glassman1

Kingston, PA

#21 Apr 2, 2010
i have a 97 z24 it will not start i replaced both coil packs plugs wires and ing modual and still will not start please help i have no idea whats wrong
glassman1

Kingston, PA

#22 Apr 2, 2010
its getting fuel but not that much spark and it was running a code p0300 missfire
TravisLep

Amherst, WI

#23 Apr 24, 2010
Dwight The Sunfire guy wrote:
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.
What if you tried this and the theft lights stays on for 7 blinks and stays on from there and still wont start i was told that it might be the little box under the passinger seat. would that be a problem
Payne

Peoria, AZ

#24 Apr 27, 2010
i have the same problem however mine only triggers the anti thieft device at cold start when i need to go to work. when i come home it starts right up.

Any ideas?
queen

Cleveland, OH

#25 May 19, 2010
buy a new ignition thats the best thing for a cavalier it is a good running car if non ot the above do not work you have to buy a new ignition and have it replaced that would be the best thing.
jsmith

Tempe, AZ

#26 Jun 6, 2010
this is amazing - my vehicle has been just sitting for so long because of the ignition problem -I was doing another search and found this - I hope I can get it taken care of with this informaiton. Thank you so much for sharing the information and the exact way to find the recall.

Keep you posted...
Mark wrote:
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
jsmith

Tempe, AZ

#27 Jun 6, 2010
Hi - Not sure you are still on this site - but I have my '97 at the dealer now, and they said the code says it needs the lock cylindar and possible something else. Cost mem 90.00 to have the diagnostic checked and such - the cost for the lock cylindar is about 650.00 and they said that may not fix it.
Should they have done what you discribe below and reset the computer to the battery. How come they don't know what to do.. or is it all about the money. Thanks,
Dwight The Sunfire guy wrote:
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.
trish

Flemington, NJ

#29 Jun 23, 2010
can someone help me, my 1997 chevy cavalier has the anti theft system light blinking and my car just turns on and turns right off, can someone help me...it has happened before but i am not sure how i fixed it thank you
sherry

Yorkton, Canada

#30 Jul 8, 2010
97 cavalier had to change key ignition cylinder took to dealership so they could reprogram they could not reprogram reinstall another new key lock cylinder reprogrammed still wont start what now
Scott

Las Vegas, NV

#31 Jul 16, 2010
Hopefully this might help someone with a Cavalier that won't start. I didn't post asking for help, but too many people never come back to say what they found, so I am making up for some of them.

I just fixed my 97 Cavalier that began having trouble staring a couple days ago. It would crank and sound like it was running, but when I let go of the key, it would die.

It didn't matter if it was hot or cold, I always had trouble starting it. Sometimes it would start and run, but only after trying 6 to 10 times or more. Once it started, it would run perfectly fine. Next time I would go to start it though, the same problem happened.

At first I suspected the fuel pump (it did run for 2 seconds when I turned the key). However, when I pressed on the gas pedal while cranking, the engine would rev, so I eliminated the fuel pump as the problem. I thought about the ignition switch not working in the "Run" position but when the car did start, it ran fine, so I eliminated that as being the problem.

I was about to start trouble shooting by checking for spark and pulling out my mulitmeter to check voltages, but wanted to check if there was a passcode problem first.

When I was checking to see if the passcode security light was coming on, I noticed something strange. The ignition switch has 4 positions - off, idiot lamp test, run, and start. I noticed that when I went from the "idiot light test" position to the "run" position, two extra lights came on. Once was "Check Engine" and the other was "ETS" or something similar. This gave me the clue I needed.

I then noticed that when I cranked the engine and released the key, the idiot lights stayed on EXCEPT FOR the "Check Engine" and "ETS". These two should be lit with the ignition switch in the "run" position, but they weren't. Then when I went to crank again, those two would came on.

Of course now it hit me. It was a bad ignition switch. What was happening was that after releasing the key from the "start" position, instead of the ignition switch falling back to the "run" position and stopping there, it was falling back (past the "run" position) to the "idiot light test" position. With so many idiot lights on the dash illuminated, at first I never notice that two weren't lit, but should have been.

To confirm this I did the following. Instead of releasing the key like normal after cranking, I held on to it with my fingers and slowly guided it backwards which would cause it to stop at the "run" position. Every time I did this, the car started and ran fine. I went to the auto store, picked up a new ignition switch ($40 with a lifetime guarantee), and replaced it. Now the car is back to normal and starts and runs perfectly.

As usual, once the problem is fixed, the symptoms make complete sense. At those times when the ignition switch didn't fall all the way back to the "idiot light test" position, the car started and ran fine. Heat or cold had no bearing on this so that's why it wouldn't start regardless of temperature.

It is quite possible that had the switch worn out more, it might have popped out of the run position and cause the car to stall at those times when it did start. I am glad I found the problem before that happened.
Scott

Las Vegas, NV

#32 Jul 16, 2010
Oh, by the way. The size of female Torx socket that is needed to remove the two screws that hold the ignition switch on is E4. I looked all over the internet for that info and couldn't find it. It cost me $2.99 for one at Autozone which beats having to buy a pack of different sizes for $20 because you don't know which one is needed.

