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2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/02/2015 6:17 PM

ii drove all day and stopped at the gas station and put 20$ worth of gas in and tried to go home but wouldnt start my step dad came to help and got it started by wiggling the wiring that connect to the gas tank and hitting the gas tank with his fist but now it wont start at all even by messing with the wiring any suggestions?

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#1

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:29 PM

What color is the car?

Blue Cavaliers are notorious for this particular trouble, exactly as you have described.

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#2

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:31 PM

red

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#10
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 7:11 PM
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#14
In reply to #10

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 8:06 PM

LOL, that actually LOOKS like it might be a Cavalier!

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#19
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/03/2015 7:05 AM

Actually looks like it might be a solution!

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#38
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/04/2015 2:19 PM

Haha... actually more like a late 80's / early 90's Cougar or Thunderbird; but a fitting end none-the-less.

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#28
In reply to #10

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/04/2015 1:38 AM

Right on! NOW...who's going to take a fist to the tank ??

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#3

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:33 PM

Take it to a garage and get them to have a look at it. Sounds like something's loose, and they have bigger fists.

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#40
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/05/2015 9:18 AM

Before or after you run over it with the tank?

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#4

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:35 PM

tthat was my next move but i was trying to save some money so i thought id try to look at it myself but i cant figure it out

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#5

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:37 PM

You have a loose ground probably....or your fuel pump has failed....or blown a fuse....or wire shorted or has come loose...You need fuel, spark, and air to make it go...

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#6

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:37 PM

"Hitting the gas tank with his fist" There's your problem. You need a bigger hammer.

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#8
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:54 PM

Always looking for donors down at the stadium....

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#7

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:41 PM

ii checked the fuses they are all good, but i think to the shop it goes. but im thinking something came loose because of the fact my step dad wiggled it and it started.

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#9
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 6:56 PM

Sure fire test for electric fuel pump..

1. Get in car when everything is quiet.

2. Turn radio and all accessories OFF.

3. Turn key to ON, not to start. You should hear a buzzing sound for 3-8 seconds as the fuel pump pressurizes the fuel system.

If you hear this sound, your fuel pump is OK.

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 7:45 PM

I removed one of your off topics Lyn, your comment was certainly ON topic.

It's sad that the off topic button is so abused.

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#16
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 8:42 PM

Thanks.

You/I can negate the OT rating when replying to a post voted OT by simply unchecking the "Yes, this comment is very likely to be considered to be 'off-topic'." box below.

I usually don't bother.

JRaef, the fuel pump is IN the tank. So, no hope of spraying it directly.

You know this, I expect but, since you are in la-la land it doesn't matter.

Get well soon.

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#17
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 8:58 PM

Ahh so that's why I got 5 OT votes even as I posted the reply, and I thought it was because everyone hated me.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, still learning the nuances of the site..

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#24
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Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/03/2015 11:45 PM

Its not you we hate, its Lyn.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 7:42 PM

I have no idea why this was voted off topic, the OP is definitely commenting on the subject at hand. More indiscriminate use of the "off topic" button??

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/04/2015 1:36 AM

Probably because some lunatic thought there was enjoyable humour in the beginning, and didn't want it to die off. Or else, that dirty underwear is beginning to chafe.....

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#11

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 7:37 PM

I don't know much about Cavaliers as they are not available over here, but your problem sounds like a faulty fuel pump or connections thereto, GM vehicles seem to be more prone to connector continuity problems than most other makes.

Electric fuel pumps have a propensity for developing an open circuit on one or two commutator sections, sometimes the winding connection to the segment is lost and sometimes a brush fails to make good contact with the segment either through wear or dirt carried into the motor with the fuel, momentum will carry the armature past the fault and it will continue to operate until the one time when the pump happens to stop on one of those crook ones, and then it won't start again. Sometimes a heavy knock with the ignition on can move the armature sufficiently to get it going.

Replacing the pump in my 86 Corvette was easy as it came out through the filler door, but some Chevys require you to remove the tank to get to the pump.

An important thing to remember about in tank pumps is that they use the fuel in the tank as a cooling medium (the fuel flows through the internals of the pump and over the armature to aid cooling), so running your tank on low too often can shorten pump life because it not only lacks cooling but lacks it when it needs it most as it has to work harder due to the lower head pressure, and on some pump types, running out of fuel even once can damage the pump.

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#30
In reply to #11

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/04/2015 4:28 AM

There can be a similar problem with windscreen wiper motors as they generally stop and start always on the same segment(s) of the commutator....

On some WW Motors, you can realign the relationship to spread the wear, but with fuel pumps, its more like a "Lottery" as to which segments come up I would imagine....

