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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 6777
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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I have a 2005 Chevy cavalier and it will not crank

Customer Question

Hi I have a 2005 Chevy cavalier and it will not crank over...all lights on dash come on when key is turned to accessory position but once I try to turn it all the way to crank over I just get a loud "click" noise and nothing happens with starter...it makes, what I believe to be the stock CD player cycle itself or make a sound that makes it try to spit out a cd that isn't in there...really weird...also when the the click noise under the hood happens all lights dim...
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Hello, I'd be happy to help! I have to ask the most obvious questions first, so have you checked the battery, cable ends, etc? Do we know for sure there are good clean connections on both positive and negative terminals?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
sir, already cleaned cables...and grounds the click does not seem to be coming from the starter solenoid...
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Ok, do you have access to a multimeter?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Ok, and is it automatic or manual trans?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Auto
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Ok let me study the wiring diagram give me a few seconds.

Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

In the meantime, have you checked the crank fuse yet?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Other than looking at it and unplugging it and looking at its terminals...it looks fine is there a way to test for continuity or?
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

You'll need to have someone try to crank it while that fuse is plugged in and check for power on the fuse, it's only powered when the switch is turned to start

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I guess I don't know how I'm supposed to check it...with the multi meter leads? How do I do that when the fuse is plugged in?
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

It is a two-blade fuse and not a square fuse correct?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No it has a 4 blade square fuse
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

If its four blades it sounds like you're looking at the relay. Are the blades pointed in different directions from one another?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My bad I was ya...the crank fuse is good
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What else you think I should check?
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Ok, have someone crank it again while you keep your hand on that relay, see if you feel it click.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ya man it clicks and literally vibrates....
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

can you access the park/neutral safety switch on top of the transmission?

Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Actually, can you access the starter first? I know you said the click doesn't sound like its coming from the starter but we still need to check it if possible.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay ya I have it jacked up...I actually bought a new starter just thinking that was the issue but stopped and figured I'd try this site first...I don't see where that switch is in the transmission though
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

If you can get your meter on the solenoid wire for the starter check for power on that wire while its being cranked. Be sure to have the ground lead on a good ground.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Well ya the solenoid was definitely claiming and darling as well...it read like .2 volts
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
clicking and rattling*
Expert:  Roger replied 5 months ago.

Ok, I apologize but an emergency has come up and I won't be available for a while, I'm going to open this up for other experts so you're not waiting on me. Don't replace that starter if that's the measurement you got. You have another issue causing it. Try swapping the crank relay with another like it if there is more than one of those types in that fuse box.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

Go back and check the battery voltage. It should be 12 volts with the key off. Then turn the key to start and read the battery voltage again. If it drops below 9.6 volts, the battery will have to be charged up first before anything else.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay the battery need to be charged...now when I go to turn it over I get a loud notable like 3 clicks out of something...I have now noticed a new issue when let off the key and let back to just accessory position...it seems a few if not all the relays in the relay box under the hood are clicking and the dash lights lightly fade in and out with the clicking at the same time...this clicking will continue to happen until you turn the key completely off......any ideas?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

How did you charge the battery and at what amperage did you charge it at?

It sounds as though the battery isn't fully charged because of the click which is now clicking, like it's getting more voltage but just not enough.

When you release the key from start, it doesn't come back to the accessory position, it comes back to the run position as if when the engine did start, that is where the key would be when the engine is running and everything else is also on, so just ignore that for now.

What is the voltage of the battery both with key off and key on start?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay voltage is at 12.6 with key off...when I turn it to the run position it only drops 12.4....also noticed that when I turn the key back off the relay's sit there and click away for minute even after the dash lifts go out.....
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

Ok, I suppose you meant to say when the dash lights go out, not dash lifts. Anyhow, if you cannot tell me specifically which relays are making a noise, let's just ignore that for right now.

I want to take a look at the wiring diagram now so I need to know what engine is in this?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
2.2 liter Eco tec...sorry I'm trying to do this shot on my phone with dirty hands
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

At this point, I would try a new crank relay.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ya already did that...same syptoms and everything.....??
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

Ok, put your finger on that relay and turn the key to start and let me know if you can feel the relay click. If not, remove that relay and test for voltage in the socket. You should have voltage at one spot all the time and then when the key is turned to start an additional hot. Let me know the results of those 2 tests.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

Here is the Starting Circuit wiring diagram,

Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

If there is no power to the relay socket to at least one spot, check that "batt 2" fuse in the underhood fuse block, left front of engine compartment. There are more fuses to check, but let me know what you have so far.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

Did you get a chance to do those tests yet?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hey sorry did all that checked all fuses even went had my battery tested which said it was bad...bought a brand new battery threw it in same things are happening....yes I get clicking at those relays when you turn the key
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 months ago.

No, you didn't do all that. You forgot, "put your finger on that relay and turn the key to start and let me know if you can feel the relay click. If not, remove that relay and test for voltage in the socket. You should have voltage at one spot all the time and then when the key is turned to start an additional hot. Let me know the results of those 2 tests."

I need specific answers, not just done all that. I don't know what all that means,