1997 Chev Cavalier not starting wet or damp weather
This has been a great car until the fall rains and wet snows arrived. This car needs to be cranked multiple times to start (and maybe it will or won't). Something seems to be getting wet and if the the weather is very cold or sunny and dry, there is absolutely no problem. As I have no garage, the car sits outside and is exposed to all the elements. It coughs, sputters, and sometimes you even hear a small backfire before I give it up. The following items have all been replaced: Battery (because it was weak, not related to start issue), ignition module (computer), ignition coils, plugs and wires checked, crank sensor, wiring harness to computer checked. Yesterday I had to tow it to the garage after a 25 cm snowstorm. Once the car starts, and warms up the misfire and rough running is gone as though nothing ever happened.
Can someone please help? With all the money I have put in this car since Oct 1st, I need to keep the car to get some of my money's worth out of it.
- If you need clarification, ask it in the comment box above.
- Better answers use proper spelling and grammar.
- Provide details, support with references or personal experience.
Tell us some more! Your answer needs to include more details to help people.You can't post answers that contain an email address.Please enter a valid email address.The email address entered is already associated to an account.Login to postPlease use English characters only.
Tip: The max point reward for answering a question is 15.
The first place I would check would be the ignition coil. These are pretty bad for "arcing" in wet weather. Take a spray bottle full of water and spray the ignition coil with the engine running. If the coil is bad, you will probably see sparks at the coil and possibly the engine will die. If the coil is good, it should be able to take all of the water you can give it with a spray bottle.
Also, if this does not produce results, also spray the distributor cap and wires and look for the same thing.
94-95 B Bodies have a On Board Diagnostic Built in the AC System! Try holding the AC "OFF" and "TEMP^" buttons at the same time until the screen looks funny with all the lights on! the scroll with the temp up and down button till u see 00 and hit the button that says "MIDDLE" to enter! If done right, i will start displaying any stored dtc codes. tehn let me know what code it shows!
I suggest that you look for secondary voltage leaks from the ignition system. Moisture causes dirt to become a pathway for this spark voltage. Look inside all wire connections, for any corrosion. A scope can test this, but typically a home does not have a scope...
If it is happening more frequently in cold or damp weather it could be a spark issue. Wet or damp weather can effect spark plug wires if there is even minor damage to them (usually occurs durring rain). The other things that come to mind are the fuel pump and lastly the fuel line check ball that is in the fuel tank. If it is leaking then all the fuel in the line will drain back into the tank over night (pressure lost in the fuel line) and this will cause repeated, extended cranking when you first start the car in the morning or after the car has sat for several hours.
You should never wash your engine. It can really mess with the computer sensors. However since you now have a problem in the rain, I'd change the wires, cap and rotor. (likely old and sensitive to humidity) Also, look at your ignition coil in the dark...if you see any spark or electrical "haze" where the coil wire goes in, change the coil.
perhaps you need a new cap and roter a new spark plug wire set. they don;t like moisture. also check to see if you have any broken or leaking vacuum hoses. the worse case senerio would be that your head gasket is leaking--at cold temps a little antifreeze will enter until everything warms up and it seals shut due to metal expanding. but since you say it's cold weather only--this probably wou;dn't be the case. good luck.