First of all, let me introduce myself as this is my first post. I am Corey from Central New York and I own a dumpy 1992 Cavalier RS. I bought it about 6 months ago to use as a winter rat for $400. I bought it with roughly 100k miles from the original owner. It ran great before we started getting hit with these extremely cold temperatures. But now that we are seeing consistent low's of below zero, my infrequent problem has become much more frequent. This only happens when I try to start it for the first time in the morning when it has gotten very cold over the night or if the car has been sitting in the cold for a few hours. I will give today's scenario as an example.
I try to start the car at 9am, it may have been 0 degrees outside and gotten to as low as -10 degrees overnight. The engine cranks fine, but doesn't seem to want to actually start at all. I turn the key off, and then back to the on position. You can hear the fuel pump whining. I try to start the car again, still nothing. I go inside for 5 mins and then head back out to the car. This time, after turning the key on and waiting for the fuel pump to stop whining, the car starts. It idles very roughly for about 10 seconds, then shuts off. I try to start it again, it cranks but doesn't start. Now I give up and decide I will be skipping class. I wait a couple hours for it warm up outside to try again. By now the temperature was about 5 degrees and the car was sitting in direct sunlight. The first time I turn the key, it fires right up. I let it idle by itself as I went back inside for 5 mins but when I returned outside the car had died. This time it fired up again. (Many times I have no problem getting the car to start, unless it gets very cold. Another problem is with the car randomly shutting off on me while I am driving it. Usually when this happens, I am unable to restart it right away and must go through trying to start it and cycling the key.) As I left my drive way, I got about half a mile away when the car died on me. I pull over and try to start it. Nothing. I turn the key off for about 20 seconds and then try again. It fires up. I give it a couple blips of the throttle and let it idle for a couple seconds. As soon as I put it in drive, the car dies. This repeated itself 2 more times. Then after I fired it up the last time, I put it in drive and drove off. From this point on the car drives completely fine, no hiccups. It will continue to drive perfectly fine until I get home from work around midnight. Then I am sure when I wake up tomorrow morning, if it had gotten really cold over night, I will have the same scenario on me as I did today.
That is my story, my question is this. What does this sound like to you? I do not want to just throw parts at is as I bought it for only $400 but I do enjoy this car and when its not especially cold, it is very reliable and fun to drive. With this being said, I would like to drive it for at least another season so I need to get this problem fixed asap.
Check the oil level. If it doesn't build enough pressure it won't start. Then after it does get enough pressure at the sensor, it starts but because the oil is still cold, it won't flow fast enough to keep it running. A block heater may be all you need.
So the car wouldn't start for me again this morning. I checked the oil level, about half way to the full line. Broke out the starter fluid and ripped off the intake tube. Sprayed some into the throttle body and she fired right up. So obviously this leads me to a fuel problem. I will start with the fuel filter and see where that gets me.
So you verified the oil level is low, then you used starter fluid on a FI car (whose sensors really don't like starter fluid), and you determined it's a fuel system problem?
I wouldn't consider the oil level as being "low". But i suppose the second part of your post is correct.
I'm having the same issue only it's too the point it only starts around 30 degrees Fahrenheit anything warmer it won't start at all bit I had the same symptoms as the above guy I'm stumped and we tested spark and it loses it we thought maybe it was a coil behind the motor was told it rubs about $90.00 wanted to hear opinions before I buy it and I'm running something else so it will sit until I get it running
Sorry not sure how to edit post or I would have mine is a 92 2.0 2 door
I started to get to the coil I'm getting it from under the car any advice on a better way to get it
just wasted 20min doing u a write up over the auto time out.
have to be a guru from up top,and reaching over a A/T verse M/t sucks, test the CPS