Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

Cavalier cranks but does not start

1996 Z24 2.4L DOHC

I just bought this car knowing it didn't start. I guess you could say its a project car. The guy said that when it died and never started again, that he was driving down the road around 45mph.....the car started to over heat and he pulls over..... the car dies and never started again.

After i purchased, put it on a trailer, and got it to the house i charged the battery. I tried to start it and it sounds like it is sputtering and bucking somewhat.... almost like it is out of time. I have scoured the internet looking for different problems/solutions and found it could be a timing chain issue, a water pump, a timing tensioner, coil pack (there are 2 of them), anti theft something or other, or a clogged converter. The guy also said that it did leak water near the water pump. Could the water pump going out prevent the car from starting?

I would like to see if anyone has some answeres.
Let me know if you need more information.

Thanks in advance

Posted by on

  • 5 more comments 
  • jasonhaas79 Feb 23, 2009

    I'm going to check for compression today. I was thinking the head could have got warped also. My only hope is that if it did jump timing that i don't have bent valves.
    So in summary, it sounds as if the water pump or thermo stat went out to cause over heating, causing it to warp the head and create a water leak.
    I forgot to put that the seller also said the car would have white smoke coming out the tail pipe for the few weeks it ran. Only when he started it and it ran for a few mins would it stop.

  • jasonhaas79 Feb 28, 2009

    I checked compression on cylinder 4. Got to about 100 to 125. Checked number 3 and it only went to 25 and then I noticed water reflecting out of the spark plug hole. Cranked it without anything in the hole and water shot out. So now my question is...... warped head? Blown head gasket? Cracked cylinder wall? Number four had the smell of gas but number 3 did not.

    Going to take the engine out Monday night and disassemble it all by Weds. The spark plugs and coil packs never really showed to much of a sign of extreme heat like i though it would since the car overheated. I guess we will see.

  • mike loshbough
    mike loshbough May 11, 2010

    like i said probably a warped head

  • Chris Kieninger
    Chris Kieninger May 11, 2010

    ooo the white smoke is definately not a good thing....

  • carhob May 11, 2010

    i would look at timing chain,compression check,their prone for head gasket problems

  • Chris Kieninger
    Chris Kieninger May 11, 2010

    i would also check for fuel pressure

  • mike loshbough
    mike loshbough May 11, 2010

    sounds like he got the engine to hot and warped the head thus no compression



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that gotĀ 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer gotĀ voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has answered 20 questions.

  • Expert
  • 36 Answers

Although a water pump is a iisue with this car and costs a fortune to replace it is not the reason why the car will not start.
I suspect you have a coil pack problem but you first need to establish whether you are missing gas or spark.
When you turn on the key do you hear the fuel pump start. If not you may want to push the pluf in the fuel line to see if you have fuel. If there is no fuel replace fuel pump.. ( In fuel tank.)
If you have fuel and no spark you replace col pack or crank sensor. A OBD 2 reader will tell you whats the problem if you have no spark but it usually doesn't alert you if there is no fuel.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009


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

I own a 1998 Isuzu Bihorn and have just replaced the flywheel. While the vehicle was unusable I changed the oil/filters and some radiator "O" rings. While the vehicle cranks(battery is good) there is no...

well first off , what engine, of the many is there.?
3.2 L 6VD1 SOHC V6
3.2 L 6VD1 DOHC V6
3.5 L 6VE1 DOHC V6
3.0 L 4JX1 TD I4
3.1 L 4JG2 TD I4

but just wild guessing , the crank sensor is on flywheel and not connected?
if you post what year, what engine and country we can answer.
EFI systems vary by year, engine and country.
in the USA the 1998 all have Crank sensors. EPA laws....
and on some will not run disconnected. (varies)
to work on an engine, know what is there, and share it , or you get wild guessing. par for course at fixya ....

good luck.

Mar 17, 2015 | Isuzu Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Honda will not start it is not battery

what engine, see list at end. 2.2L 2.7L or 3.0L?
never post no starts, with no engine stated, all below is GENERIC HONDA.
you are guessing why guess?
how did yo prove its not the battery.?? jumper cables starts?
how? never tell the mech, that, let him find the truth.
if you tell him wrong, he may spend a fortune proving you wrong.
(not me but can) see why? (labor and wrong parts replaced)
is this a no crank >? or a no start, why start at step 3.
or even not tell step 1 &2 ? was done.....

all use old folks , have hand cranked old tin lizzys.
and owned 50 motorcycles all FOOT KICK started.
so if it dont crank robustly it will never start is not lost on the old crowd.

  1. checked all fuses yet? CEL lamp glows in dash KEY ON??????
  2. cranks fast?
  3. got spark?
  4. ever done the 60k miles tune up, and is the CAM belt fresh.
if the cam belt snaps, the whole engine can be lost.
i do leak down tests on all hondas. for good reason.
and 100x time that for Honda's NEVER SERVICED !!!
i can even hear you crank it, and see its lost compression just buy the sound of the starter, (sounds like sewing machine running, no load)

if compression is good and spark is good, and not flooding
you can use test fuel, to prove engine and spark is good.
but id not, if that cam belt is not fresh.
you never posted engine type ,size or cyl count so can be accurate here.
my 1st rule on honda's (all interference engines)
is: RULE1: First do no harm.
and cranking it like mad, is just that.

see belt change intervals. USA miles.
did you replace it? ever?
Honda belts, fleabay $10 belts will never last this long, ever....!!!!!
EngineInterferenceReplace belt rules. (repeats for life of engine)
2.0 (SOHC)Yes90,000
2.0 (DOHC) (K20)Yes90,000
2.2 (SOHC)(F22B)Yes90,000
2.2 (DOHC)(F22C)Yes90,000
2.2 (DOHC Passport)(J32)Yes75,000
Buy Gates belts or Honda real.

OK: ILL pretend engine compression is good
cranks fast
spark is bad. (on all cyl)
connect (in USA) the scan tool and crank for 5 seconds
id bet the ECU just told you (by RPM=0 , or DTC why it dont start)

Feb 15, 2014 | 1996 Honda Accord

1 Answer

Hard starting when cold

Have you checked base fuel pressure with a gauge before and after cranking the engine ?

Jun 17, 2013 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

1997 chevy cavalier

Take it back and get your money back ,you have bought a pig in a poke here

May 18, 2013 | 1996 Pontiac Grand Am

2 Answers

1996 cavalier with 2.2 wont start sometimes.i

Replace your fuel pump, starting to go out.Not bad idea to also replace fuel filter with fuel pump.

May 26, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer


For the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2L DOHC In-Line 4-Cylinder:

Firing Order:

Ignition Coil Connections:
.o <--4
..O o <--1
.........o <--3
...........O o <--2

Let me know if this helped, or if you have additional information or questions. Feel Free to contact me at!

May 11, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

96 cavalier torque specs

70 Foot pounds (Final torque) if it is a 2.2

Torque in sequence Step 1: Torque to 15 Ft/Lbs Step 2: Turn an additional 90 degrees if it is a 2.4 sfi dohc

Nov 23, 2008 | 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer


It is probably not the anti theft system if it cranks over fast then slow it is your timing chain. If you want to try resetting the anti theft system disconnect the battery cables for 24 hours and reconnect them.

Nov 01, 2008 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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

539 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts


Level 3 Expert

77169 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22265 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