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2000 Chevy Cavelier Killed, no restart

My brother has a 2000 Chevy Cavalier, not sure what engine. It killed on him on the freeway last night and we had it towed. It tried to start, it has spark and is getting gas. He said that he had no “check engine light” before it stalled. We are sure it has plenty of gas in the tank. After the tow, when we pulled the key out of the ignition, EVERY stratis light stayed on (Emerg Brake, check engine, ABS, oil ,etc…) We checked to be sure the ignition WAS in the off position and tried the key numerous times, turning it to on or acc, then to off and pulling the key. Still the statis lights stayed on after pulling the key.

I’m thniking the Ignition switch is bad.

Also, when we were turning it over…I thnik it felt a little rough…like slightly out of time. But then It’s not my car, so I’m not familuar with how it sounds starting.
I’m pretty good with cars and engines, and do most of my own work, but this has me stumped.

Anyone have any experience with these lights staying on like this. Maybe it’s some way for the computer to signal a particular problem.


4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, Mileage?? Sounds like it could be multiple problems…The ignition switch (usually located down at the base of the steering column) and then maybe a broken timing belt or the chain slipped time…But who knows? If it has gas and spark, check compression…If you find little or none, then it’s probably a valve timing problem (belt / chain)…

“Getting gas” normally means somebody poked the pin on the test port valve and gas came out. That doesn’t mean gas is being delivered to the rail at the right pressure. It also doesn’t mean that the fuel injectors are operating properly.

I was also suspecting a timing belt/chain issue. I think the cavs have chains.

If the status lights are all on after the key is turned to OFF and removed, than there is definitely a problem in the ignition switch assembly. And that can cause all the other problems. Start by getting that replaced, and if the other problems still exist post back.

I have to agree with mountainbike on this one. The dash icons on with the key removed is probably a failed ignition switch or other problem in the ignition switch assembly.

There must be something fishy with the ignition switch, that’s true. And I’d have to look at the wiring diagrams for this car, but I was off of the ignition switch because the car cranks, produces spark, and - maybe - fuel. (Its always questionable when people say its getting gas). I’m just thinking that points away from the ignition switch.

But hey. I’m wrong a lot too.

We had it towed last night to my mechanic’s place. When we left all the idiot lights were on. As a matter of fact I had to pull up on the window as he closed it with the switch, there was so little power.
When my mechanic came down this morning, he said that all those lights were off and that it did crank over good ,but not start. He found that it was the fuel pump that was bad. It was delivering just enough fuel to fire a few cylinders then it was dry. He explained that as we paused…between attempts to start it, the pump delivered just enough fuel to fire a few cylinders again. That’s why we thought that it was getting fuel, just not enough.

He couldn’t explain the idiot lights, but after replacing the pump and filter it started just fine.I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this problem with the idiot lights happens again, or if it was just a fluke, caused by the rotation of the earth along with the Myan calander… or that it will never be answered.

Thanks for your ideas though.

The ignition switch may still be at fault, or the problem may be a bit more difficult to resolve than replacing the ignition switch. I can clearly recall the same situation–every damn warning light lit up after the key was removed–with my POS '74 Volvo, and the cause in that case was a bad ground.

The 7 years that I owned that vehicle involved chasing a lot of bad grounds, and this was just one of the situations.

Could very well be a coincidence too - the fuel pump needed to go, and maybe the ignition switch also. Just about everything breaks at some point.