97 Cavalier No Start

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97 Cavalier, 2.2 engine. My son showed up home with his bud saying he believes he ran out of gas. Also states that the "hey dumbsh**t you're running out of gas" light never came on. But the car chugged and sputtered and then quit. They added a couple gallons fuel and still no go. Dad shows up and tries starting it: nada. It cranks like mad but doesn't fire up. Was dark by then so I returned the next day, it tried to start, but never caught. Pulled all the spark plugs, they appeared to be covered with oil (?) Cleaned them all up, put em back in. It actually started twice but only ran once for a few seconds. Then quit, and today was just back to cranking but not firing up. I'm going to try again tomorrow, having read several similar threads about checking for the fuel pump noise and spark and so forth, but I'm curious about finding that oil on the plugs ... any insight ? Thanks in advance

posted by  mojo922

no mileage but check pcv for oil maybe sucking up blowby(oil vapour)or could be black from age and fuel not igniting
check for spark(may want to replace plugs)
no spark check coils and ignition module

posted by  osborste

I've been seeing all the other newbies getting reamed for not making prpoper intros so i'm on my way to do that now ... sorry for the rudeness ... and thanks again in advance ... the car has 105,000 miles on it

posted by  mojo922

sounds to me like your fuel pump shit out. does it make a really low/no sounds when you turn the ignition on? check the pressure at the fuel rail.

posted by  carls47807

do a compression test and make sure it is ok .then change the ignition module.then check the fuel pressure.those fuel pumps should be in alot easier to get at spot

posted by  the lobster

I don't know about the 1997 2.2 engine but my 1998 2.2 engine had a recall for ignition problems. From memory it was something to do with the iginition possibly catching fire/making smoke or burning if cranked for too long.

I had oil over my spark plugs also. But I always assumed this came from when my valve cover gasket was leaking, seeing as the sparks are right below it.

I had a similar problem myself with a no start. It would crank but not kick over.

My dealer claimed it was the PCM and that I was getting PCM error codes. I didn't really buy this and I still believed I had starting problems after that. I'm thinking it was moreso that they had the car for almost two weeks at the dealership. They eliminated all other possibilities they claimed.

My car continued to run terrible after that. We replaced plugs but to no avail. Then I replaced the spark cables and everything works great. Doesn't run like crap anymore and no more starting issues. One thing I also noticed is that since the mechanic worked on it two of my spark plug cables were also on the wrong numbers (switched). So it might have been that as well.

So yea... check your spark plugs and cables. Put new ones in perhaps.

posted by  diggisaur

do you have spark?

do you have fuel pressure @ the test connector on the fuel rail?

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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