Chevrolet Cavalier:

Idles rough, died (dome, panel, head lights flickered for a year)

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# 1  2/25/2012 1:32 AM

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Registered: 2/25/2012
Posts: 1

Idles rough, died (dome, panel, head lights flickered for a year)

Dome, Headlights And Panel Lights Flicker. I Had ABS Work Done. On The Way Home My Panel Lights, Dome Light And Radio/clock Lights Flickered. I Restarted The Car. A Mile Later All Lights And Instruments Flickered/jumped Like My Car Was Possessed.I Did Not Notice Any Engine Trouble Just Electrical. Had It Looked Over-nothing. Drove It For A Year With All Panel Lights, Clock, Radio And Headlights Flickering Super Fast The Whole Time. Last Night The Vehicle Idled Rough At Red Light. I Put N Neutral And Gave It Gas So It Would Not Stall. Happened Again At Next Red Light. I Got To Work And Let It Idle In Park For A Minute And It Purred Like A Kitten. I Turned Off The Car And Made Sure It Would Crank. Perfect. 8 Hours Later, I Cranked It And Let It Idle In Park A Minute...Perfect. As Soon As I Put In R, The WHOLE CAR DIED. No Lights, Radio, Engine...DIED. I Got Scared And Quickly Turned The Key. I Did Not Notice The Switch Was In The Position Where You Could Roll Windows Down Without Cranking Car...all Of The Lights Came Back On in About 30 Seconds. I Turned It Completely Off. I Waited A Minute And The Car Cranked Again...drove 15 Miles With No Prob. Today Someone Glanced At Wires, Vac Hose, Coil, Plugs And They Only Noticed A Crack In A Vac-fixed. Coil 'plug' Hanging On By The Boot-fixed. I Pulled Out Of There Drive And My Radio Crackled And All Lights Flickered Real Quick. I Turned The Car Off. Cranked It And Drove 5 Miles No Prob. Auto Parts Said That Alternator Was Pushing 14.2 So It Was Good. My Battery Had To Be Replaced. Cranking 'amps?' Was Supposed To Be 500 (or 550) And Was Only Putting Out 184. My Dome Light, Panels And Headlight Did Not Seem To Flicker So I Thought I Was In The Clear. Drove 10 Miles And The Flickering Started Again. I Am Scared To Death To Drive Because I Do Not Want To Lose All Power While Going Down The Road Or An Electrical Fire. I Do Not Know What To Do. Ongoing Problem May/not Have Anything To Do With This Is The Classic 1998 Cavalier ABS Problem. My Car Does A Popping Under The Hood Close To The Driver And My ABS & Traction Lights Come On. On 2 Occasions I Had Been Stopping During This Systems Check And Lost Brakes.



# 2  2/25/2012 5:40 AM

Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1301

Re: Idles rough, died (dome, panel, head lights flickered for a year)

There was a recall on a ignition circuit defect that could be related to your problem. I have listed it below.

There is a good chance the recall might have been done so check your records, if you are the second owner or more then you can check with a Chevy dealer and they can check if the recall was done on your car.

There are other service bulletins that relate to instrument panel wire and plug repair. This could entail a poor connection in the instrument panel wiring.

Other problems can be bad and or poor connections caused by corrosion at the engine, computer and battery ground wires connections.

Other areas that could cause this is poor connections at the body computer plug connections or a bad body computer itself.

This is the service I was talking about below.

Product Safety - Ignition Circuit Thermal Events # 04002 - (02/18/2004)
04002 -- Ignition Circuit Thermal Events

1998 Buck Skylark
1998-2001 Chevrolet Cavalier
1998 Oldsmobile Achieva
1998 Pontiac Grand Am
1998-2001 Pontiac Sunfire

Due to part availability, this recall is being conducted in three phases. Phase 1 will consist of 1998-1999 vehicles, phase 2 will consist of 2000 vehicles; and phase 3 will consist of 2001 vehicles. When sufficient parts are available to notify customers of 2000 and 2001 vehicles, you will be notified and will receive a new initiation report.


General Motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 1998 model year Buick Skylark; 1998-2001 model year Chevrolet Cavalier; 1998 model year Oldsmobile Achieva; 1998 model year Pontiac Grand Am; and 1998-2001 model year Pontiac Sunfire vehicles. If the engine fails to start and the driver holds the key in the "start" position for an extended period, high current flows through the ignition switch, and sometimes produces enough heat to melt internal switch parts. If the switch is damaged, a fire could occur in the steering column, even with the engine off and the key removed. The fire could spread to the interior of the car, which could injure occupants of the car or cause damage to adjoining structures.


Dealers are to install a relay kit and verify that the vehicle will start with a properly charged battery in good operating condition (adequate reserve capacity, or cold cranking amps).

I hope these suggestions help you with this problem. If you need more assistance then get back to me and we can look further into the problem.
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