Car will not start


Asked by Feb 01, 2009 at 09:49 PM about the 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Sport

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was driving the car and I thought it ran out of gas. I put gas in the car and it still would not start. I checked the fuel pressure and it was fine. I checked to make sure the car was getting spark and it was. I also installed a new crank shaft position sensor.  The car cranks smoothly but wont start. Does anyone have any suggestions?

28 Answers


You have spark, fuel pressure, and it's cranking? That's odd... sensor failure or lockup will either shut down the fuel pump or the ignition system, so that's pretty much eliminated... Is it throwing any codes? I mean spark+fuel=bang... You said you have spark and fuel pressure, and EMS I believe handles the ignition, so chances are if you're getting spark you're getting signal to the injectors? It was running when it died, you would have noticed a mechanical failure, and I beleive the ecotec has a compression sensor that is used in place of a cam sensor, so a compression failure will shut down the ignition module... I'm stumped... it just isn't adding up...

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

its not throwing any codes because the car sat for 2 months before I started working on it.


I'd recommend taking it to a shop to be diagnosed then. I'm guessing the injectors aren't firing, but it's hard to guess as to why.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I sprayed starting fluid into the throttle body and it would not start with that either so I dont think it is an injector problem. I think it might be a timing issue. Does that make sense to you?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Not really if the timing was off there would be no spark. That year used a compression sensor instead of a cam sensor so you only get spark with compression. If the cams are out of alignment it doesn't build compression and the ignition won't fire, this takes the place of a traditional cam sensor. If you're getting spark that makes no sense. Like I said, something doesn't add up.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

you need 5 things for a car to run fuel, spark, air, compression and timing, if the timing belt/chain jumped one tooth ur sensors could still be picking up a signal and telling it to spark but if the timing is off its not getting the compression, does it sound likes its cranking too easy? thats what i would check for and see if its the timing

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

wow you have spark and fuel pressure and a new crank sensor... hmmm no engine codes? either your injectors and not firing or the cam sensor is not working or computer problem.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Yeah...check compresson, but would not just die, unless it had major engine failure all at once....would would be extremely rare. How are you checking for spark? By pulling the plug and grounding it? Just because a plug has spark outside the engine does not always mean it has a good enough spark when installed. Are you checking all four plugs for spark? if your spraying either into it and it doesn;t even try, then I would not go after injectors. I would say cam sensor, or basic ignition plugs, coils take your coils up to NAPA or Advance and have them checked, along with ignition module start checking parts one by one if you cant figure it to test parts

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

didnt break a timing chain did you? think you would of known that

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

for testing the coils and ignition module you can do that from home with a multimeter i for get the readiing now but i'm sure you can find them... test the primary and secondary sides of the coil test them both they should be the same, for the ignition module take the coils off and while cranking the engine see if the coils and getting there signal with a test light.


My car just had a new fuel pump in and run for a day now it wont start back

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Look at the oil pressure sending unit it also controls fuel pump,if it fails to signal computer the oil pressure is there when cranking,the injectors and or pump will not fire/run.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Did you guys ever figure out what was going on. My wife's 2004 cavalier just turns over and will not start up. I have fuel pressure. I have replaced the Fuel pump, Fuel filter, crankshaft sensor, coil packs, ecm and still nothing. I am stumped.

19 out of 19 people think this is helpful.

I also have a 2003 cavalier that has fuel pressure, spark, compression and wont start. I had the car checked to make sure it wasn't a security issue and that is fine. When the car stopped running I drove into work and parked, when I went to go out for lunch it acted like it had a dead battery so put a new one in and just turns over. I have also sprayed starting fluid in the throttle body and it acts like it wants to start at wide open throttle but dies as soon as you let off the key...... any help would be appreciated. o and the car has now been sitting at the mechanics shop for three weeks and they have no more clue than I do.

27 out of 27 people think this is helpful.

Also need engine to exhaust in order to run. Check that cat isn't clogged up

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Suck,squeeze,bang ,blow

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Do you ever figure out what it is? I have a 2004 plain Jane Cavalier. 2.2, new plugs, me wires, new coil, new module, new crankshaft position sensor, new fuel filter, new fuel pump a month ago. It turns over, It sparks, I sprayed starting fuel in the throttle. But won't start. Basically all the same stuff you said.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Broken timming chain. Will still have spark. Coil controlled electronically not mechanically. Open valve cover and crank over. If valves don't move, then it's chain


I never thought it was the chiain, because it was not broken. There is a tensioner that uses oil pressure to hold tension on the chain. It must have jumped gears and messed the timing up. The values were opening when it turned over, so i did not think it was the timing chain. I did a compression test and found it had like 20-40 psi on the cylinders. So I replaced the chain and tensioner, and set the engine back to TDC. It got 180-200psi on the compression test and runs like a champ. it had over 230K on the engine at the time and now has 260K


I never had a Timing chain jump teeth like that before. So that was what baffeled me. I couldn't find any spec on the compression and I wasn't sure if the EcoTec was just low compression or what, because all were within 20% psi of each other. After replacing the Timing chain I can tell you it will definitely have 180-200psi and that is normal for the compression on that engine. It actually run better now, so I can only assume that it had jumped a couple times and finally the last jump kept the engine from starting. Also because the timing was off I must have been burning oil, because I would have to put half a quart in a month and now I don't have to. FYI Sure hope that helps


mcsdguy79 it definitely sounds like my same issue. I too use quite a bit oil despite no visible leaks. I've called around as I really don't want to do the work myself and the cheapest comes out about a grand. After the other $400 in parts that turned out not to be the problem I'm not sure the cars worth the cost. Despite it having been an extremely reliable and good car for the last ten years I've owned it


Yeah. 1K is definitely alot and depending on the miles and the shape may not be worth it for you. I had to try, because we didn't have the money for another car for my wife. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined, I would give it a shot. It really wasn't too bad, I did it myself. I would recommend getting a Hanes Manual for the car if you do decide to do it yourself. I don't remember everything as I did the project about a year ago. If you look down the side of the engine on the passenger side, where the serpentine belt is, the Timing Chain is on that side. Any thing that would keep you from removing that value cover, has to come off. There was a passenger side motor mount had to come off and You just keep a jack under to keep the engine up on that side. The coolant tank comes off. The passenger wheel and the plastic wheel shield comes off to allow access to the timing cover. You do have to set the engine to TOP-Dead-Center to make sure the timing belt is installed properly. Again it wasn't the hard. There was alot of jumping around the manual to do the steps. It would have been alot easier had there been more room on the side between the engine and engine bay. I remember having to jack the engine up, with the engine mount removed to take out a bolt for the alternator of smug pump, I don't remember which and then bring it back down to finish working on it. I want to say it took like 8 or 10 hours total. I just pulled it in the garage and worked on it over 2 or 3 days. Good Luck.


I just Checked Napa and the Full Timing Chain Kit is $156 It has the 2 gears, Chain, guides, and tensioner. That is what I had got and replaced.


mcsdguy79 I probably will in the end, all in all in the long run it will be cheaper than buying yet another car. It's about 120,000 miles and I know the car can got quite longer.

Entire timing sets for this car are like $30 shipped on ebay and come with all the guides and such.

2005 cavalier has fire and timing is correct,fuel pressure,but injectors won't spray


Replace the fuel pressure regulator. I got two 04's and on my black one I could smell gas and the car still ran. On my orange one it wouldn't start. Upon taking the air duct off to spray starting fluid I found it full of gas. Yeah fun. Trust me try replacing the fpr, couldn't hurt.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I agree with you on that. I had starting issues a few years ago to so I replace the fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and fuel filter, it started right up after that.

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