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1996 cavalier STILL won't start

I have a 1996 chevy cavalier with a 2.2 motor automatic transmission. . It ran fine. I changed the passenger side cvc shaft. It would not start after that. I put in a new nuetral safety switch. still would not start. I pulled the starter and it was bad. Now it has a new starter and battery. All connections are good. It still will not start. Any suggestions? I have run out of options. TOTALLY FRUSTRATED OVER IT

What do you measure across the fat lead to the starter and the thin lead to the starter, both while starting and not starting?

It is a little unclear what the problem is. From what you say about things that were replaced it seems the starter isn’t working. Is that the trouble or is the engine turning over but just firing up? If the starter isn’t working have you checked all the fuses under the hood and in the dash to make sure one isn’t blown out? Also check to see if power is getting to the starter solenoid lead when you try to start the car.

When you turn the ignition switch to the run position do the dash lights illuminate? If not check the 50 amp ignition fuse in the underhood fuse/relay box.


Thanks for the help. It seems that the starter is not working, I will check fuses tomorrow. I do have dash lights.

If you have dash lights it’s not the fuse.

For yuks and giggles remove both battery cables from the battery. On the positive cable peel back the red rubber cover to expose the positive terminals. If a lot of corrosion is found under the red cover replace the positive battery cable assembly.


I will try that. Just got done looking at fuses in car and under hood all are good.

I’m assuming when you turn the key to “start” either nothing happens or ou hear a clicking noise. It doesn’t crank in other words. When this happens to me, the first thing I do is renew the connections at the battery with a battery post cleaning tool. If that doesn’t fix it, then I check the voltages at the starter motor during cranking, i.e. when the key is in “start”. There should be at least 9.6 v on each of the two leads to the starter motor – the fat wire and the thin wire, both of them. Measure between each lead (leave them connected) and the starter motor chassis. Somewhere between 10 and 11 volts is common, but there needs to be at least 9.6 volts, otherwise the starter usually won’t crank. What do you get?

Thank You. I will try that tomorrow.

There is a safety switch for the starter that can cause this kind of problem if something is wrong with it. See if the starter will work while the shift lever is in the neutral position. If the starter works in that position then the safety switch circuit needs to be checked and even if doesn’t work, you still need to see if power is getting to the starter solenoid from that switch while trying to start the engine.