1998 Chevy Cavalier Starting Problem

Tiny
KENREE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,000 MILES
This has become quite the puzzle. When I try to start the car, It cranks fine, but no spark. When I let the key go, and it returns to the run position, I get spark, and after 4 or 5 tries it will start and runs great. I have checked it via the coil wires and sure enough, while I'm cranking, no spark. The instant I let the key go (when it returns to the run position), I get spark. Before I realized this, I have replaced the battery, completed a full tuneup, replaced the ignition switch or relay, and took it to the dealer to have a thermal harness or relay installed. This was a recall that is suppose to stop a possible fire from occuring in the column to to excessive current to the ignition switch. The dealer seems to have no idea what the problem could be. It seems easy enough (while cranking, No spark. In the run position, we have spark) This becomes a narrow window for starting the vehicle. The only item that hasn't been replace is the keylock. Help Please!
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Thursday, September 30th, 2010 AT 11:34 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Maybe the shift cable or Park neautral switch needs a minor adjustment do it like this: PARK NEUTRAL POSITION (PNP) SWITCH FWD (Saturn) Place gear selector in Drive. Using an ohmmeter, check for continuity across switch terminals. If continuity does not exist, loosen switch retaining bolts and rotate switch to obtain continuity. Tighten switch retaining bolts to 12 ft. lbs. (16 N.m) and recheck continuity. FWD (Except Saturn) 1. Neutral safety switches come in 2 different types. See Fig. 16 . Ensure shift cable is adjusted. To adjust switch, place gear selector lever in Neutral. 2. Place transaxle lever in Neutral detent. Loosen switch attaching screws. Rotate switch on shifter assembly to align adjustment hole with carrier tang hole. 3. Insert a .094" (2.4 mm) wire gauge about 5/8" (16 mm) into switch holes. Tighten attaching screws. Remove wire gauge. New switches may have a plastic pin installed in hole. Plastic pin is designed to shear off during initial shift lever operation. NOTE: PNP switch may also be called Transmission Range (TR) switch, and was also previously known as neutral safety switch. Adjust switch so engine will start in Park or Neutral only.

Place gear selector lever in Neutral. Lift or press lock button on cable adjuster at transaxle mounting bracket. See Fig. 19 and Fig. 20 . Place transaxle lever in Neutral detent. Push down or release lock button.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_nss_3.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_shifta_4.jpg

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Friday, October 1st, 2010 AT 10:35 AM
Tiny
KENREE
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I'll give it a try, but would that condition not also stop the starter from cranking? The starter works fine. It just has no spark while cranking. The spark occurs as you release the key from the cranking position.
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Friday, October 1st, 2010 AT 11:26 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Never know with all the electronics today!
You are sure about the ignition switch being installed correctly? If it's off a bit it might also cause this.
Test the continuity of the switch, not impossibly to have got a dud!
IGNITION SWITCH
Turn ignition off. Disconnect ignition switch 6-pin connectors C1 and C2 located behind instrument
panel, left side of steering column. Using DVOM, check for continuity between specified terminals
with ignition switch in specified position. See Fig. 1 . See IGNITION SWITCH CONTINUITY
TEST table. If continuity does not exist as indicated, repair as necessary


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_Continuity_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_switch_test_IGN_1.jpg

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Friday, October 1st, 2010 AT 1:35 PM

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