1999 Cavalier Problem

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Hi, recently I'm having problems starting up my '99 Cavalier. I'll turn the key like normal, but instead of it starting up I'll have the radio come on and then a bunch of lights on the dash like the oil and battery light light up and the theft system light. What is going on? Thanks for anything!

posted by  Chupes

Ok this description is way too information defficient for anyone to have a clue as to what is going on. You turn the key and instead of it starting the radio and instrumentation lights come on!!???? Are you turning the key to the start position and the engine is cranking and just will not fire Ie) start??? If the key is in the ON position, the radio and instumentation lights WILL be on so I am lost. Try providing just a little more information and we might be able to get somewhere! :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

I have a 99 cavalier also. it might be that your starter is bad and not sending a spark to your engine. but without more information that is my best guess.

posted by  metalhead1039

WAIT A MINUTE????? WHAT???? Since when does a starter send a spark to the engine??? MY GOD man, please just do us all a favor and stay out of something you have NO idea about. This person would like real assistance and not mis-information that is purely bullshit. Sorry if this seems rude, but to type something so blatantly wrong on a car forum does more harm than you just trying to help out. :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Maybe the antifreeze fluid is low in the starter? :laughing:

posted by  BavarianWheels

I had a guy who had a radio installed and whenever he turned the a/c on the radio came on. Unless you had some stereo equipment installed I have no idea. Although I have heard of that happening to a guy in a Chevy Malibu, can't remember what it was..

posted by  DSMer

Well, I go to start it and it sounds like it wants to start but the engine doesn't start. So I just get the radio and lights on the dash. I don't know much about cars at all so I don't know what else to say.

posted by  Chupes

Well yeah you're enging is'nt cranking over. Well when you turn it, does it sound like slow cranking or is it constant speed like "eh eh eh eh eh" or is it slower like "eh...eh eh.....eh eh". Cause your battery or starter could not be sullplying enough juice to crank the engine over. If you hear a clicking noise? That could be a faulty connection in the battery. Your spark plug wires could be misaligned. Or you could have a broken belt. Seeing as that you don't know much about cars you won't be able to help me very much to help you. But my best advice is for you to take it to a Mechanic and have them inspect it...

posted by  DSMer

spark plug wires misaligned :laughing: :laughing:

posted by  tbaxleyjr

it sounds to me like your starter is going/gone take it to a shop this isnt a job you can do yourself and the diagnosis is part of the price that you pay...
If you really dont have enough money to do it then maybe you should beg your mom and dad...

Starter problems happen on all cars it's a common thing...
A little more help if you really want it:

if your engine is making no noise when you turn your car to on then one of 2 things is happening
1. starter is dead
2. fusible link got fried by surge (take to mechanic way beyond you)

if it is slowly turning over the engine (he...he he...he sound ) then one of 2 things
1. starter dieing
2. battery dieing(advanced auto parts,napa, or auto zone can help you with this)

if your engine is starting (prolly a sputtering noise) then stalling(dieing)

p.s.-spark plug wires misaligned a.k.a.-you cant count right and you put the spark plug wire in the wrong spot

posted by  Pieface


posted by  Wally

Its true man, somone did that shit to me as a joke. I thought my starter had gone south. N I looked at my spark plugs and they were out of order with a ****ing post it note with a laughing face on it. And it actually kinda sounded like the engine was trying to start... You never know..

posted by  DSMer

must be talking about having the firing order messed up - You are right the car will not start or run well with the incorrect firing order.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

And now that we've all given Chupes enough knowledge to be dangerous because he does not know much about cars, I will say I agree with one comment.....TAKE THE CAR TO A SHOP. I've also enjoyed the laugh from some of the postings and technical advise given. Personally, I think you need to check the fluid level in the alternator and make SURE that the drive shaft is not bolted up the the water pump instead of the transmission myself!! :banghead: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

posted by  cmeseadoin

........Does it have gas? :ticking:

posted by  DodgeRida67

I'll agree with cmeseadoin here - if you don't know what youre doing, go pay someone who does - make sure the shop is of good repute or a dealer service department

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Well, someone told me it was the connection to the battery probably, because like said a 5 year old car doesn't really have major problems usually. So I gotta go in and tighten that I guess lol

posted by  Chupes

Chupes, reading your posting makes me realize you are misinformed on several levels:

A five year old car can have any/all the same issues that a 10-15 year old one can have. When it comes to technology, mechanics and automobiles...anything goes. My best friend just bought a BRAN NEW 2004 Mercedez E320 CDI Turbo Diesel for his parents and that's a 55K car. He pulled it of the garage on day two with 100 miles on the odometer and the check engine light was on and the car had no power. It was in "limp home mode." The car spend the first week of it's life in the shop with the dealer at a loss as to why the problem was going on, and they had Mercedez engineering on the line doing satelite troubleshooting. Come to find out the ECU had one of it's master connections lose and it was causing the computer to "trip out." That's technology for you, so NEVER think that anything automotive-wise is not going to have issues. Anything can happen for any reason. It may be less or more likely, but that is about all you can say.

