconds. Pressure should be 41-47 psi (2.9-3.3 kg/cm2 ). If fuel pressure is okay, check for fouled spark plugs, EGR stuck open or shorted A/C pressure sensor. If fuel pressure is not as specified, diagnose fuel system. See BASIC FUEL SYSTEM CHECKS (A-7) .
CAUTION: When probing DIS circuits, ensure hands and clothing do not contact rotating engine belts and pulleys.
6. Turn ignition off. Disconnect 6-wire Ignition Control Module (ICM) connector. Connect DVOM negative lead to ground and positive lead to ICM terminal "D" (Orange wire). Crank engine. Repeat test on ICM terminal "E" (White wire). See Fig. 2 . Frequency reading should be 1-10 Hertz. If neither terminals showed frequency response, go to step 8). If only one terminal showed frequency response, diagnose ignition system for misfire. See BASIC IGNITION SYSTEM CHECKS (C-4) . If both terminals showed frequency response, go to next step.
7. Disconnect ICM 2-wire connector. Turn ignition on. Check voltage to ICM connectors "A" (Black wire) and "B" (Pink Wire). See Fig. 2 . Battery voltage should be present. If voltage is not present, c heck for open in circuit. If battery voltage is present, check ICM connector terminals. If terminals are okay, replace ICM.
8. Turn ignition off. Connect test light to battery voltage. Using test light, probe ICM connector terminals "D" (Orange wire) and "E" (White wire). If test light illuminates, go to next step. If test light does not illuminate, disconnect PCM connector. Probe ICM terminals "D" and "E" again. If test light illuminates, repair shorted ICM terminal "A" (Black wire) or "B" (Pink wire) circuit. If test light does not illuminate, replace faulty PCM.
9. Turn ignition on. Using DVOM, check voltage between ground and PCM terminals C3-31 and C3-32. Voltage should not be present on either terminal. If voltage is not present, go to next step. If voltage is present on either terminal, check for short to voltage in Black or Pink wire between ICM and PCM circuit.
10. Turn ignition off. Connect ohmmeter between PCM terminals C3-31 and C3-32. Reading should be infinite resistance. If resistance reading is as specified, inspect Pink PCM connector. If connector is okay, replace PCM. If resistance reading is not as specified, check for short in Black or Pink wire between ICM and PCM circuit.
11. Turn ignition off. Disconnect crankshaft position sensor connector. Connect test light between crankshaft position sensor terminal "C" (Red wire) and ground. Turn ignition on. If test light illuminates, go to step 13). If test light does not illuminate, go to next step.
12. Turn ignition off. Using test light, backprobe PCM terminal C1-24. If test light illuminates, check sensor circuit for open. If circuit and connector are okay, replace PCM. If test light does not illuminate, disconnect PCM connector. Using DVOM, check sensor feed circuit resistance. Resistance should be infinite. If resistance is infinite, check PCM connections. If okay, replace PCM. If resistance is not infinite, repair short to ground in sensor feed circuit.
13. Turn ignition off. Connect test light to battery positive and probe sensor harness terminal "B" (Pink/Black wire). If test light illuminates, go to next step. If test light does not illuminate, check sensor ground circuit for open. If circuit and connection are okay, replace PCM.
14. Turn ignition on. Connect test light to battery positive. Touch and remove test light to sensor harness terminal "A" (Dark/Blue White wire). Using Tech 1 scan tool, watch 7X reference. If reference value increases, check sensor connection. If sensor connection is okay, replace crankshaft position sensor. If reference value does not increase, go to next step.
15. Connect test light to ground. Touch test light to sensor harness terminal "A" (Dark/Blue White wire). If test light does not illuminate, check for short to ground or open in sensor reference circuit. If circuit is okay, replace PCM. If test light illuminates, go to next step.
16. Turn ignition off. Disconnect PCM connector. Turn ignition on. Connect test light to PCM terminal C2-32 (sensor reference). If test light illuminates, repair short to ground in sensor reference circuit. If test light does not illuminate, replace PCM.
17. If test light did not flash at both injector harness terminals, go to next step. If test light did not flash at one of injector harness terminals, go to step 20). If test light was on steady on one or both injector harness terminals, check injector drive circuits for short to ground. See Fig. 2 . Repair as necessary. If circuit is okay, problem is faulty PCM connection or faulty PCM.
18. Remove injector test light from injector harness. Connect test light to ground and probe injector harness circuit No. 120 (Gray wire) terminal. Turn ignition on. If test light does not illuminate, go to next step. If test light illuminates, check injector driver circuits for open or short to voltage. See Fig. 2 . Repair circuits. If circuits are okay, replace PCM.
19. Disconnect 5-wire injector connector. Connect test light between ground and injector harness circuit No. 120 (Gray wire). If test light illuminates, check for open in harness connector between PCM and injector. If test light does not illuminate, repair open in ignition circuit or in 5-wire injector harness connector.
20. Check injector harness circuit which did not illuminate for open or poor connection to PCM. Repair open circuit. See Fig. 2 . If circuit is okay, check PCM connector. If connector is okay, replace PCM

Figure 2 for above


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_f2_6.jpg



My suggestion - pull codes first........don't worry about the fuel checks right now...lets get a spark.......then the fuses, then the other things in order above.......
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Monday, September 14th, 2009 AT 10:12 PM

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