I look forward to the day when car manufacturers will start using brushless DC motors more often in possible problem areas as OEM products.....fuel pumps must be the prime one....

If I was replacing one, I would buy one of these:-

Delphi 3 Phase Brushless DC Automotive Fuel Pumps

What say you?

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#15

Re: 2000 cavalier wont start will try to and crank but wont start

03/02/2015 8:39 PM

All joking aside, and because I'm recovering from minor surgery and high on pain meds, so less cranky than usual, here's a cheap fix worth trying.

It's winter, so think wet. Water and electricity don't mix well. Add to that the fact that Cavaliers are now no less than 11 years old (produced from 1981 - 2004) so insulation is breaking down and you likely have water intrusion somewhere that is shorting out a critical electrical system. It happens on older cars, it happens on a LOT of GM cars, it is ALMOST GUARANTEED on cheap GM cars like the Cavalier!

So do you know what WD-40 is? If you are thinking "lube", get that thought out of your head, it is a TERRIBLE lubricant, despite the fact that they market it as such. In truth WD-40 stands for "Water Displacer, formula 40" (which means they had 39 failures before they got it right). But as a water displacer, they DID get it right! THAT is the primary benefit of WD-40; you can spray it on electrical things and it displaces water by causing the molecules to separate, which makes them cease to be conductive. So before you spend a bunch of money on repair bills, then find out all they did was squirt WD-40 on everything, do it yourself. You might want to start with the fuel pump wiring, because although that may have been totally coincidental, if your fuel pump is under the frame near the tank that's a prime location for getting wet, so it makes sense to start there. Go buy a couple of cans, then start spraying and testing, spraying and testing. You want to do it that way because you want to know WHERE the leak is. If you spray indiscriminately, you ALWAYS have to spray indiscriminately when it happens again. Be prepared with a battery charger by the way, a lot of cranking with no running will drain your battery.

You want to spray and test so that if you discover, for instance, that it is indeed the fuel pump connector, you will know exactly where to spray next time it happens. Nothing will impress a chick more by the way than for her to witness a guy who can fix his car on the side of the road with a spray can. Also, make a paper wrapper for the can that says "Andrew Brock's Magic Fairy Dust" rather than WD-40, that way she thinks its all you. THAT is a panty dropper if there ever was one!

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#18

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/02/2015 10:58 PM

Lots of funny replies - it made me laugh!

Okay, if you're really looking for an answer, here are two places to go:

1. Make sure the connection to the fuel pump (seems like there's one in the gas tank) is good (check for corrosion at the connector). Also, make sure the wire is in good shape and there are no breaks in the insulation (means you will have to follow it all the way back). Also make sure the ground is good (make sure there's clean metal grounding the gas tank)

2. The fuel pump may be bad. When step dad hit the tank, he may have bumped the fuel pump, which helped the motor start. For some cars, you can get to it from the trunk or back seat. For others, you'll need to get to it from under the car. The toughest cars make you drop the gas tank (make sure you drain it first, because it'll be heavy).

Good luck and let us know what happened.

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#20

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/03/2015 7:08 AM

Sounds like a bad fuel pump.

I would recommend you take it to a garage and let them dink with it rather than work with fuel.

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#29
In reply to #20

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 1:49 AM

GA. To all those who don't understand....this is elecrical apparatus mounted in a most hazardous area.

Andrew, take it to shop !! Better to be poorer than not be at all...

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#33
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Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 8:19 AM

does sound like the fuel pump. I remember long ago some Fords had a rash of defective ones and dealers cut a hole under the back seat to avoid dropping the tank to replace them.

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#37
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Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 1:47 PM

GA, agreed. Regarding fuel system, if your repair skills to-date consist of hitting and giggling, best to have an experienced technician take a look at it.

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#21

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/03/2015 8:04 AM

Since we're implicating fuel pumps, I have to come forward with a tale of my own.

Years ago, I owned a Ford Bronco II. Unfortunately, I had to set it aside for nearly a year. It got little use and no maintenance. As it came toward winter, I was able to start using it again. As the temperature dropped, I started having issues with it. Turns out, having sat idle during the humid summer, moisture had seeped into the fuel tank and condensed. Once I started using it again, most of that moisture either settled at the bottom of the fuel tank or was captured in the fuel filter.

Bottom line was two bottles of dry-gas and a new fuel filter. Never had a problem with it after that.

It's possible you've got water in the fuel tank or sediment or crud in the filter. This happens a lot when the tanker truck comes to the gas station. The crud in the gas station's tank gets stirred up. If you fill your tank when it's stirred up like that, you likely pumped some of the crud into your tank.

Check your fuel filter. As lyn noted, check the fuel pump. If it's been cold lately put some dri-gas in.

