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Chevrolet Cavalier Electrical System Questions



  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 629
    About the time you were posting your reply, I was on my way to Wal-Mart to get a 10 amp mini-fuse (I still have a number of regular-size fuses and didn't realize they don't use those in new cars now)

    I had checked the fuse block and noticed that the turn signals and the hazard warning were separately fused

    Changed fuse, turn signals work fine. I wonder what caused that fuse to blow. There was no lightning or any other suspicious event near the time the turn signals stopped working

    Thanks for your quick reply. I will still be sticking my head under the dashboard to see where, and how accessible, is the flasher unit
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 629
    Fuse blew again. Since turn signal and hazard circuits use the same flasher module and the same bulbs, I am thinking it must be a connection problem (intermittent short). There are too many wires running around inside the steering column for me to look there. Will take to dealer Wednesday.
  • slackermanslackerman Posts: 43

    The garage I use has keep my 1996 Sunfire running happily for some time.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 629
    Although I told the service writer at the Chevrolet dealership that my turn signals did not blow out fuse sitting in driveway, but only when car was driven, the mechanic at first told me that they corrected my problem by changing the fuse.

    I had not noticed that my backup lamps are on same circuit as the turn signals.

    Apparently a backup "combination bulb and alarm" (the likes of which I have installed on my cars for many years) was drawing too much amerage and blowing the fuse. They charged me an unconscionable $83 to diagnose and change the bulb back to a standard type.

    Then they told me that transmission fluid was leaking at the half-shaft connection. What little oil/grease I saw there was not red and was not dripping. They insisted it was a serious matter they could correct for about $400 (or only $360 if they did the work right then), otherwise I might suddenly lose all my transmission fluid and totally wreck my transmission. I declined that service. And I'll not be returning to that dealer ever again.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 629
    I forgot to mention that my 2005 Cavalier mileage is only 24,000
  • slackermanslackerman Posts: 43
    Sounds like GM has another dealership it can close.

    My suggestion is to look at for a decent garage in your area.
  • kgiggskgiggs Posts: 4
    Got in the car one afternoon. Speed odometer, gas gague and tac not working. Turned off car ater about 5 miles and restarted they came on. Two weeks later same thing happened again. Are there any recalls? Heard some trucks had same problem with faulty gauges.Help appreciated
  • kgiggskgiggs Posts: 4
    I have an 06 and the same thing has happened to me. When the car sets outside and gets warm the guages go wacko. Did you find out anything?
  • My 2000 cavalier has a problem with the left rear brake light/turn signal. When I turn on the signal it blinks very rapidly. I know that the turn signal works and the brake light doesnt. I have replaced bulbs thinking that it had just burnt out, but the last time I went to change it out I looked and both filimants were intact. I bought a Haynes repair manual to see if I could find something in there but all it showed was how to change the bulb. Any fresh ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • sbrunellesbrunelle Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2000 Cavalier, 4dr sedan with just under 120,000 kms on it. It's a great little car but I have a few issues that maybe are related. The odometer is weird most of the time I can't make out the mileage very well, there is no warning alarm when I leave the headlights on, the radio stays on when I turn off the ignition. This vehicle's dome light stays on and gradually turns itself off after you turn the ignition off and that's what the radio used to do too, but now I have to make sure I shut the radio off, however the dome still works properly. Also, when I open my driver's door, my interior light doesn't come on, that's a pain at night.

    Hope you can help me. Thanks in advance.
  • sargee7sargee7 Posts: 2
    It sounds as if you have replaced the radio (or someone has) with an aftermarket radio, such as Pioneer. Is that what happened?
  • sjasja Posts: 11
    I just got a 99 Cavalier for my kids first car. The DRL's do not come on and the warning light flashes until you turn the headlights on, until today, now the indicator stays flashing even with the lights on. The high beams work and I changed the DRL relay in the fusebox, no help. I read where there might be corrosion below the battery box, so I disconnected and removed the battery. I also removed the left headlight assembly and could not locate the area that may be corroded. Now comes another issue. When I re-connected the battery, the car would not start at first. After a little while and several attempts later, it finally started. All of the warning lights stay illuminated unless you put some other electrical load on the system. The stereo was also going on and off by itself, aftermarket.
    I also found and removed a GPS tracking system that was an aftermarket installation somewhere in the life of the car, probably when it was either a fleet or lease. Anyways, there are two questions here, how do I re-activate the DRL's (bulbs and relay good) and how or what do I reset to get all of these lights to go back out? Ones staying on are ABS, Low Fluid, Brake, Oil, Temp...
    Thanks in advance for the assist.
  • als52als52 Posts: 1
    Interior dome lights stay on when I shut my door on 1999 cavalier. They stay on as long as I am drinving. When I park, they eventually go back out after several minutes. What is causing this?
  • sjasja Posts: 11
    Update: Disconnected the battery, cleaned up some corrosion here and there, re-connected. Problem now is the DRL indicator flashes, high beams work and the relay was replaced, still no DRL's. The indicator goes out when headlights are turned on. The air bag light is now on all the time and may be an issue with the Crutchfield stereo installation.

