2003 Cavalier dead. Won't start!

Tiny
AJD
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
I have a 2003 Cavalier 4 cylinder automatic with almost 60,000 miles. I've never before had a problem with it starting or any engine problems. This morning I took my daughter to school and came home, no problem with it starting or running, nothing seemed wrong. Then in the late afternoon I went to start it and it wouldn't start. It sounds like it usually does when it first starts but it never turns over, it just makes the sound like when it's cranking but the engine doesn't fire. The dash lights and fuel gauge turn on but the engine doesn't start. All the dash lights turn off like normal except for the check engine light, the battery light, and the oil light. However, I had a friend check the battery and the oil and he says they're fine and that it sounds to him like the engine isn't getting any gas. My first thought is the fuel pump but I'm not a mechanic, far from it. It just seems weird to me that I just drove it this morning and everything was fine and then all of a sudden it won't start with no symptoms of problems before. Does a fuel pump go out that quickly with no sign of problems?
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Friday, May 4th, 2007 AT 10:13 PM

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Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
It certainly can. Fuel pumps have various symptoms including your situation. How often have you changed the fuel filter?

However I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. No compression, not fuel and or no spark have the same symptoms as yours is having. Like a light bulb, it can flicker before it goes or or it just goes out.
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Friday, May 4th, 2007 AT 10:34 PM
Tiny
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Update on this. Had car towed to garage, when they got it there it started! They hooked it up to the computer checked the pressure, etc. And couldn't find anything wrong. I had 2 other people try to start it at my house before having it towed and it wouldn't start for them either, just cranked but wouldn't fire like the engine wasn't getting any gas so I know I'm not crazy. What in the world could cause it to just start running again and to check out ok on the computer, etc? I actually wish the mechanics would have found a problem because now I'm going to get it back and be nervous about driving it anywhere that it's going to not start again. It was due for an oil change in another week or so, so we had them go ahead and do an oil change and also requested that they check and change the fuel filter, but I'm still not going to be comfortable driving it knowing that the problem wasn't diagnosed and it could happen again any time. Anyone have any idea about why it would suddenly start again just fine and seem to not have a problem after being towed? This is just baffling to me.
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Thursday, May 10th, 2007 AT 11:47 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
It can be a component on it's way out or a wiring issue most likely. Intermittants can be a nightmare to diagnose. The key is to troubleshoot when the no start is present.

Just yesterday we had one that started out like yours, but when we got it, it barley cranked. The first thing was to get it cranking, battery went bad. Then it cranked and started. After a few tries, we were able to experience the no start. We couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Turns out the connector to the pump pump was corrodeed.

If that was your original fuel filter, then I wouldn't be surprized if the pump has been compromised.
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Friday, May 11th, 2007 AT 5:34 AM

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