Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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1996 Chevy Cavalier not firing on 1 & 4

I have had the car in the garage since I can't get to the coil packs. After replacing the coil packs and module with new or known good ones it seems that 1 & 4 were not getting a signal from the computer which some clown located in the wheel well on the right side. After cleaning up the connections and re-gelling them they reassembled and the car ran fine for a few day and then back to the same problem. Somewhere in the wiring has to be a bad connection, frayed wire that sometimes connects and sometimes it don't.
The computer was replaced with a new one and with one from a car that was working fine and still 1& 4 wasn't working. I drove the car away this morning to bring it home to do the troubleshooting as it was cheaper than $65.00 per hour for the garage. They pointed me in adirection to start from, but I need wiring diagrams to assist.
Has anyone else had a wiring issue? Also the exhaust system is now dragging...any supports it had are gone... does anyone know where the original brackets should be other than the muffler?

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  • 5 more comments 
  • djtimothy Mar 04, 2009

    2.2 engine
    Yesterday it ran fine, today it's not firing on 1 & 4 again...same ones, they never change... odb just records PO300. I see some what of a diagram in the Hayes book I own.

  • djtimothy Mar 04, 2009

    How about a faulty or floating ground? To the computer or the module? This car had an issue that the original ground rust off the block. Replaced it with a new one and unless I connected the old one back to the negative terminal it sometimes acted like a dead battery. The only connection the old cable had was to the battery tray. The tray is now basically all rust too, did chevy use the tray as a chassis ground for some stupid reason or is it just a fluke?

  • djtimothy Mar 04, 2009

    Both coils were changed, swapped or replaced and still the same issue. 2&3 firing, took coil and put it in for 1&4 and still the same issue. Ignition Module was switched with a new one and two used ones from cars thnat run and still the same issue. 2&3 still work, 1&4 still the problem child. The computer was replaced as well and the problem still was there... car sat over night and ran fine for an hour and then fired only 2&3. Plug wires were switched and 2&3 still worked.

  • djtimothy Mar 05, 2009

    The Garage did the wire testing and such and 1 & 4 did nothing at all. As for my ground issue I think I resolved that PLUS I think I discovered the main issue. This car had an aftermarket remote car starter installed which never seemed to work right. Decided to pull it out finally and discovered the lead going to the white wire which goes to the module under the coil packs some how got crushed and bare spots grounded to the chassis. So if I'm right this might be the cause of 1 & 4 not doing anything. I will not fully know until the car runs a while. Last time it ran a week before it acted up. I have to put new supports in for the exhaust pipes since it's now dragging on the ground... when it rains it pours

  • techboxx890 Apr 16, 2009

    So djtimothy please let us know as to whether you corrected your misfire on 1 and 4 by fixing the faulty remote starter install.

    Or have you tried csmock132 recommended?

  • djtimothy Jun 04, 2009

    The poorly installed remote starter was the culprit. The wire grounded out the 1 & 4 so no spark. Remove the starter and all is wonderful in the little chevy rust bucket... even the garage was amazed that it was the problem. Live and learn (expensive lesson)

  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock May 11, 2010

    Does it have a 2.2 or a 2.4



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  • 4,669 Answers

The engine computer can tell the ignition module to change the timing but it doesn't control the spark , the module does. So if you are loosing spark on 1 and 4 it is not the engine computer or the wiring going to it. The problem has to be a plug, plug wire , coil, or ignition module. The reason you loose 1 and 4 is because they are both on the same coil. If the plugs and wires have lots of miles on them, I would change them first. DIS system have to fire what is called a waste spark, if you have a plug or wire with high resistance it will cause a miss on the cylinder it shares a coil with. If that doesn't help then I would switch the coils and see if the miss moves to 2 and 3.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock Mar 05, 2009

    I would get or borrow two spark testers, you have to use two. Put one at the plug end of both wires(1 and 4). Start the engine and see if it throws spark at both spark testers. Also you said you had ground issues. You could also try running a ground wire from the battery to the ignition module.



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