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Gary, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  15 years GM master tech
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Chevrolet Cavalier: My 2000 chevy cavalier will not start.

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My 2000 chevy cavalier will not start. It gets spark and just replaced the fuel pump. It will crank and not start although it does backfire sometimes. A few weeks ago I did notice it took me about 10 minutes to start the car. Last week I drove to work and then went to go on lunch 4 hours later the car wouldn't start at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
so you confirmed spark when cranking the engine over correct? at more than one plug wire ? if so then if you spray carburator cleaner right into the throttle body butterfly will the engine run on that carburator cleaner you sprayed in for a few?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am not currently at the vehicle so I cannot really try anything. What I am looking for is a list of possible problems that way I can go from there and do all the testing that needs done. I have checked spark on all plug wires and all are sparking good. I have not put spray into the throttle body yet, I did run out of time yesterday to try that. I did read up that possible problems could be the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft sensor. If you could give me your opinion on what all could be wrong at this point in time I would greatly appreciate it. I will be working on the car again later today so any help you can give me I can reply back on what did or didn't work.
ok when cranking the car over note if the security light/theft light is on or blinking.see if it will run if you spray fuel in.unplug an injector and with the key on one of those terminals in the connector you unplugged should show 12 volts with the key on and when cranking then the OTHER terminal in that connector should blink a ground when cranking it over.connect a test light with the test light clip to BATTERY POWER touche the tip of the test light into the NON 12 volts temrinal you tested earlier crank it and see if it will blink your test light when cranking
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay I think that the security light was on but I'm not sure and I know for a fact the engine light was on. I did rent a scanner and received the code P0452. However that code I believe does not seem to be an issue with the car not starting. I then erased the code and none other codes were found. Okay say that the car doesn't start when spraying fuel in, what would be the cause then? Would that go back to the crank or cam sensors?

its going to depend on if you have an injector pulse.also if that security light is on or blinking try this procedure and see if it will start after you do this procedure

  1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
  2. Attempt to start the engine, then release the key to ON (vehicle will not start).
  3. Observe the SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes the telltale will turn OFF
  4. Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 two more times for a total of 3 cycles/30 minutes (the vehicle is now ready to relearn the Passlock(TM) Sensor Data Code and/or passwords on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK).

IMPORTANT: The vehicle learns the Passlock (TM) Sensor Data Code and/or password XXXXX the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. You must turn the ignition OFF before attempting to start the vehicle.

  1. Start the engine (the vehicle has now learned the Passlock(TM) Sensor Data Code and/or password).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay I will try your suggestions when I get to the car later today. Do I get immediately charged after I "Rate to Finish" your answers? I would still like to talk to you later today if I have other questions but at the same time I don't want to get charged again for asking you more questions? How long am I able to keep this question open and ask you questions?
you can reply back to me anytime threw this post/link.its only a one time charge.i will answer you back as soon as i get your post as soon as i can.we wont leave you hanging.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Alright thanks I greatly appreciate it. I will probably get back with you later today or tomorrow with more info. So do I only rate your answer after I am completely done? Just making sure so I don't rate a answer and then accidentally close out the post.
either way the post will stay open.either way is fine with me.i will replay back as soon as i can to your post later today or tomorrow.if im not online as soon as i get back online i will post back to you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay here is the results from today. Checked all plugs and all gave off good spark. Checked all fuses and those were okay. Bought starter fluid and sprayed down throttle body and still nothing happened. I did double check all the dash lights and none are on except the check engine light which only gives off the P0452 error code. What do you think would be the most likely cause as to why it still isn't starting? Thanks in advance.
do you have any access to a compression gauge?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No but I could always rent/buy one at a store. How would I check/use one if I did get one?
remove all the spark plugs the compression gauge has a hose connected to it then you screw it into each spark plug hole one at a time crank the engine over for @ 4 to 5 seconds then note what the needle on the gauge reads release the pressure and go on to the next cylinder.the backfiring is what is worring me confirmed spark and this will not run when fuel is added.all engines juts need spark,feul and compression to run so we need to eliminat a low or no compression all 4 cylinders and tell me what all 4 read for PSI
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay I will do that when I work on it today. Where can I get a compression gauge? Do I have to buy one or can I rent one and how much are they? Thanks.
is there is a place around that rents tools rent one if you have to buy one you can pick one up for under $100 and thats a high end one
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was able to rent an OBD scanner from autozone. I can check to see if they have a compression gauge available. Just curious about the theory behind the troubleshooting, in what direction would we go if it is getting good compression? I am going to get new spark plugs for the car today too to put in just for the hell of it. Last night they were all sparking but I did notice they were tinted yellow a little so I was going to replace them.
the theory is it needs spark fuel and compression to confirmed spark and by adding fuel it did not run and the backfiring could be a sign of a compression problem if all the cylinders are over @ 120 ish and up for PSI then we have eliminated compression then we will have to go after injector pulse.also with that scan tool see what the TPS is reading and the engine coolant temp
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Alright I'll try to do that today and get back with you tonight or tomorrow about it.
ok let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Alright I have a compression gauge I'm picking up after work as well as new spark plugs just in case. I did take the OBD scanner back 2 days ago so do you want me to rent it again to do that TPS and engine coolant scan?
dont rent the scantool back yet.i assumed you still had it.if the compression is good and the new sparkplugs do not fix this then we will need the tool.but i think at this point its going to have a compression problem
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for all your help I greatly appreciate it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay found out that the oil had antifreeze in it. We drained the oil and put new oil in along with new spark plugs. I did check for compression first and i got 150, 150, 170, 160 for the 4 cylinders. I put the spark plugs in turned the key and it started. I'm guessing the head gasket is blown. The car does have 180,000 miles on it so it wouldn't surprise me. At least I know what is wrong now and I can get it fixed. Thanks for all your help I greatly appreciate it. :)
any time good job turning the wrenches

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