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#22

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/03/2015 8:20 AM

Hello Andrew,

There has been a problem with 2001-2003 Chevy fuel pumps failing at around 60,000 miles or so. If you do a google search of "NHTSA # pe07033" you should be able to find out the specifics of what went wrong. It has something to do with premature wear at the interface of the copper commutator and the carbon brush of the pump motor.

Sincerely,

Frank Neal

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#23

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/03/2015 11:36 PM

If moving the wiring worked once it suggests a loose, dirty, corroded or broken connection either in that loom or something connected to it. Work along the loom and check every connection in that loom and in any others close by which could have been affected by it. Check every wire to pin connection for security and corrosion, check every connector male/female pair or security, dirt and corrosion, clean and reconnect all of them and then try again ..... also check the loom on the other side of each bulkhead it passes through in that area - check for rubbing, abrasion and broken wires at the bulkheads .... repair/protect as required.

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#25

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/03/2015 11:49 PM

Good thing I bought a 1990 Chevy s-10,. I owned that car ( truck ) for 24 years and put about 375,000 miles on it ( original engine and transmission) . I never had an issue with electrical issues or things " shorting " out, I guess it all depends how the vehicle is taken care of. When I was young, a guy was supposed to know how to fix his own car, a guy that didn't was known as a girl. I had a Volkswagen van that always had some type of electrical phantom at the time when i needed the car to be the most reliable, I guess they were really designed for european roads and use where speeds were slower and distances travelled were shorter. I have had 3 GM trucks and they have all been reliable, easy to fix and I can go to any auto parts store and get service parts that moment I need them.

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#26

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 12:11 AM

There should be an easier way to test for power to the fuel pump CIRCUIT, not necessarily all the way to the fuel pump, but at least the wire that leads to the pump. Under the hood on the driver's side, above the wheel well going towards the master cylinder, there should be a light tan wire that has a red plastic terminal cover hiding a female spade connector. It may still have black paper tape securing it to the remainder of the wiring harness. Test that as you turn the key to the on position, as mentioned above. If that wire is live for the few seconds after the key is turned, then it is time to test for fuel pressure. If you can not test the fuel pressure, simply use a squirt bottle to introduce some fuel into the intake manifold. You can use a vacuum line to do this. If the car now runs for a few seconds each time you squirt some gas, you can now concentrate on why no fuel is going to the engine.

This can be as simple as a clogged fuel filter, or as bad as a defective fuel pump. On your car, the tank does need to come out to remove the pump. Sorry. Put, you have nothing to loose by tapping the bottom of the tank with a rubber mallet. If it starts to run, try to run it out of fuel to lighten the weight of the tank.

BTW, welcome to the site. We have been flooded with Cavalier issues, and some of the regulars hate to see the Cavalier questions. You have been a good sport for taking the abuse. It is not aimed at you, just your car.

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#31

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 6:51 AM

If you have checked the fuel pump and it is working the most likely cause will be the Crank sensor. These are a Hall effect sensor which is used to determine the timing. If this sensor fails you get no spark. The sensor is located near the crank Pulley and should be easy to replace with some minor effort. Check 1st to see if the connector is loose or damaged, then perform a sensor check. These sensors are known to fail and often overlooked. And YES they can be temperature sensitive. Best Luck!

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#32

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 7:56 AM

It is a bad fuel pump. Even if you hear the pump cycle when you turn the key to the run position, the pump can still be defective. You need a new one. Good luck.

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#39
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Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/05/2015 9:16 AM

Being as this is on a Chevy Cavalier, I gave you a GA for simply cutting to the chase, instead of chasing to the cut.

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#34

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 9:23 AM

Couple of months ago, my '90 chev 3/4 4x4 shut down on the freeway outside Castle Rock. VOM said no voltage from the fuel pump relay, no relay control voltage from the ECM, so I wired a jumper from the pump lead at the relay socket to the 12v terminal block on the firewall. Still haven't figured out the lack of ECM control, but it gets me there, as long as I hook up the jumper when I want to go.

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#41
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Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/05/2015 9:19 AM

New anti-theft device: removable jumper from defective fuel pump circuitry.

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#35

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 10:55 AM

I know a guy that has one that won't shut off, maybe you can work out a ride sharing program.

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#36

Re: 2000 Cavalier Won't Start, Will Try to and Crank but Won't Start

03/04/2015 11:07 AM

In sufficient information for a coherent answer, but you probably bought cheap gas at an unpopular gas station, with separated water in it, and this has also caused your problem. Other than that, check fuel pump and multiple other posters have adeptly pointed out. Or just go jack up this Cavalier, and drive an actual car under it.

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