99 Chevy Cavalier - Will Not Crank - Intermittent

My son has a 99 Chevy Cavalier. New Battery and 1 year old alternator. The car, on occasion, will not crank. If you toggle the key to start several times in quick succesion, then it will catch and crank. Not sure if starter is going bad? Is there a solenoid still or all in one unit on the cavalier?

Does it make any noise when you turn the Key? If so then it’s the starter.

The first thing to have checked when this occurs on GM product is the positive battery terminal. These are the side mount terminals and each has a rubber cover protecting the terminals.

On the positive terminal there will be two leads. The thinner lead goes to the power distribution center. The thicker lead runs down to the starter. The terminal for the thin lead is the first mounted against the battery and the terminal for the thicker leads sits atop that. Corrosion can form under this rubber cover where, power is supplied to all the electicals of the vehicle, but when attempting to start the engine this corrosion causes a voltage drop to the starter where the starter won’t function. When repeatedly turning the ignition to the start position, this poor connection begins to heat up causing the the terminals to expand where they finally make a good enough connection where the starter functions.

So, remove both terminals from the battery, and peel back the red rubber cover from over the positive terminals to expose the terminals. if a lot of corrosion is found under this red rubber cover, replace the positive battery cable assembly.


I cleaned both terminals as the occurence seemed to mimic a dead battery. There was minimal corrosion, but I wire brushed all parts and re-attached. Immediately after, the car still did not start until I toggled the key several times. This was one month ago. Since I cleaned the terminals, the non-crank has occured once again (and car was started by toggling key)

the only noise it makes when it does not crank is a single click.