Question about 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

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When I turn the key nothing happens. I changed the starter, changed the relay, the engine was just overhauled, it has 180,000 miles. I noticed that it needs a new oil pan, could this have anything to do with it? The battery is new.

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  • Chevrolet Master
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Oil pan shouldn't have anything to do with starting, but...if it's out, or low on oil is a different issue.
I have run into a shorted tarter that caused failure to an ignition switch, and a park/neutral switch, and both of these need to operate to get voltage to the starter when you turn the key.

Posted on Aug 27, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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If your engine dosen`t even crank you have to first make sure the battery is fully charged.If so it sounds like it is your starter.When your starter goes bad your engine wont crank you get nothing when you turn the key.Try to start there.

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1. Make sure your battery is fully charged.
2. Check connections from battery to starter relay.
3. Make sure you have voltage going to the start side (small wire) of the relay with the key in the "start" position.
4. If you don't have voltage going to the start side of the relay (small wire) with key in the start positon, then your starter switch is faulty (under dash usually mounted on top of steering column).
5. If you have voltage to the start side of the relay (small wire) with key in start position, and it don't click when trying to start your car, then the starter relay is bad.
6. If your starter relay clicks, but engine don't turn over, then the starter is faulty.

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Change the actual ignition switch? Test light at starter signal wire while someone turns key to see if you have power at signal wire. Check all your grounds after that. Still nothing take steering column apart and change ignition switch .

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First, using a digital volt/ohmmeter, check the power at the main lead on the starter. It should read full battery voltage. If not check all connections at the battery and to the starter. Next, check the small trigger wire on the starter with the key turned to start. There should be 12v there as well. If not, Check the starter relay and the ignition switch. If you have 12v at the main wire and the trigger wire, replace the starter, providing that you can turn the engine by hand.
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It could be the park/neutral switch, next time it doesn't start try wiggling the shifter in park while turning the key, or shift to neutral and see if that will work. if that doesn't change the problem I would replace the ignition switch.

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Do the dash lights come on ? They should come on when the key is turned to the on position. If nothing happens check the engine relay. It is not too expensive to replace if you really want to eliminate that as the problem. Check all wires going to the starter and make sure it is wired correctly.

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