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2002 cavalier having problems starting

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Anonymous Poster

May 17, 2009, 5:59 PM

Post #1 of 6 (6681 views)
  post locked   2002 cavalier having problems starting  

My 2002 chevy Cavalier LS is having problems starting up. Sometimes it starts with no problems but then it won't. When I put the key into the ignition then turn the switch and it is about to start up then everything switches off as if someone turned off the power. If you turn it off then try again nothing happens like a dead battery. When you are standing outside of the car you hear a click.
After a few minutes of waiting or even closing the hood slamming the door everything turns back to normal and the car cranks up.

Today, I was inspecting the fuses both in and the fuses under the hood(didn't know new cars had this, all I driven are car models 1995 and below). I walked back to the car to get the manual and some of the dash lights, came on with out a key in it. This never happened before. It was just the brake indicator, the check engine, bright beams and all that stuff. Not the turn signals or the over head light that turns on when you open the car door.

I took out the fuse that controls the dash put it back in and everything was fine and dandy.
I did an experiment after that, I started the car up and turned it on and off about two times and it stopped starting. I pulled the dash fuse out and put it back in and it started up fine. It was like pressing a reset button or something.

Also, I noticed the first time I drove it at night that the interior lights, the ones that light up the dash, the radio and the ac would blink as if my battery didn't have enough power. I had my husband watching the headlights and they were fine.

The previous owner of the car, my mother-in-law, said that the car wouldn't start sometimes when she turned the ignition switch and that was the only description she gave me. My father-in-law drove the car just as much as she did and said he experienced nothing. They drove the car almost everyday and I only have it out three times a week and the problem seemed to have gotten a lot worse. The car was a gift by the way.
So what it up with my car?

Note: Three of the power windows aren't working. Only the front passenger is working fine. I would like to think this problem is unrelated and I just have three power window motors to replace.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 18, 2009, 3:19 AM

Post #2 of 6 (6669 views)
  post locked   Re: 2002 cavalier having problems starting  

I'd concentrate on battery cable connections. GM ends at battery are a trouble spot and some at the other end of the pos cable at starter motor. Follow neg cable to engine block and check it too,


Anonymous Poster

May 19, 2009, 12:45 PM

Post #3 of 6 (6657 views)
  post locked   Re: 2002 cavalier having problems starting  

I did as you said and looked at the battery and the connection and this was what I found, the left battery cable was loose. But not that loose. In my mind,wasn't loose enough to have any problems. I inspected a few wires and then reconnected everything and started the car up several times and even drove it came back turned the car off and on again and did it some more when I drove into the driveway unable to reproduce what had happened. So I am guessing to was a loose battery cable but I wonder if it was the problem this entire time. I have yet to talk to my in laws about it but could they have over-looked this the entire time? I was on the assumption that they looked at the battery and played with the cables. The car had been doing something of what I described since around January.
Though, there isn't a mechanical person in that entire family.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 19, 2009, 2:37 PM

Post #4 of 6 (6653 views)
  post locked   Re: 2002 cavalier having problems starting  

I really think you fixed it! Hurray! Now go douse the cable ends with WD-40 and make that on a routine to-do list!

Just know that the 5/16 hex (8mm is same) and be warned that you disconnect neg first so it the tool hit something metal nothing will happen. Neg off first last one solved that issue.

Good luck. If it does it again take a good look with them off as those silley washer like inserts in the battery cable end can screw up. Whole cables or quality splices are availale for the fix if you find that.

Good luck!


New User

Jan 4, 2012, 4:52 PM

Post #5 of 6 (6096 views)
  post locked   Re: 2002 cavalier having problems starting  

Okay, I was riding down the road and i heard a pop and the Cavalier quit running, so i checked the fuse box and the pcm fuses was blowed. So i changed the Pcm and the pcm fuses and i changed the CrankShaft sensor. Now, there is not any battery voltage on the wiring harness going to the Coil pack. Somtimes you can wiggle the shifter and it would start, but now it doesn't. The motor will sometimes crank without the key in the switch by it's self. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?????

(This post was edited by Doodle on Jan 4, 2012, 4:53 PM)

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 4, 2012, 5:17 PM

Post #6 of 6 (6089 views)
  post locked   Re: 2002 cavalier having problems starting  

This is a nearly 3 year old thread. If you have a question, start a new question of your own.


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