It was slightly challenging removing the switch because it is hard to get the socket on the top screw due to the shape of the ignition switch (the thicker part of the socket, which is bigger to fit on a 1/4 inch drive ratchet or nut drive shaft, hits the ignition switch casing. Also the bracket for the steering wheel tilt lever is in the way, and the dash board area by the left driver vent is where the handle of your nut driver needs to be. A very short 1/4 drive extension will allow you to use a ratchet just past the ignition switch so you won't have to slightly disassemble the dash like I did. If you can find a female Torx E4 that is narrow along it's entire length or a screwdriver type, it will work better because the side won't hit the casing of the ignition switch.

Also, the steering wheel tilt lever has a low strenght locktite on the threads so I had to use a vice grips to unscrew it. I put a rubber jar open thing around it to keep from marring it up but I sill did.
Brittany T

Middleport, OH

#33 Jul 25, 2010
See, all of these "theft" or seemingly fuel-related problems are currently happening to my 1996 Cavalier. But all of my dash lights/all guages spontaneously quit working two weeks before the car died so I have no way of knowing if my theft system is defective. It blows every fuse I put in it for the dash lights/guages...before the car died I used a U-shaped wire I had cut and slipped it into the fuse slot for a second just to make sure I didn't run out of gas but I know that's not recommended so I don't wanna try it again. I've check all my wires and fuses/relays. I can not find a short or anything that would explain the continuous blowing of that fuse---it also blows the cigarette lighter fuse. Those are the only two, though. So, these lighting problems are kind of holding me back from fixing the "staying running" problem. As with one entry above, I can turn the ignition on and off quickly and repeatedly while giving it tons of gas and it will run...otherwise, it seems to lose fuel or fuel pressure and I've replaced everything from the fuel pump up to the fuel pressure regulator. I have every mechanic I know stumped.
welder3078

Las Vegas, NV

#34 Aug 21, 2010
Your dash panel problem sounds like the interlock for the gear shifter (it is an auto trans - right?) Under the trim nest to the shifter on most cars there's an electric solenoid that keep you from shifting out of park unless your foot is on the brake. Locate and unplug it and try another fuse. Hope this helps.
Christoph

United States

#35 Sep 3, 2010
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 gpsysunrise82604@yahoo.com or reply here)
>>>Re: The problem for me seemed to be the same so I did several things to trouble shoot the problem...First off There is A nice little feature in most cars today and that's the ability to communicate to the vehicle through the Brake system. How you do that is by Starting off with the key in ing. but not turned pump the brake ten times on the tenth pump hold in the brake for ten to fifteen seconds. While holding the brake turn over the vehicle if it does not start try removing you fuse panel from underneath the hood and remove the Pcm fuse and place back then there are other fuses i usually don't take them all out but the batt1 and batt2. Now if all those don't work try unconnecting the positive batt cable for ten to fifteen minutes and repeat steps 1 and 2 above if that doesn't work then its a manufacturers problem and it might end up costing you. I also think maybe for me it might of been due to the extreme heat here in az so you never know only a mechanic does i suppose.
angel

Honey Brook, PA

#37 Oct 21, 2010
yes people BEWARE!!!!!!! THEY SAID IT WAS THE IGNITION TOO IN MINE...THERE WAS 338 DOLLARS...THEN HAD TO TAKE TO DEALERSHIP AND FOUND OUT IT WAS THE COMPUTER CLUSTER...THERE IS ANOTHER 814 DOLLARS...MY CHEVY CAVALIER IS A 98...AND HAS ONLY 90,000 MILES...SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS,THIS SHOULD BE MADE A RECALL.
joe

Orangevale, CA

#38 Dec 22, 2010
glassman1 wrote:
i have a 97 z24 it will not start i replaced both coil packs plugs wires and ing modual and still will not start please help i have no idea whats wrong
yu r a complete idiot
joe

Orangevale, CA

#39 Dec 22, 2010
jsmith wrote:
Hi - Not sure you are still on this site - but I have my '97 at the dealer now, and they said the code says it needs the lock cylindar and possible something else. Cost mem 90.00 to have the diagnostic checked and such - the cost for the lock cylindar is about 650.00 and they said that may not fix it.
Should they have done what you discribe below and reset the computer to the battery. How come they don't know what to do.. or is it all about the money. Thanks,
<quoted text>
the company is trying to get money from you you should of tried to reset it yourself first and if that didnt work then yu hav to changr the ignition lock cylinder assy and then prgram it
joe

Orangevale, CA

#40 Dec 22, 2010
sherry wrote:
97 cavalier had to change key ignition cylinder took to dealership so they could reprogram they could not reprogram reinstall another new key lock cylinder reprogrammed still wont start what now
now yur fukd jak ass
Seth

Omaha, NE

#41 Feb 19, 2011
I have a 96 it's ur theft system it will start for lk 2 seconds then die because it's in theft mode so noone can steal it..I had to take mine to the shop u might wanna check all ur fuses cuz I blew some of mine installing a stereo nd thas why mine wouldn't start
Sam

North Richland Hills, TX

#42 Mar 22, 2011
joe wrote:
<quoted text>
now yur fukd jak ass
I see that spelling isn't your specialty. You're not texting you buddies, douche bag.

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