No crank no start issue

Asked by Mar 02, 2017 at 05:08 PM about the 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My husband's 2004 cavalier will not start. When you turn
the key, the radio comes on and the dash lights up, but
there is no sound from starter. We have had the battery
tested, the starter tested, checked the ignition switch,
tested all fuses and relays, checked the connection to the
battery, starter, and ground, and replaced the oil pressure
sensor. It still will not crank. He is running out of ideas.
Anyone know what else to try??

12 Answers


Well, I would start by checking to see if power is going to the small terminal on the starter when someone is turning the key to the start position. Power needs to run to the small terminal on the starter solenoid to energize the solenoid for starter operation. Possible causes would be the ignition switch, or possibly the neutral safety switch. Try holding the shifter one way or the other in the park position and try it.

Rowefast, just to be certain we took the battery and starter to a different store and had them tested. They too said they were both good. When we got back my husband put it back together and had me come out to try to start it while he checked the small terminal you had suggested. This time the engine tried to turn over but it never started. My husband says it doesn't sound normal when trying to crank. Any thoughts?


Sounds like the starter is not getting enough juice from the battery. I would make sure the battery cables are in good shape. Do you know when they tested the starter if they load tested it? Not just make it spin?

I am not sure. My husband had me give it some gas while trying to start it and it started that time. He is out test driving it now. I'll ask about the load test when he gets back.

He is back and says that it is driving fine now, idling fine, and the tachometer is not jumping around or anything. He doesn't know if they load tested it or just made it spin.


If the tachometer was jumping around, that is an indication of a bad ground wire, either from the battery, or from the engine to the body, and frame of the vehicle. I would just clean up all ground wires. Just sounds like a bad connection.

Rowefast, today we went to start the car and it wouldn't do anything again. My husband tried wiggling the shifter while trying to start it and it finally started in neutral. Does this sound like the neutral safety switch to you?


Yes it does. But not 100%. Still could have something to do with the ignition switch,

We tested the ignition switch and according to the tester it was getting power. We traced the starter wire from the ignition switch into the engine bay and tested it there as well and it also showed that it was getting power. So knowing that information would you think neutral safety switch. The part isn't cheap so we just wanted someone else's opinion that know more than we do. Lol


Ok I hate this when I'm not there. Indication is it is in the neutral safety switch. Looking at the neutral safety switch it looks like it can be adjusted. When your husband has time I would jack the car up and block it up or put it on jack stands to be safe, get under there and try adjusting it by loosening it up and moving it to another position, and when he has it tighten down you could try and start the car. Keep doing that to see if that is all it needs, too be adjusted. The neutral safety switch may even click, so he could feel for the best spot to tighten it down. Then I'm sure if you took it off you could have someone test it say like at an auto parts store.


I am having the same problem with my 2004 chevy cavalier, it will turn over but will not start. Just replaced the starter and solenoid but still does the same thing, we cleaned all the ground wires and checked battery but nothing... I'm running out of ideas...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Jenny_stover88 Flywheel teeth might have broke off or chipped

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Cavalier in your area?

CarGurus has 26 nationwide Cavalier listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

Postal Code:

Chevrolet Cavalier Experts

  • #1
    John Saffrahn
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Cobalt
27 Great Deals out of 284 listings starting at $1,389
Used Chevrolet Impala
145 Great Deals out of 1,043 listings starting at $1,200
Used Chevrolet Malibu
85 Great Deals out of 2,066 listings starting at $1,485
Used Toyota Corolla
270 Great Deals out of 3,958 listings starting at $995
Used Honda Civic
312 Great Deals out of 3,193 listings starting at $995
Used Ford Focus
88 Great Deals out of 2,602 listings starting at $999
Used Ford Mustang
8 Great Deals out of 1,019 listings starting at $4,500
Used Honda Accord
81 Great Deals out of 948 listings starting at $1,411
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
188 Great Deals out of 10,692 listings starting at $1,700
Used Toyota Camry
86 Great Deals out of 2,229 listings starting at $1,781
Used Chevrolet Equinox
112 Great Deals out of 5,454 listings starting at $1,400

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.