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Chevrolet Cavalier Electrical System Questions



  • grinch2grinch2 Posts: 1

    My day time driving lights are on half the time,. when I flick the regular headlights on at night , they shut off completely. So I usually drive with just my fog lights on, and my lights signal on my dash flick on and off. I checked the fuses, they are all good.

    Any idea on what the problem could be?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • I'm wondering if there is a way (like earlier models) to jump terminals at the ALDL connector in order to obtain MFL blink codes? Or is the diagnostic reader a must?
    Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks In Advance,
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    Can't jump Cavalier 94 and up, need code reader or scanner.
  • i have a 2000 cavalier that has a am/fm/cd stock radio. it reciently quit working, ie no radio, no cd, no clock. as far as i know it isn't a theft lock system. i bought the car new and never had a code for it and it doesn't say it anywhere on the redio. the car has factory alarm system and remote door locks. also the warning chimes for the key, headlights and parking brake no longer work. the chimes play thru the drivers door speaker. i have disassembled the dash and inspected the radio. i have identified all the wires for the 4 speakers, the constant hot power for the memory (its good, the one that turns the lights on with the headlights, and the grounds. BUT i can't locate the wire that provides the power when the key is turned on. Does anyone know which wire this shoule be and what all it runs thru that might be causing it not to power the radio. i have checked every fuse i can find in the fuse box and under the hood, they are all good.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    At drivers side panel the RDO/INTLP is the radio fuse. I would check the fuse with a 12 V test light, couple bucks at walmart.
  • twitchosxtwitchosx Posts: 1
    03 Cavalier LS Sport

    I installed my stereo, amp and sub about 2 years ago WITHOUT using the $100 wiring harness. Everything worked fine.. but I had battery drain. Without being able to figure it out, I finally removed the stereo but left the amp and sub plugged in the way they were.. without being plugged into the stereo of course.

    About a year has gone by, and I got some money so I got the $100 wiring harness but got confused so I just took everything to Circuit City and had them do the install. Again, everything worked fine.. until Saturday night. Car was dead. Had it jumped Sunday morning and took it back to CC. I figured I might as well buy a new deck since the old one had some issues.. .so I bought a new deck and had them install that.. asked them to see where the drain was if it wasnt the stereo. The guy said he couldnt find anything and if it was the amp, then I would have to send it back to the manufacturer.

    I figured I might be able to figure this out another way. Talked to a mechanic this morning and asked if he could check out some stuff. Right now the power line from the battery to the amp is disconnected. If I get him to get a voltmeter or whatever and check the draw on the battery with the amp disconnected and then with the am hooked up that should show if there is a big difference in draw correct?

    Anything else I should check? Any ideas? Really frustrating. Thanks,

  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    You got the right idea. I had a chart and it showed the draw in milliamps, don't know if I can find it.
  • paula57paula57 Posts: 2
    We have a 2000 Cavalier 2.2 liter, automatic with 39,400 miles. Well cared for.

    We recently returned from a 4500 mile trip without a hitch. Get home, hubby does all necessary maintenance. Take it out for a Sunday drive, cruising at 65 mph, middle lane of the freeway when I hear a strange gurgling/creaking noise coming from drivers side dash area. Car dies!! It starts again and we pull over to have a look-see. Nothing found. Continue on our way. No more problems until I go to an appointment. Dang car just keeps rolling over but won't start until about the 7th time I try. Get home, hubby doesn't believe me until it does it to him too. Take it to the local Chev dealer. Car won't start for them one time only in the 2 days they had it. They said no codes came up so we bring it home. I go out to use it two days later, won't start.

    When I turn the key on, I can tell if it is going to start just by listening for the fuel pump sound. No noise, won't start but it does go through the entire dash cycle. Incidentally, that "gurgle/creak" noise only happened one time.

    Don't know where to go from here. Any suggestions? I really like this little car :confuse:
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 545
    I'm not sure I can help but ----- Are you saying that when the Cav does start you can actually hear the fuel pump operating? All Cavs I've owned (6 of them), the motor starts so fast that no fuel pump noise could ever be heard. Also, what does "it goes through the entire dash cycle" mean exactly?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    With no sound from the pump with a no start, the pump circuit needs checked out. There is a relay, plug connector at pump.
    If the pump electrical system checks out then the pump would be the likely cause. Don't throw parts at it, get it checked out.

    What did the dealer say, no pump sound, no code, no problem? If so, not a good dealer.

    I have owned 4 Cavaliers, and never had a pump go.
  • paula57paula57 Posts: 2
    When I insert the key into the column, then turn it to the next position (just before actually trying to start the car) there is a fuel pump noise that lasts for maybe 2-3 seconds that can be heard. The motor USED to turn over and start up quickly and I never HAD to listen for the fuel pump so this is just a way we found to see if (or not) the car would start. No sense in grinding away at the starter and battery.

    The dash cycle might not have been a very good way to put it but what I meant is that every warning light flashes and I hear some clicking noises as though the car is going through some kind of a cycle. (Possibly some type of diagnostics?)

    I went out again last night, it didn't start the first time I rolled it over but the headlights came on. I guess the problem is going to have to get worse before it can be diagnosed by Chevrolet.
  • Did you take a look at the fuel pump relay? It's located inside the engine fuse compartment and can sometimes be at fault. Its a simple check not sure if it is the problem but it's worth checking out. :)
  • I have a 97 Cavalier. The A/C goes in and out. I don't know what to do. I know that it iI s not the blower motor or the switch bc those both have recently been changed. Um, I think it maybe an electrically problem but i don't know where to start. Please Help, I need some air...
  • I have a 94 chevy and for some reason the brake lights and the blinker lights just turned off at the same time. Can someone help?
  • Hey all...I have a 96 Chevy Cavalier automatic, and about three montsh ago the check engine light came on a day after I got my oil change. Took it back, they couldn't find anything wrong but said it was an Evap System Leak code, and they reset the system. All was fine for 3 months, and it just came on again. Took it in, same code. They said to do tests woul dbe about $200, then when they find a problem it could be as much as $300 more. He said it's related to emissions, and I probably wouldn't notice any driving symptoms, at least now. I was planning on getting a new car by the end of the,year/early next year...any one have evap system knowledge or experience with a similar problem? Hesitant to pay up to $500 to fix it if it won't really affect performance for 3-4 months...any help is appreciated!
  • 11071107 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 cavlier have a new starter ,alternator recently it would not start had it jumped and took it to have battery checked tested bad so got a new battery now all the gauges stay on I had the code reset and they are still on any suggestions?
  • I have a 2001 Cavalier I am trying to replace the alternator. I can not get the belt tensioner to release. I have a serpentine belt tool but can't get it to go on the bolt. I only have about 2 inches to work with so I can't use a socket. Anybody have any advice for me.
  • The tensioner is released by turning the tensioner pulley bolt in the CLOCKWISE direction. Can you get an open end wrench on the bolt?
  • 2000 Cavalier 2-dr coupe, I noticed the floor shifter is not illuminated and the digital odometer is not lit at night. Also one or two ares of the instrument cluster seem dark. Any ideas on how to access these lamps?
  • Not exactly sure on the access of that particular year but you need to remove the guage panels noting which hardware goes where for reinstall. The shifter is quite similar with screws possibly mounted on the sides. Make sure voltage is up if new bulbs are not the complete remedy. :shades:
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