Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

1996 chevy cavalier

Hi I have been having problems, where the car will start but not stay running in idle, also it will run really sluggish until you get over 35 mph and all the idiot lights have come on in the car including the theft light
please help, have already dumped over $2000 in car and I can't seem to get any answers?

Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • wizzard911 Jan 07, 2009

    yes and all other lights

  • wizzard911 Jan 08, 2009

    Could this also be the reason that the car won't start now, someone told us to disconnect the battery and let it sit for a half an hour and then reconnect it, and it may reset the computer in the car and hopely erase all the lights in the dash board and when my husband reconnected the battery and started the car, at first it didn't want to start but it did and the lights came back on, and then he drove it up to the laundry mat and brought it back home,got out and left it sit for approx. 3 hours and then went out and try to start the car, and the car started at first, but then stalled out and then when he try to start it again, it started to crank and then die, crank and then die, crank, crank, crank, crank and kills the battery, because he didn't have time, to mess with it, he jumped in my car and left until the next morning, went out and try to jump the car, and it would crank, but not start.

    And thank you for your help,

  • Tim Higgins
    Tim Higgins May 11, 2010

    is the check engine light on?



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that gotĀ 5 achievements.


    An expert who has written 50 answers of more than 400 characters.


    An expert whose answer gotĀ voted for 20 times.

  • Expert
  • 123 Answers

The reason it all goes circuslights could be that the alternator is overcharging.
The charge rate increases as the load and engine revs go up but only supposed to be a little, thats what the voltage regulator on the alternator is for.. when the regulator fails and alternator is overcharging eventually enough power is sent through the ground to light everything up and the computer cannot run properly.
High voltage levels cause sensors to read incorrectly so the computer cannot manage the engine.. Suggest you check out the charge cicuit at idle, at 2500 and at 3500 revs (briefly!)
Charge should be between 13.5 at idle, to 14.6 at 3500
Its a starting point for diagnosis.
Note that putting the alternator on a machine at Autozone will not necessarily pick up the fault - it needs to be checked ON the vehicle.
Hope this helps

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • Tim Higgins
    Tim Higgins Jan 08, 2009

    you need to go to an autodealer and find out what the code stored on the computer is....disconnecting the battery to get the light off is not a repair. Its as useful as removing the bulb from the dash....

    Once u get the code message me and I can tell you why your car wont run. If you know someone with a scan tool to plug into the computer socket under the dash you can get them to tell you.

    Autozone etc will do it for you, but you have to get the car there..

    Those codes stored on the vehicle computer (called DTC codes or "P" codes) are essential to diagnose modern cars (after 1996)

    See how you get on with that...



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Mechanic can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Mechanic (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

2000 jeep grand cherokee has sluggish idle sometimes doesnt stay started

You could possibly have a bad EGR valve which would affect the vacuum which affects the idle. Check for a vacuum leak first then check the egr valve

Aug 14, 2014 | 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

I have a 2004 chevy cavalier, 1st problem when stopped at a red light with a/c on the temp. goes up and a/c starts to blow warm air and car runs sluggish. Like it wants to stall. When driving everything...

first problem is simply your radiator cooling fans (there tow of them) are not working my be due to a fuse and/or relay those fans are turning with ac on even if your car is cold and turns when radiator gots hot even if ac is off
so when your car is hot open the hood and just take a look are they running or not they just in front of radiator

May 31, 2011 | 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

Replaced ignition switch in 1999 chevy cavaliar rs, anti-theft light comes on and stays on and won't allow car to start and remain on or run

You have to do a relearn procedure on the anti-theft system:

Attempt to start the vehicle. Leave the ignition on until the THEFT SYSTEM indicator turns off (about 10 minutes). Turn the ignition switch off. Leave the ignition switch off with key in for about 10 minutes. Attempt to start vehicle.

May 24, 2011 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

Want to adjust the idle speed on my Chevy Cavalier 2.4 engine. Don't know where to look

I wouldn't recommend doing this, with that being said there is a set screw on the throttle body that u can adjust. I would be really carful and only do it in small increments. Run engine after every change to make sure it wasn't to much.

Mar 29, 2011 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

Car starts but volts light stays on 1996 chevy lumina

This usually indicates your altenator is not working properly and should be replaced.

You can confim this by hooking a DC volt meter to a power source and when the car is running you should see 13.6 volts (or more)

May 19, 2010 | 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

1999 chevy cavalier 2.2.liter :oil light comes on after i have placed the car in park in the driveway and leave it running for a minute or too after i have drivin it, never really has (light come on) while...

I'll admin I'm not entirely sure how to fix this, but it sounds like it might be low oil pressure, and other than trying to flush it out at the next oil change, I'm not sure what else to check -- hope you get it straightened out

Feb 09, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

2 Answers

My 1996 Saturn SL1 runs very sluggish w/A/C on

idle is too low you see the problem with saturn sl1 is its a single cam engine that puts out only 100hp and when you get into low idling such as 800 rpms where it should be idling at when you hit the a/c the rpms drop a good 150 so turn the idle up more or is it during driving conditions?

Jun 13, 2009 | 1996 Saturn SL

1 Answer

Engine surges at rpm over 1500

Look for a vacuum leak (lines and intake), Is the engine light on, were any codes present? A faulty EGR or IAC could cause the problem too. Check the throttle cable for any restrictions.

May 27, 2009 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

Not finding what you are looking for?
1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Logo

258 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts


Level 3 Expert

77499 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22306 Answers

Ronny Bennett Sr.
Ronny Bennett Sr.

Level 3 Expert

6927 Answers

Are you a Chevrolet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides