1997 Chevy Cavalier Stalls

Tiny
AGUYWITHFEET
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 103,000 MILES
When I stop and start to turn the car stalls. It starts right back up. It also happens when I stop sometimes. It is quite dangerous. Any ideas? I have no error codes and took it to a mechanic who claimed it was the spark plug wires. He was doing it under a free service deal from a used car dealer however. We replaced and it stalled that day on the way home.
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Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 AT 5:08 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

It could be a couple things. First, check the easy items, air filter, plugs, fuel filter. If no problems, it could be a vacuum leak. Have someone with experience help you with looking for the vac leak.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.

Joe
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Friday, October 3rd, 2008 AT 9:58 AM
Tiny
AGUYWITHFEET
  • MEMBER
I had a neighbor look at it, who works at a toyota dealership as a mechanic. He told me he couldn't do anything till it actually happened. He said chevy's have notorious fuel pump issues. He said check the same things you mentioned. The plugs and wires and air filter are new.

I have a little better than basic knowledge of cars. Anything I dont know I can look up. Does the fuel pump seem likely though? It sounded like a long shot. Any opinion?

Where would I look for a vacuum leak?

About the fuel filter, I havent checked that. Is fuel filter hard to reach and replace on these cars? Ive only had it 3 months, haven't delved in too much yet.
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Monday, October 6th, 2008 AT 6:15 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

I'm glad you got someone to help. The fuel filter should be along the frame. As far as the fuel pump, it could be going bad. The only real way to check it is when you're having trouble, the fuel pressure and volume needs to be checked. You will the tools to do it correctly. The fuel pressure may be droping. On the other hand, it could be a map sensor, a mass air flow sensor, o2 sensor. There are so many things that could cause that problem. Have the fuel pressure checked. If it's normal, we'll go from there.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Monday, October 6th, 2008 AT 7:03 PM
Tiny
AGUYWITHFEET
  • MEMBER
Sorry I havent replied sooner. I will look into how to check the fuel pressure. THe neighbor I had helping me turned out to be no real help. But the problem has progressed. Now it stalls if you are idling and turn the air off. It will start to stall and catch itself sometime other times it just stalls. I had the alternator and battery checked because the the clock shut off when the lights turned on. The battery turned out to be bad. Ill reply when I check the fuel pressure. Does this info change anything though?
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Monday, October 13th, 2008 AT 6:15 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
When you had it scanned, was the car running ok? I'm starting to think it may be the TPS (throttle position sensor). Let me know what you find. I'm anxious to hear what you find.

Good luck,
Joe
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Monday, October 13th, 2008 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
AGUYWITHFEET
  • MEMBER
That was my original thought from looking around. Should I cause the car to stall then put the little diagnostic computer on it? Do you think it would tell me anything?

I believe the car was running fine when I put the tool on it.
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Friday, October 17th, 2008 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

The engine should be off when you scan the computer. Also, if you need a laugh, I have a Jimmy (S-15) which just started doing the same thing tonight (11:30PM). I'm 99.9% sure it's the TPS. I feel confident that is your problem too. I'll scan it tomorrow to be sure.

To answer your question, I do feel a scan tool may be helpful for you. Hopefully a code has been stored for you. If not, maybe you could get a TPS for it just to try.

JOe
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Friday, October 17th, 2008 AT 10:45 PM

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