What could be wrong with a 1999 Cavilier starts and then dies in 3 seconds?

Asked by Oct 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM about the 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

It has no dash board lights at all, no headlights, no dome light, no radio function and no remote door lock. The turn and hazard lights work fine as well as the blower motor. All fuses both in the engine and under dash check good. I have replaced the fuel pump relay, ignition switch , the keyed ignition switch with pass lock. It worked fine when I parked it 2 months ago. I am thinking bad ground some where, bad computer, or maybe a bad instrument cluster.

7 Answers


The start and die is what the pass lock does sometimes. No dash lights at all? Sounds like a fuse. There are 2 40amp maxi fuses in the fuse/relay box under the hood marked ign 1 and ign 2. Make sure both are good and getting power with the key on.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

All fuses both under hood and dash are good. Tested with meter,


And both are getting battery voltage with the key on? It sounds like the power isn't getting to the stuff rather than a bad ground. Do you know how to read a wiring diagram and test? I can see if chiltons has one and send it to you.

Yes I can read a wiring diagram


K when I get to my PC in a bit I'll see what I can pull from chiltons online and paste the pic for you.


Chiltons online does not have a wiring diagram for the cluster. Only engine wiring and exterior lights


sounds like what happened to a friend of mine.. his saturn did a very similar thing.. it ended up being the anti theft malfunctioning. you may need to have the vehicle taken in to the chevy dealer and have them perform a anti theft reset with a gm scan tool. Unfortunately , the 99 cavalier is equiped with passlock and the only way to reset it is to have it reprogrammed. The 10 minute and 30 minute test works on passlock 1 and 2 but not passlock. I hope this helps

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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