'97 Cavalier - will turn over for a s...

'97 Cavalier - will turn over for a second or two, then shut down! =(

Posted in the Chevrolet Cavalier Forum

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Sasha

Nicholasville, KY

#1 Jan 15, 2008
My 1997 Chevy Cavalier Has A 2.2 OHV Engine, Approx. 150,000 Miles..

My Problem: When I Turn The Key, The Engine Will Turn Over, And Will Sometimes Run For 1-3 Seconds (if At All), And Then Shut Down. When It Shuts Down, You Have To Turn The Key Back Off, And Then On Again To Get It To Try To Start.

At First, None Of The Dashlights (including The Gear Shift Indicator Light) Would Come On. Since Replacing The Electrical Part Of The Ignition Switch, The Lights Now Come On.

We Have Replaced The Battery And Had The Alternator Tested. Have Replaced The PCM (powertrain Control Module), Still Nothing.

This Is My Only Car, my budget is very tight, and Any Help/advice You May Have Will Be VERY Appreciated!!

Thanks In Advance!

(can email [email protected] or reply here)
dana

United States

#2 Jan 18, 2008
I am having the same trouble, but on mine, my theft system light is now on and won't turn off. I think these cars have and anti theft device, but I don't know how to turn it off.
h brown

Schenectady, NY

#3 Feb 3, 2008
its definetly the theft systym you can reset it or take it to the dealer and get new key and switch in it they have to program the switch
Mark

San Antonio, TX

#4 Feb 13, 2008
My 1996 had the same symptoms. Here is what I have so far:
Two different shops said that the problem is with the ignition system (ignition cylinder, its housing, and the ignition switch). Apparently they are sending a theft signal to the computer which causes the engine to die immediately after start up.
The (reputable) mechanics at City Garage gave me the straight story but admitted that they could do nothing as it would involge proprietary equipment at a GM dealership to be able to resolve a problem involving the computer.
The Dealership told me the same story about the theft signals and said the ignition components would have to be replaced. They'd be happy to do it too, for a mere $1500. Yeh, I just bet they would.
A little research later and I discovered that there are recalls involving the ignition system ( http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ ), fuel pump, accelerator control cable, steering, rear suspension, and air bags. The recall on the ignition system states that it is a safety issue and that it could suddenly burst into flame at any time. Funny how the dealership wasn't aware of this...
So, the car is at a different dealership for the recall work and I'll post the results when I get her back.
Cheers
!!!!!! UPDATE !!!!!!
The recall ID is NHTSA: 02V070000.
I have had the car back for a week now and it has started the first time, every time. I have not seen the annoying Anti-Theft light even once.
If you choose to have your car serviced for this issue, make sure they check it out for the others I listed. According to the NHTSA, all of the issues except the fuel pump and air bags can cause loss of control and crash. The fuel pump in my car went bad and cost me more than $500 before I realized it was a recall item. And, of course, you don't want the air bags to fail if you need them.
Cheers
bubba

Olean, NY

#5 Apr 8, 2008
i have a 97 cavalier theft light is on and wont start is there anyway to reset theft device urself or does dealer need to do it.is this one of those recall iteams any help would be appreshieated thank you
bubba

Olean, NY

#6 Apr 8, 2008
h brown wrote:
its definetly the theft systym you can reset it or take it to the dealer and get new key and switch in it they have to program the switch
is there anyway for u to tell me how to reset theft system
Rory Schneider

Fpo, AE

#7 May 5, 2008
I replaced the ignition on my '96 Chevy Cavalier and the theft light came on. When this happens, the computer cuts the fuel to the engine and prevents the car from running. All you have to do in order to reset the computer is:
leave the battery connected, turn the key forward (don't start the car) and let the theft light blink. When it stops blinking (after about 30 minutes) it should be solid. Then, turn the key forward (don't start the car) until the dash light turn on and then turn the key back - do this three times and the computer will reset. Hope this helps!
bic

Jackson Center, PA

#8 Jan 2, 2009
my 97 cavilier starts up then shuts back off, to get it to run i gotta turn the key off then on then try it again an keep repeating it
bic

Jackson Center, PA

#9 Jan 2, 2009
wat do i do about the recalls on my 97 cavilier
rodney

Vernalis, CA

#10 Apr 4, 2009
my 1997 cavalier was stolen and the anit theft device has since been going off and now will not allow the car to start is there anyway to simply replace the whole key-ignition unit to a more generic model, if so is there any suggestions without it costing an arm and a leg in the process and does the recall of this device at GM mean that i can get this repaired?
eddie g

Duncansville, PA

#11 Apr 6, 2009
rodney wrote:
my 1997 cavalier was stolen and the anit theft device has since been going off and now will not allow the car to start is there anyway to simply replace the whole key-ignition unit to a more generic model, if so is there any suggestions without it costing an arm and a leg in the process and does the recall of this device at GM mean that i can get this repaired?
The recall you are talking about is not on all cavaliers just certain years. It is for the starter relay and possibly the ignition switch if it was overheated. You can call your local GM dealer and give them your 17 digit vin# and they can run a viss . This will tell if your vehicle has been recalled. The no start problem is more than likely a bad ignition lock cylinder or broken wire @ the cylinder. Either way it will have to be replaced and then the pcm must have the theft learn performed. You might the 30 minute relearn procedure first. This was describe on an earlier post. The repairs should be about 300.00 dollars or so. Hope this helps.
A Doty

