Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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My 97 cavalier will start but will not run more than a few seconds, spraying starter fluid into the intake will keep it running but only till i stop spraying fluid..... i was thinking maybe the map sensor or possibly the crankshaft sensor

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  • magic_ninja Jun 16, 2009

    fuel pump could be it... but i just replaced it with a pump from a 2000 model.... with modifications... the car had been totaled prior to the work ive done with it and set in a field for 5 years untouched... the fuel and brake lines are rusted but no leaks.. i know the feul had gone bad and ruined the tank but i am not sure about the condition of the inside of the fuel lines themselves..

  • magic_ninja Jun 16, 2009

    the fuel pump runs and fuel gets to the cilinders but pressure is lost and the engine quits almost emediately

  • magic_ninja Jun 16, 2009

    when i turn the key off and then back on it will try to run but sputters and quits.... if i hold the peddle to the floor it revs and quits but doesnt run any longer.... but if i just try to start it without turning the key off it just cranks over with no combustion at all

  • magic_ninja Jun 16, 2009

    ive replaced the oxygen sensor and a few other sensors... but not the map sensor and i am just wondering if it could be a possibilty

  • marionbagget May 11, 2010

    You can get the trouble codes. Many auto supply stores have free loaner meters to read the code.This sounds like no fuel is getting into the cylinders

  • its420_us May 11, 2010

    Fuel filter, and/or fuel pump.

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Possibly the fuel pump, just turn the key on and listen for the fuel pump,will hear it forjust a few sec's

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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Not a great idea if you haven't done this before. You can start a fire, or even ruin your engine. However, in general, remove the air cleaner and spray starter fluid into carb (or throttle body) about one second (one Mississippi) and try to start. If it starts and continues to run, rock on. If it runs a few seconds and dies, you have ither issue and are not getting fuel delivery. Seek help!

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... you smell fuel after trying to re-start when it dies.

Disconnect the plug to the cold start injector. Even if you have an issue with the engine running then dying after a few seconds after doing this, if you don't smell fuel after disconnecting the cold start injector and try to restart it, the cold start time injector time switch may be failing.

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... you smell fuel after trying to re-start when it dies.


Disconnect the plug to the cold start injector. Even if you have an issue with the engine running then dying after a few seconds after doing this, if you don't smell fuel after disconnecting the cold start injector and try to restart it, the cold start time injector time switch may be failing.


Buy a can of starting fluid and have someone start the engine then spray short bursts of the fluid around all the intake fittings. If spraying the fluid in any particular area keeps the engine running, I'd start looking for leaks around that area.


It does sound like an AFM or COR issue considering it dies after a few seconds, but the fuel smell when trying to restart the engine may be a separate issue that needs corrected / isolated first.

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