i have a 1997 cavalier. when i turn it over it starts and runs for a second and stalls.


Asked by Oct 27, 2009 at 08:37 PM about the 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i can do this 100 times in a row and it just starts and stalls right away. when i turn the key ahead i can hear what i think is the fuel pump humming. so i think that works. i checked all the fuses and they are ok. also the plug wires are fairly new

10 Answers


it may be your cars standard security system kicking in. check the wires and connectors going into the gauge cluster and your radio. if that doesnt seem to be anything wrong disconnect them try to start it, there should be no change. plug them back in and try it again, it may start up and stay running. its worth a shot anyway.


you most likely have a vacuum leak or vacuum problem. have a trusted mechanic check all your vacuum lines and especially the evap canister. when vacuum lines go the hoses they run through start to corrode and break in pieces. i had this problem before with mine and when i checked my lines, which are mostly in the back of the motor by the firewall towards the bottom, one of them were leaking. you can tell if its leaking by listening to the motor and hearing what sounds like a tire loosing air. but definately check the vacuum lines. it stalls because you are either not getting enough air or fuel to start the combustion chamber. also have your fuel pressure checked on the fuel pressure regulator. your air/fuel mixture is probably extremely low, which can also cause a car to stall out. yes that humming is the fuel pump seeing that you have a electronic fuel pump, or EFI fuel system. EFI stands for electronic fuel injection. so the fuel pump is working. if u do some how get it started change out the fuel filter immediately to prevent future problems. check the battery post terminals, they might be corroded. that can also cause starting problems. all the things ive mentioned though check first. battery terminals are very cheap about 5.00, and a fuel filter is about 12.00 dollars or more at any retail parts store. the fuel filter is easy to change out. all you need to do, since the fuel system has an external in-line filter, lift up the car, disconnect neg.- battery cable, to prevent shorting any possible grounds, remove the quick connect fitting from the filter, using a 16mm wrench to loosen fuel line and a 21mm back-up wrench to give yourself some support loosen it. then unthread the feed line by hand and pop the filter out the bracket by pulling outward. a fuel filter looks like a little cylinder with two lines coming out from either sides. it cleans the gasoline while it comes from the fuel tank. no the gas you buy is clean but the tank it sits in is not. the fuel tank develops rust and build up over time. if you need help with any other problems buy a chiltons or haynes book on your car make and year. i would do the fuel filter myself though with another friend. trust me itill save u alot of money if u did. jiffy lube charges 80.00 bucks to do something that a monkey withe down syndrome could do. unless u really know somebody in the bizniss.


try ur oil pressure sending unit.. if the sensor doesnt sense there it oil pressure there is a built in safety in the computer that will only let the car run for a few seconds.. i had the same problem with my 2001. i would say its ur best shot.. if i remember its like 12 bucks at ur autoparts store.


Hey Neil thanks a lot. i checked over my vacuum lines and and found two that were corroded off of the engine. i replaced those and also replaced my fuel filter. the filter was dirty and pretty well plugged. the car starts up and runs like a top again.


i had the same problem, then i noticed that the positive cable on the battery wasnt snug tight so i tightened it down and my problem was gone


if you have the Quad 4 motor it is a shit-hole fuse under your dash, its the ignition fuse i believe its a 20-amp at the top of the block, they twist and become lose, trust me i spent thousands of dollars doin what these guys r sayin to do, pissed me off,

1 people found this helpful.

were exactly is the fuse u r talking about

1 people found this helpful.

it might be your theft system. you might wanna get that checked


I had the same problem. I changed the fuel pump, filter, relay, injectors, coil packs, plugs and wires, and ignition module. The one thing I overlooked thru all thagt was the throttle position sensor. $25 and ran just fine.

1 people found this helpful.

when the quad 4 motors break timing everyone, SELL it... it ruins the motor beyond point of repair

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