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Chevrolet Cavalier Electrical System Questions



  • I just replaced the driver side front power window motor and thought I'd write the process in case anyone want's to do this also. I got a new power window motor for $42.00 from a car parts place (advance auto parts).

    This is to the best of my memory. I'm not a mechanic. It is just for reference.

    Before starting get a new motor. If you don't have a drill you will need one and drill bits to drill out Rivots. You will need a Rivot tool and 3/16 inch (this is what I used) Rivots from Home Depot or Menards. You will need some sockets or wrenches and a screwdriver.

    First thing to do is unscrew the plastic piece that is holding your mirror turner on the top corner of the door. Then take the screws out of the door on the arm rest. Then take the screws out of the back edge and bottom edge of the door which holds the inside door trim to the door.

    Carefully pull the bottom door trim from the door. If it doesn't come easy, check for more screws, don't force it. After the bottom pulls out lift trim up. Now disconnect the power line pieces from the door trim. Put the door trim piece to the side.

    Now to be smart, take the power line from the old window motor and connect up to the new motor as you are holding it. Now try to use the window up/down button. If it works on the new motor and not the old, it is a motor issue. If it doesn't work on the new motor you have electrical problems and I can't help you.

    Now pull the plastic sheet from the door metal. I just left it up and pulled the parts away that I needed to work on. Now it is kind of scary, you're thinking this looks too complicated. Take it easy it's not that bad!

    Take a few minutes to look over the door. You will notice that the window is bolted to a metal bottom piece by two plastic tabs. You need to unscrew the window tabs from the metal bottom piece and remove the window. The window can be pulled out toward the outside of the car. Don't force this. If you can't do it for what ever reason, take it easy and think a solution through.

    Now that the window is out. You can see that the motor is connected to the frame by five rivots. These rivots have to be drilled out. The way I did this is get a big drill bit and just start drilling until the rivot head is cut off. There may be a better way, I'm not sure.

    After the rivots are drilled out, you will need to take two bolts off that are connecting the window brace to the door. Take these two bolts off.

    Now pull the entire metal window frame (regulator) and motor out of a hole on the inside of the door. You will see that the regulator and motor are connected by more rivots (you may want to take out your digital camera and take a picture of how these are put together to reference later). Drill out these rivots. Now you can throw out the old motor (make sure you take the top metal bracket off the old motor and use two rivots to rivot on the new motor).

    Connect the regulator and new motor back together and rivot them using the rivot tool and rivots. Make sure they are connected together real tight. (They make washers to use with the rivots, I highly recommend using these washers to make sure the rivots are as tight as possible.

    Now that the regulator and motor are connected you can slide it back into the same hole in the door you pulled it out of. the odds are that the regulator and motor won't match up to the holes in the door, don't panic. Just connect up the power supply and move the door button up or down until you get the holes to match up. The up/down buttons will move the motor and regulator until they both are positioned to the door rivot holes.

    Now that it is in position, slip a rivot in and use a washer at the end of the rivot to insure a tight solid rivot. After rivoting all 5 rivots, you can re-bolt the regulator to the door with the two bolts. Now is a good time to give a quick trial run with the window motor. the window tab bolts may hit the motor, don't worry about that.
    Now move the window up/down to where you can get at the metal window bracket where the bolts will go.

    Insert the window from the outside of the door. Match up the tabs on the bottom of the window with the bolts on the bottom metal frame of the window regulator. Tighten the bolts connecting the bottom metal from to the window. Now test window for real. Window should go up and down all the way.

    Now reconnect all electrical connections to the door trim panel. You have to do the top of the door panel first to push it real close to the window, then connect the sides and bottom. Make sure all the little plastic tabs match. Take your time and do it right. If it doesn't match up pull it out and try again. You may need two people for this process. After trim is in, re-screw all screws and you are done. Clean up the mess.

    Congrats, you just saved $200-$250.
  • swboyswboy Posts: 1
    what do i need to do to disable the speedo on a cavalier especially the odometer, i have this rented and i will exceed the milage by about 75 miles, however i have time to drive with no additional milage....HELP is there a fuse to pull
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    FEDERAL offense. Don't be foolish.


  • jrmnjrmn Posts: 2
    In my 2000 cavalier the dash warning lights go on and off when I go over a bump. I think the trouble is around the front passenger side wheel but I'm not sure.
    Any ideas anyone ?
  • Hi I have a 99 cavalier. The dash warning lights are coming on all together intermittantly. brake/coolant/battery/oil/theft/abs/seatbelt/etc about everything except the check engine and shift indicator. The temperature gauge is not working as well when all these lights are on. We noticed when the turn signal was used it affected this and thought it was a possible short. No luck. I noticed then seems like any electrical load makes them go off and on i.e. signal,brake,wipers. I also had taken to the carwash once water got under the hood or possibly in back of dash? the lights really went haywire coming off and on and would set off a door dinger while driving. Its making a kind of electrical noise towards the center back of dash when the dinger goes off. When these lights go off the temperature gauge works however the brake warning light stays on but thats it. Also the radiator fan is not kicking on, the fan works but is again in the electrical system and seems to be related to the other problems. This car runs great otherwise or at least til it catches fire from this and burns to the ground LOL.

