1998 Chevy Cavalier Complete Electrical Problems

Tiny
KRAZED_CHICK
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 192,865 MILES
I just bought a 98 Cavalier and went to have a stereo put in at future shop. It was installed and now we believe the car has some kind of electrical problem. There are always a variety of lights lit up on the dashboard, some of them being ABS stays lit and the high beams light flashes and things like that. Sometimes the temp gauge will jump around from 40 to 90 and the battery light and check engine lights flash when this happens. When we put the car into any gear the stereo will not work. It just flashes constantly and turns off. It seems to affect the whole dashboard of the car including the stereo but not the heating controls. Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?
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Thursday, October 15th, 2009 AT 7:27 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
It sounds like the shop did a very sloppy install and hooked stereo into ABS power and IP power.

Have them fix it, or remove stereo, but honestly, I am not sure I would let them touch it again.

I would have them remove stereo and if problem persists, have GM fix it and let the stereo shop pay for it.
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Monday, October 19th, 2009 AT 9:40 AM
Tiny
KRAZED_CHICK
  • MEMBER
The main problem was that whoever changed the battery did not ground it back to the battery tray. I've noticed a lot of people with cavaliers have this problem. Since putting the ground wire on everything works great. Now to just get those dreadful lights to go off of the instrument cluster. The ABS, both brake lights, traction, and airbag lights all stay on. I'm thinking its unrelated and a different fix. Any ideas anyone?
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 7:26 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Have the car scanned for "B" and "C" codes (Body and Chassis). This will tell you why the ABS and airbag lights are on.
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 9:37 AM
Tiny
KRAZED_CHICK
  • MEMBER
Is there an easier do it yourself method?
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 10:55 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
I'm afraid not.

OBDII equipped cars (cars build after 1995) have 4 different types of error codes. "P" powertrain, "C" chassis, "B" body and "U" communications.

Some autoparts stores will read "P" codes but only a well equipped shop can read the rest.

It is obvious the stereo install was the cause of the problem, so have them remove it or repair it at their expense.
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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 AT 8:44 AM

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