Question about 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier

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1989 cavalier z24 dies at stops and transmission kicks!

Recently replaced air, fuel transmsion, oil filter, oil, tranny fluid and the cat. I cleaned The IAC valve it was really dirty thought it would help. problems- motor dies at stops unless i put it into nuetral, gas tank builds up pressure and makes really wierd sound. When I put my lights on the rpm idles weird. when going into 2nd and 3rd gear it doesnt kick into gear until 5000 rpm, and it really jolts into it when it does. I use qurater tank going 65mph for 25 miles-really bad. Me and my dad found a few vacuum lines the were broken, we taped them with electrical tape, but recently found a stray one, think it connects to the tranny. theres also a house or something broken off the radiator think its to the ac it doesnt work! any ideas. IAC valve, egr valve, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump?

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  • pwobig Dec 18, 2008

    My dad says that it doesnt have overdrive, its only a 3 speed?

  • pwobig Dec 19, 2008

    i will try this, but it also does this when i use reverse too and not even when i get into 43rd gear it dies

  • jrc82277 Dec 21, 2008

    I have the same problem. I changed the sensor, but it still stalls and now when I start the car and put it in gear it stalls and kicks.

  • pwobig Jan 05, 2009

    Do you know where i can get vacuum lines for it? The guy that i bought it from said the fuel pressure regulator was going out, but what does a mexican know that has only two fingers and barely speaks english, my dad doesnt beleive him.

  • pwobig Jan 10, 2009

    thanks jim-derry, but could you tell me what they did to fix it, that seems to be the exact problem i am having?

  • pwobig Feb 03, 2009

    I fixed the problem with the stalling and idle, it was the spark plug wires leading to the wrong cylinders! lol

  • Barry May 11, 2010

    It is a three speed tranny,but it does have an automatic overdrive, when you are in drive going down the road your car will shift a fourth time. That is your torque convertor locking in , when you slow to a stop it's not disengaging ,which is why it stalls. Try unplugging it.

  • Barry May 11, 2010

    I may be able to help you with the shifting problem,sounds like your torque convertor is not disengaging out of overdrive ,on the driverside under the hood there is a square shaped 4 prong plug that goes into the bellhousing (front side). Unplug it and drive it a few miles, this will make it a 3 speed, if that works replace the sensor. Let me know if this helps.


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Try replacing the throttle position sensor. I just did this on my 2001 and it's working great now. It's about $30 at autozone and takes about 30 minutes to do.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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Also check your Inlet Air Temp Sensor (Located in the Air duct from the Air Filter) I have come across a Malibu with a 2.4 litre engine that was shifting hard and it was because this sensor was unplugged.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

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I had the same problem with my 1989 Chevy Cavalier Z24 with the Automatic transmission. There is an electric lock up clutch within the torque converter that engages at roughly 35mph. It's designed to give the car better highway mileage. If that circuit fails, the clutch will remain in the "locked" position when hot, and stalls the car unless neutral is engaged and the car comes to a complete stop. I remember the car making all sorts of odd noise with this malfunction. I took mine to the dealership and they had it repaired in an hour.

My daughter had a similar problem with her 1988 Cavalier Z24 with the manual 4-speed transmission. There is a speed sensor on the top of the transmission that I replaced which solved the problem for her.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Replace all vac lines first , then you need to get someone to run fuel pump pressure test to be sure you are getting proper fuel pressure , then take o propane torch ( not lit of course and go around all vac lines and intake with motor running and see if motor speeds up when you are holding it next to any suspected vac leak the tranny in this mod shifts off electric solenoids check to be sure all battery connections are clean and that i wire that ground the motor off the battery is in good condition and clean and tight , however the main care should be to vacuum and fuel pressure

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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