Lemoore, CA

#12 Apr 7, 2009
The engine on my friends 97 cavalier will turn on but dies within two or three seconds. ive replaced the crankshaft sensor, the starter, the fuel pump and it still hasnt fixed the problem. the theft light is on but its solid. could it be the anti theft system?
Eric

Denver, CO

#13 Jun 1, 2009
I bought a 95 cavalier and a few days later it wouldn't start. replaced the ignition lock/cylinder problem kept happening. Changed the ignition switch and the problem was fixed. Soon after this my car started dying at stop signs and red lights not restartable for 30 mins to an hour. Changed the Transmission Control sensor so far so good about not dying. Now its just really sluggish until I get to about 45 mph or better. Sounds like a popping noise from the front left side of my car. I am thinking it my have something to do with the TPS being that the most common symptom of a bad or misadjusted TPS is hesitation or stumble during acceleration. Any other suggestions on what it could be.
Derrick smalley

United States

#14 Jun 18, 2009
have you checked all your fuses... especially the pcm fuse
Sasha wrote:
My 1997 Chevy Cavalier Has A 2.2 OHV Engine, Approx. 150,000 Miles..
My Problem: When I Turn The Key, The Engine Will Turn Over, And Will Sometimes Run For 1-3 Seconds (if At All), And Then Shut Down. When It Shuts Down, You Have To Turn The Key Back Off, And Then On Again To Get It To Try To Start.
At First, None Of The Dashlights (including The Gear Shift Indicator Light) Would Come On. Since Replacing The Electrical Part Of The Ignition Switch, The Lights Now Come On.
We Have Replaced The Battery And Had The Alternator Tested. Have Replaced The PCM (powertrain Control Module), Still Nothing.
This Is My Only Car, my budget is very tight, and Any Help/advice You May Have Will Be VERY Appreciated!!
Thanks In Advance!
(can email [email protected] or reply here)
Dwight The Sunfire guy

Fort Mcmurray, Canada

#15 Oct 12, 2009
I see a number of posts on this subject and a lot of work has been done that wasn't needed.
When the theft system light goes on and flashes when you try to start the car and it starts and dies but will not start if you crank again but will start and die again if you shut off the key it means the computer needs to be reset. The problem arises from a disconnection of things like the gauge cluster etc without the battery being disconnected first.
The procedure is simple. Disconnect battery and set sit for about 1 minute disconnected. Reconnect and with the parking brake on attempt to start car. It will start and stop and the theft light will flash. Do not shut off ignition. Leave the car sitting with the ignition on for appox 15 minutes or until the theft light quits flashing. When the light quits flashing start the car as usual. Most times you then have to shut off key and do a normal start. I have done hundreds of these cars this way and for the first 20 I took to the dealer and he charged me $50 to $100 to do the same and they never took the car into the garage. I see a number of you have replaced a lot of parts. If you have replaced the Ecm etc I would recommend you put back the old one before you attempt to do this. The reset of a new Ecm usually does take a reset by the dealer.
Good luck all. A common problem for these cars. I am surprised it wasn't spelled out earlier in these postings.
Julie S

Franklin, TN

#16 Nov 4, 2009
I am having a similar problem with my 96 Cavalier, but rather than dying or not starting, it is running very rough, like it has a miss. My husband is fairly mechanically inclined and has checked all the usual culprits...plugs, wires, ignition wiring, fuses, etc. A guy at the local parts store said he found something about a recall on the ECM...the on-board computer, but when I called the dealership to ask them, they said that my car was not included in any recalls. Does anyone have any information or suggestions?
charlene ford

Philadelphia, PA

#17 Nov 6, 2009
bubba wrote:
<quoted text>is there anyway for u to tell me how to reset theft system
that what i want to know
thomas

Bauline, Canada

#18 Jan 1, 2010
its easy to reset the theft system if anyone would like to know how to do it they can e mail me at tom28602HOTMAIL.COM
thomas

Bauline, Canada

#19 Jan 1, 2010
ITS EASY TO RESET THEFT SYSTEM U CAN E MAIL AT [email protected] if you would like to know how
M_Taylor

Phoenix, AZ

#20 Jan 27, 2010
thomas wrote:
ITS EASY TO RESET THEFT SYSTEM U CAN E MAIL AT [email protected] if you would like to know how
I have a 98 Cavalier that does pretty much the same thing. We I first turn the car on in the mornging the only light that comes on is the check engine light. If I try to start it then, it will run for 1 -2 seconds and then shut off, but if I wait about 5 minutes, then the other lights on the gage cluster will come on including the theft light. At that point I can start the car and it will run for the rest of the day. I would like to be able to fix it so I can just hop into my car and get it running without waiting around. Anyone have any ideas? and yes, I've reset the security on the car, but the problem persits.

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