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Chevrolet Cavalier Starting/Stalling Problems

Please help. I have a 2004 cavalier and when I am stopped at a stop sign the car acts like it wants to die, I have to put it in park and push in on the gas so it dosen't die. I changed out the fuel filter and air filter. anyone have any ideas on what it can be? I am would like to fix it myself, but I am new to all of this.


  • i'm not sure have you checked the plugs. if it's been a while it would be a good idea. also the plug wires might be arking out. you can fix that with a set of new ones. good luck. :confuse:
  • thanks, I will look into it. :blush:
  • arousiagarousiag Posts: 1
    my car will not go over 15mph even with the pedal to the floor please help.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Check for plugged catalytic converter.
  • I forgot it running, it ran out of gas and sat until the battery went dead with the key in the "on" position. Now it won't start. Security light, check gauges and service lights all stay on. Gas gauge doesn't register any gas (I put 4 gallons in). Very little gas pressure. Has power to the ICM. No power to fuel pump. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Never heard of that before. Try this, disconnect both battery terminals and touch them together, then hook up positive first then negative. No sure if it will work, but worth a try.
  • mesteedmesteed Posts: 2
    My daughter's 96 cavalier shuts off sometimes while she is driving. It starts right back up but is very dangerous. Any ideas on what would cause this? Please help!
  • mdmckeemdmckee Posts: 1
    i think i may have had the same problem i live outside of pittsburgh and while driving on I-376 in rush hour traffic it shut off. it ended up being a bad connection from the battery to the fuse box under the hood. of course i have an 02 not a 96. but check that out. bad wires or just a connection?
  • mesteedmesteed Posts: 2
    Thanks for information. We are going to check the fuel filter and those wires and connection tomorrow. I appreciate your help!
  • k_erink_erin Posts: 5
    I have a 91 Chevy Cavalier RS, 2.2 L. Recently, I've noticed an intermittent problem when starting the car (both cold start and warm start). I thought at first it might have been the key, because the keys we had were cheap, badly made Wal-Mart copies so we had a locksmith make an exact replica from the manufacturer's guide he had.

    What happens, is when the key is put in the ignition and I go to start the car, it clicks but that's it. I do that twice, and the third time it starts.

    I'm thinking it might be the ignition switch. The starter was replaced with a brand new AC Delco one a little over 2 years ago, and as far as I know, it came with a new solenoid tube.

    So, if it's not the ignition switch, then I am at a loss.

    Also, on a slightly different note, does anyone know of a store or a warehouse or website where we can purchase these "discontinued" parts so we can stop getting pillaged by the dealerships selling the parts from their vintage line? We just bought new weather stripping for the front windows of the car and they were "discontinued" so we had to pay $75 for 2 pieces of rubber.
  • my 1998 2.2L with 79,000 cut out when you smash the gas,
    but it starts great,new fuel filter, platium plugs 10,000 miles old, hook it up to a machine and is said air fuel mixture is at 14.6 when at idull, but get on the gas it's drop to 12.2. When under a load it's try to die,backfires, stalls. Ican slowly give it gas it's okay up to a
    certain spot then stall time. Thanks
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Check for cat converter failure, vacuum gauge is the easiest test. Also if you have a scanner check your map pressure. If I scan both my vehicles it will show cat temp, another good indicator. Another is unbolt the exhaust just before the cat.
  • lilbrimlilbrim Posts: 1
    im not a mechanic first of all lol but let me try and explain what i gathered overtime about my car problem. my brother has been doing mos of the mechanical work on this car and the check engine light is on all the time. he bought a diagnostic tool which told him after running for awhile that there is a fault with the MAP senson however it only showed up that once he cheked the voltages and the pressure and thy seemed to be consistent with what the book says it should be. however i want to know if despite this the sensor cud still b the problem. My symptoms are : when i slow down sometime like to turn corners it cuts off and if im reving it up in park it goes up so far and then like it makes a sound like it lost some pressure. Plz help i have changed sprak plug and wires, control module, the computer, fuel pump plus i have carried it to a couple mechancis who all gave different and even put it on diagnostics and still none that helped. when the car has cut off by itself i usually have to hold the gas pedal to the floor and try a few times b4 i can try it again. can some1 please give me an idea of my problem.
  • garye3garye3 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 95 cavalier. It will drive perfectly for about 15-20 minutes and then just quit. Wait 10 minutes and it will start again and run for about 10 minutes and quit like it's not getting gas. I change fuel filter and pump with no success. My usual mechanic says he's stumped. I need help as well with this issue.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Have you scanned for codes. Ignition modules have been known to do that, when it quits is there any spark. Someone needs to check when it is broke.
  • i dont know if my two problems are related, but i would appreciate any help. my first problem is my car always smells like gas, and it gets worse when i drive. the other problem i have is while im driving my engine turns off. the radio and lights always stay on though. any advice?
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    You might want to read the Cavalier Gas Smell thread about the first problem.

    I don't think the second is related to it but I have no idea what it could be. Are you saying it shuts off as you're driving down the road or sitting at idle?

    Does it run rough and seem to have a loss of power?
  • my 2000 cavalier was having a "crank no start" issue about 2 months ago. I had fuel pump replaced; 24 hours later i had to get car towed back to repair shop. this happened 3 times. each time, the mechanic said there was a short in the fuel pump connection. at this time i noticed my idle changed from a smooth idle to a semi-rough idle. about 5 weeks went by without the car having the "crank no start" syndrome. then, the car started to stall while driving. i had the plugs replaced and the ignition wires replace. also, the ignition switched was replaced. i believe the crank no start and the intermittent stalling are connected because at times the stalling will turn to a crank no start, then 20 mins. later start-up. i took the car to the dealer, he said there was a wiring problem in the main harness plug - he said he repaired the problem. however, as i'm leaving the dealer, the car stalls. can anyone please, please, help!!!
  • am6585am6585 Posts: 1
    I've been having the same problem with my 2000 Cavalier. A friend who's a commercial driver told me to have them check out the sending unit in the gas tank. What's probably happening is its not working properly and the gas isn't continually being sent to the engine, and once the gas is used in the engine, it'll stall out, and it takes a while for the gas to get to the engine fast enough which is why if it won't start, it'll start again if you wait long enough. I'm having mine looked at today. Let's keep each other posted!
  • they have dropped the gas tank a couple of times and analyzed the fuel pump, so i don't think it's the sending unit. they say its a wiring problem in the fuel pump wiring harness located under the front hood on the driver's side. two days ago they re-wired something there and so far it's ok and i have my fingers crossed. however, they did basically the same thing 6 weeks ago and it rode fine until last week when the stall while driving came back again - unbelievable!. i'm wondering if there's something in the fuel line? lets continue to keep each other posted.
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