    Any assistance in getting the air bag light out is appreciated.
  • i have a 2000 cav, 2.2 auto 110,000 miles. on and off the abs, check gauges, trac off, lighs come on, and the speedo, fuel, temp, tach, all go off and then the word. "error" apears were the milage should be. it has been happening 4-5 times with in a hour drive.. never a check engine light comes on, well only with the key on and the engine off. like it should be. the codes i pulled out are. U1000 = class 2 serial communication problem. U1040 = loss of ebcm/ebtcm communications. U1064 = loss bcm,vtd,dim,pzm and/or sbm data. PO446 = evap vent control problem. PO1626 = anti-theft system fuel enable circuit. i did have a new battery, cleaned the body ground at the battery tray and the ground at the engine block.. sorry for the long post... any help would be great.. thanks. :lemon:
  • you need to buy a new pigtail from the dealer. The contacts heat up and begin to arc as they get older hence will not make proper contact with the bulb because the plastic casing changes shape
  • I have a 2003 cavalier. A headlight burnt out so I replaced both at the same time. Now the headlights are working normally but the hi beam indicator on the dash will not go out even when the lights are on low beam. I also have the service light on and will not go off until I turn off the ignition. I have daytime running lights when the car is running and no hi beam indicator as long as I don't turn the headlights on. If I do turn the lights on and then off again, the hi beam indicator stays on and the daytime running lights do not
  • jag72jag72 Posts: 1
    Hello my name is Jose, I have the same vehicle same year with the same exact problem, Did you find a solution to your problem? Can you help?
  • Bad switch in door...I just poped out the switch and unhooked it, no lights or ding when i open the driver door now but it fixed the problem.
  • My DRL's was not working either, when you put it in gear driving lights flashed on and off outside and the symbol on instrument cluster. I had high beams, no low beams. I checked my headlight bulbs and both lowbeams was burnt out, i replaced the bulbs and everything works now. Easy fix, but I looked at many other things before I found my problem. I felt pretty stupid after I found the real problem.
  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    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
  • 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.
  • kgiggskgiggs Posts: 4
    No, didn't get my fixed. Something about the controls harness,will cost $600.00 upwards.
  • kgiggskgiggs Posts: 4
    No, didn't get this fixed. Just driving around in the blind. Will cost $600.00 upwards to get this fixed.
  • kac5kac5 Posts: 1
    I have a basic 2004 sedan. For about the last year my gas gauge and speedometer have not been working. Like you I thought the cost to fix them was over the top for a 7 year old car. Have you had any luck finding a cheaper fix?
  • My problem with the dash and gauges turned out to be the ignition switch. It eventually failed completely, and when it was replaced, the probles had gone away. Hope this helps.
    Brian Mac.
  • I worked on my son's 2002 cavalier with a temperature problem over 90 degrees F. The problem was none of the guages worked and several of the light indicators lighted to indicate a problem and no A/C compressor. I found that the instrument cluster was failing. On a really hot day when the problem presented itself, I took the instrument cluster out and took it inside. I continued to let the car soak in the sun, then got in the car started it up and all worked great except for the instrument cluster which was still in the house. I drove the car without the instrument cluster and as I said the car drove great. Next I put the instrument cluster on an ESD (electro static discharge) grounded protective station and examined the printed circuitry carefully and found that one of the feed throughs had pushed a component mounting pad up and damaged the printed circuit. I soldered a 24 guage wire in parallel with the printed circuit, re-installed the instrument cluster and checked it out in the heat now for over a month with no problems. In short GM tried to fix this since it was new and never found the problem. The printed circuit path was intermittently open when the weather got hot. These printed circuit boards are too thin and mounted so as to cause too much vibration and thus causing the printed circuit paths to break.
  • See reply to pertmo #151. Hope this helps. I know GM wanted $375 for exchange on instrument cluster, I was lucky I was able to fix my son,s 2002 cavalier sport coupe. To troubleshoot you can remove the instrument cluster or simply unplug it. Removing fuse may also help to isolate down to instrument cluster.
  • 2001 Chevy Cavalier. I found the problem to be a ground fault. The negative battery cable runs down and is supposed to connect to the battery tray before extending on to the engine case. The battery tray was quite rusted and this bolt section had broken off. I simply ran a piece of household electrical ground wire (Romex bare ground wire) from the bare spot on the negative battery terminal where the bolt connects and wrapped it around the battery hold down bolt under the rubber clamp and re-tightened it to make the connection. Instant fix and it's been holding up for several weeks. No more warning lights, no gauge drop out. If the terminals or connections are corroded simply use a fairly wet mixture of baking soda and water and poor it over the greenish corrosion. Environmentally safe and natural way to clean them.
  • rass2rass2 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the dash warning light problem ground wire from battery tray was not making good ground. Thanks for helping fix problem
  • my 2000 model is doing that also. any ot :mad: :) :cry: her seggestions.
  • If nothing here worked, go into your fuse box and replace the CLSTR fuse.
    Its the one thats 5 fuses down, the fourth one from the front of the car. Its a red 10.
    I had the same problem after i replaced my starter, so i went fuse pulling to see if any blew.
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