As for your problems, checking the battery cables is a good thing to do, but from how you originally described the problem, it is highly unlikely. If you're getting radio and dash lights, the battery is connected bud....as well as the starter should be engaging to start the engine. Maybe you've got a starter wire lose or some other issue. Sounds like from your experience level, if it ain't the battery connections, you might want to make it easier on yourself and get it to a shop. I think that is a A1 suggestion myself! :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

DSMer, How in the world can you state what you stated about his engine not turning over when you read what Chupes typed in the previous posting?
Let me paraphrase what he said: IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WANTS TO START BUT IT DOES NOT START. This does NOT mean SPECIFICALLY that the engine is not turning over at all like you suggested!!! This could mean it IS cranking and the engine is not firing...BIG DIFFERENCE bud. It burns me up to read this crap that gets typed and called "help" for these people that have problems and post in here. It could ALSO mean that it is NOT turing over like what you stated. Who the hell knows......I think you'd have done better to ask him before you "assumed" it was not turning over at all don't ya think?

Also, a clicking noise means typically two things.....the battery is too weak to start the engine, therefore, the solenoid is clicking because it continues to go into an open/closed loop situation..OR the solenoid is bad. There is no such thing as a loose connection "in the battery." How would spark plug wires or a broken belt have a thing to do with this? Sounds to me you don't know much either. You'd have done best to just agree with what I said and say: Get it to a shop. Instead, you stated a bunch of crap that is mis-informative to the person with the problem and he's too car illiterate to know the difference in the first place. Great work! :banghead: :banghead:

posted by  cmeseadoin

After reading several of these posts - we all probably need to do more asking and making sure we have the problem better defined before speaking

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I have a battery cord that was no connected right (loose connection) and made a clicking noise... more of a sparking click but it sounded like clicking. I also had intentionally misaligned sparkplugs that kinda made the engine
"sound like it wants to start". I suppose a broken belt could also make an engine "sound like it wants to start" Again he said it sounds like it wants to start, and notice how I said it "could" be such n such. I was'nt saying it was I was saying it "could". You can mull on and on about misdirection and get heated all you want does'nt matter to me. I never diagnosed it to be that. I simply said it "could" be nothing more nothing less. And if you would have read I also stated to just to take it to a Mechanic. So Iono what your beef is but I don't see any plates....

posted by  DSMer

Like Tbaxleyjr just said - lets get this strait before making rediculious posts and end up turning into idiot flamers. (not exactly his words but...)

Dude with the problem - does your engine turn over and just not fire up or when you turn the key does it not turn over or even make a peep?

posted by  DodgeRida67

No bud, actually what I was responding to was YOUR EXACT WORDS as paraphrased above where you stated "well yeah your engine isn't cranking over......" That is all I had to read to know that you were not "suggesting" anything.....you STATED something that was not necessarily the case. If you can't type what you mean to say, that is not my problem, that's your lacking education, not mine.

Furthermore, all your "suggestions" could somehow affect what this person's problem is in some way, but then again, so could the fact that perhaps anything else in the world could have happened to the car that we did not know about. Why don't you try looking at what these people are telling you technically before you open your obviously ignorant mouth proving to the rest of us that our suspisions are true: You have no idea what you're talking about. You have someone mis-aligning your plugs screwing up the timing as a joke, so you think the probability of that in this case is high....so it's worth a suggestion? LOL, you are obviously mis-informed as to what you're here for then dude.

As for the part about you not caring really what my "beef" is....that would be pretty typical from someone with your mentality. I am here to hopefully help people and by not planting any ideas in their minds about something unless I have good knowledge from something they've told me that it is probably true. The loose wire scenario you suggested was about the brightest thing that came from you on this subject.

posted by  cmeseadoin

Meh, I fail to see your futile point... Anything "could" have happened. Again I could really care less for your reasoning. In the end the guy will most likley take the car to a mechanic, so again I still don't see the lights of your dull points.. No harm no foul, you can pitch and moan all you'd like, shoot I applaud your futile actions good job :thumbs:

P.S. Just to stay on subject -I fully agree with err.. umm my orginal statment. Take the car to a qualified mechanic- :wink2:

posted by  DSMer

Hi my name is james and i've been driving cavaliers since i had my drivers but recently i bought a 1999 cavalier z24 and it worked relativley well till about 1 week ago the problem i have is that my car when i start it sputters and runs far too rich it smokes black for about a minute then it becomes almost completely normal Except for the bogging in all gears under 2500 rpms HELP ME i am a computer nerd type guy i don't know whats wrong i've replaced my altenator which for some reason went and i've replaced my spark plugs and my o2 sensor but whos to say that it works it was used any help i can get would be much appreciated thanks -frave out

posted by  Lagabes

1. You do realize that this thread is nearly two years old and has nothing to do with your problem. Can "computer nerds" read?

2. Do you have a question?

posted by  vwhobo

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