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Chevy Cavalier Cranks, Has No Spark

Q. Hi Vincent! I have been reading your web site and find it very informative. My problem is that my vehicle described below will crank, but not turn over. I am jump starting it, so the battery is probably not the problem. I do not hear the clicking sound, which I believe is the sign of a faulty starter. The spark plugs are a few months old.

Chevy Cavalier Cranks, Has No Spark
  • 1990 Chevy Cavalier
  • 2.2 liter; 4 cylinder
  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I replaced the spark plug wires, but the problem was not resolved so easily. I connected a test light in the line between the spark plug wire and spark plug and the light did not come on. The testing device has a boot on one end to attach to the spark plug and a spark plug nipple on the other to go into the boot on the spark plug wire.

I performed the test on each spark plug and the light did not come on. This led me to conclude that there was no spark coming from the coil pack. I changed the module (unfortunately without cleaning the mounting surface or using the silicone grease as described on your web site). The problem persists.

I have purchased a Crankshaft Position Sensor, but cannot find the old one on the engine block in order to replace it. There is a plug with a wire leading from it next to the coil pack leading into the engine block, but it is shaped differently. Could the auto parts store have given me the wrong part?

My questions are:

  1. Am I on the right track?
  2. Where is the sensor located?
  3. How do I test the old module to determine if it was the problem?
  4. Am I in for big trouble if I do not remove the module and re-install it with silicone?
  5. Am I overlooking something?

Thanks for your advice.

A. Silicone is not needed on this setup. The Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) is next to the module/coil pack. It is set into the block through the side of engine. Should have a two wire connector at the sensor, three wires at the module. The third wire is a drain wire for shielding EMI. I think you are on right track with the crank sensor.

Chevy Cavalier Cranks, Has No Spark

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