    I just bought this car and a friend is helping work on it after he gets off work. He checked all fuses of course with tester all good and is now starting to trace the wiring clean/check all connections. The longer it takes him the more money I owe him! If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it very much! Thank you!
  • ok so my 99 chevy cav 4 door 2.2 has alot crap happenin. it all started with the cruse control tryin to resume at random times then the odometer is flashing every other number on and off now its realy hard to start with out the pedal to the floor and its fouling out plugs within a week and you can smell the gas from 10 feet away does anyone have a clue what might be goin on????
  • clueless24clueless24 Posts: 1
    I've had this problem on my car for a while now but have just been ignoring it. NOw i want to sell it and it might be easier if I can fix the problem before I sell it.
    Its a 2000 chev cavalier with automatic locks. When I open the driver's side door it doesn't register that its open (i.e the light doesn't come on and the radio doesn't turn off and it doesn't beep if I leave my headlights on) and if I lock it with the automatic key (which sets the alarm) the alarm sometimes goes off since the car thinks the door has opened or something. So I've just been double checking that I turn off the lights and I turn off the radio manually. And i've been locking it without the alarm so that it doesn't go off randomly.
    Has anyone had this problem? Not sure if its electrical or not.
  • ctbobctbob Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    "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?"

    I have the exact same problem. Did you ever find a fix for it? Anyone else know what this is? I tried all the fuses in the panel, none were bad.

    UPDATE: I found that the flashers switch was gummed up a bit. I sprayed some WD-40 into it and worked it back and forth about a dozen times, and the brake lights and flashers work fine now.
  • dlynnekdlynnek Posts: 2
    my 2004 cavalier won't pass an emissions test. the check engine light is on, several tests were done, issues cleared but the light comes back on. Any ideas of what it could be??
  • I had an aftermarket radio installed last week. Everything was working great, then two days ago when I turned on my car there was a loud popping noise. Now the radio doesn't work the interior light doesn't turn on at all and the warning alarm when you open the door or leave the keys in the ignition doesn't sound.
  • luthi1950luthi1950 Posts: 1
    My a/c hasn't worked for 2 years. I took it to several mechanics take a lookat it but they cannot figure out what is wrong. It has freon the compressor is not bad the fan blows hot air. The green a/c light comes on. Recently my windows will come down will will not go back up with coaxing.
  • rtriolartriola Posts: 2
    Did you ever figure out why all of your gauges were on?
    I'm having a similar problem

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • rtriolartriola Posts: 2
    Did you ever find a solution to your problem with your dash lights and gauges?
    I'm having the same problem.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • I just bought an '04 Cavalier with 54,000 mi on it. However its left me sit 2 times in the last week. Both times I had driven it during the day running errands, then when I shut it off to run into a store and then came out it tried to start, but then it would shut off - Like the fuel wasn't getting picked up? It would turn over, sputter, and then shut off.
    NOTE-When it happened the last time it started right up for them the next morning when they had it towed. They replaced the ignition switch since nothing seemed wrong with it.
    Now I've driven it for 3 days since then with no problems, and then it does it again to me tonight.
    Please help - tell me I didn't just buy a clunker..... :-(
  • I'm in New Zealand and we have quite a few Cavaliers here. They are a joke here, known as complete lemons and virtually worthless except as parts, and its embarrassing to own one. I've read this board and can identify with most of it. I have a stick holding up my drivers window, after 2 motor replacements in 5 years. My current problem is that the engine starts ok cold or hot but runs rough and the revs jump all around under about 2000 rpm. above that it seems to run ok. The engine light stays on, and when I look out back, there's black smoke puffing out of the pipe, and you can hear it running uneven. Any clues as to what this may be? It was running fine last week after a new ignition switch. That crapped out during its safety check, another embarrassment. I haven't had a car like this since I was a teenager with no money. I just want to get this thing running properly and get rid of it. I'm buying a Nissan.
    Thanks. Brian Mac.
  • mine is doing the same thing, did you find out what was wrong with yours..
    i have a 2002 cavalier
  • did you get your fixed,, i have a 2002 doing the same thing, could use some help
  • I am having same problem. Did you ever get yours fixed.
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