I have a 1996 Cavalier that won't start

Tim Merriman

Asked by Oct 12, 2014 at 01:45 AM about the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

It was running fine 2 weeks ago ,then on occasion it wouldn't do anything until jumped,
then run fine. Got new battery (had a bad cell) but same thing still happened, turn the
key and it did not start. dash lights, radio, fuel pump all are as normal when I turn the
key but doesn't turn over. Replaced the Ignition switch, starter and battery all together
but still when we turn the key it doesn't turn over. A friend mentioned having to "reset it"
? I'm lost here. Any helpful suggestions?

3 Answers


Are the starter and battery connections tight and clean? Did you get a new or rebuilt starter? You get what you pay for with electronics. If you bought the cheapest one Autozone, pep boys, advanced, ect sells it might be bad. If you got a used one out of a junkyard then it too can be toast.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tim Merriman

Battery terminals are clean and tight , Starter is a new one. Went to get a new key cylinder but then run into the dilemma of just the cylinder or cylinder with the wiring . difference of 25.00 and 190.00 ! that's when someone said it might just need reset. I am not a wise mechanic and can't afford one at this time ( which Really sucks ) ! Originally just thought it was the ignition switch $50 plus new battery $90 and then new starter and cylinoid....etc, etc. Thinking of investing a $1 of gas and a match ! just kidding :-) But I've kind-of fell down the rabbit hole and there are too many options and can't afford them all. Murphy's law tells me it is a quick fix ! damned if I do, Damned if I don't type scenario which ever way I go. I've heard reset computer , Fuseable link , Starter cylinder by itself, and with new wiring . I wish I had an old car ( pre-computer ) !


I've never heard of resetting the car. Oh you don't need to waste the $1. Just take the gas cap off n stuff a rag down into the neck, then light the rag n run! LOL. Oh I totally understand where your coming from. Its now to the point you want yo find out what's wrong with it because it could be something simple. I've been around cars most of my life and yes I miss my 77 Trans Am and 67 Firebird convertible a lot when I'm working on modern crap. I would start with the switch. Check your wiring on it and see if the wires are good and none of the terminals are pulled back or out the plugs. If your wires are good just replace the switch. If they are bad look for one with wires in a junkyard or on eBay. Keep me posted.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Cavalier in your area?

CarGurus has 1,605 nationwide Cavalier listings and the tools to find you a great deal.


Search Chevrolet Cavalier Questions

Chevrolet Cavalier Experts

#1 John Saffrahn
John Saffrahn
Reputation 2,670
#2 dandyoun
Reputation 1,220
#3 mbar1
Reputation 1,050
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic"
1,122 Great Deals out of 58,107 listings starting at $1,300
Used Chevrolet Malibu"
1,146 Great Deals out of 72,632 listings starting at $695
Used Chevrolet Impala"
948 Great Deals out of 35,754 listings starting at $700
Used Honda Accord"
1,269 Great Deals out of 77,637 listings starting at $1,395
Used Chevrolet Camaro"
812 Great Deals out of 38,797 listings starting at $2,650
Used Honda Civic Coupe"
336 Great Deals out of 16,293 listings starting at $799
Used Toyota Camry"
1,585 Great Deals out of 98,102 listings starting at $895
Used Nissan Altima"
1,373 Great Deals out of 87,444 listings starting at $1,195
Used Pontiac Sunfire"
549 listings starting at $1,700
Used Toyota Corolla"
1,419 Great Deals out of 66,811 listings starting at $1,295
Used Ford Mustang"
717 Great Deals out of 41,256 listings starting at $900
Used Chevrolet Tahoe"
1,057 Great Deals out of 36,219 listings starting at $1,700