Page updated on 06-21-2018

1994 Chevy Corsica: Won't Start

10-29-2009, 01:32 PM
I've been having my car for almost two years now and it hasn't really been giving me too many problems up until a few weeks ago.

It first started when the "LOW COOLANT" light came on. I put in some anti-freeze once before and the light disappeared. However, this time, it didn't. The light continued to stay on even after anti-freeze was put in. I thought it might have been a leak, but couldn't find any leaks.

And then there was the "LOW OIL" light. I had checked the oil level and noticed that it was low, so I had changed the oil and filter. The light went away and it was good for a few days.

The "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light had also appeared with the "LOW OIL" light, and had continued to appear every so often. I had thought that it might have something to do with the air filter, so I had changed that, too.

It had started to get really bad the other night when I went for a ride into the next town. The engine had suddenly shut off and the car was decelerating. I pulled off to the side of the road and let it sit for a few minutes and tried to crank it up.

Sounded like the engine had wanted to crank, but it wouldn't turn over. It's like it would rev, but then it would fade out. A few more minutes later, I tried again and it turned over. The same thing happened later when I was leaving a restaurant. I called a friend to come help, but he couldn't quite figure out the problem. He ended up disconnecting the air flow filter and it started up and ran fine until I had got back home.

Several people have given me their ideas on what could have been wrong. So far, I've been told it could be the spark plugs, spark plug wires, alternator, starter, battery, fuel filter, oil filter, coil packs, or a few other things.

This led me to replace the spark plugs. Well, actually, I was only able to replace three (due to time constraints at the time), but it seemed to help. The engine had ran well after that. However, when I tried to start my car later that day, I had the same problem as the night before; it wouldn't start. And it's been like that since.

I've bought some new spark plug wires and tried replacing the wires connecting to the new spark plugs, but that didn't seem to help. I intend on replacing the other plugs within the next couple of days, as well as the wires, followed by the fuel filter.

If anyone has any ideas, it would be highly appreciated. This car is pretty much my only reliable mode of transportation.


It turned out to be the ignition switch. : )

10-29-2009, 05:46 PM
What engine V6 or 4? I'm not really clear on if the engine cranks good or not. If it doesn't crank good then it could be a battery or starter problem. So auto parts stores can test batteries and starters even on the car.

10-30-2009, 12:37 AM
It's a V6 3.1L and has roughly 203,000 miles on it.

10-30-2009, 12:38 AM
And it doesn't crank... it wants to, but it fades off instead of turning over.

10-30-2009, 04:48 AM
And it doesn't crank... it wants to, but it fades off instead of turning over.

Well sounds like you're saying the starter isn't spinning the motor good. You can try checking that the battery terminals are tight and not too corroded. You can also check the batyery voltage with a voltmeter if you have one. If it will start and run, like I said some autoparts store can check the battery and starter on the car, but not sure in your area. You might have to take the battery out and see if the part store can test it. They'll probably say it's bad whether it is or not though lol.

10-30-2009, 03:42 PM
You have several issues there....the low coolant light comes on because of the coolant in the radiator, not the overflow tank. What you may have had happen was coolant was low, you added some to the tank(only place you can on the 94) and either an air bubble is in there or your sensor is corroded. these engines were a problem for intake coolant leaks, and you may still have one. You need to burp any air out of it to see if that helps. Your starter sounds weak, or worn out, but also could easily be cables as mentioned. For the engine to stall while driving...ignition module(under coils), crank sensor, and fuel pump are all suspects. You need to borrow a fuel pressure guage and see if it has enough pressure (40+)lbs. ALso listen for fuel pump licking on for 2 sec. when switch is turned on...Ours even had a relay goofed up to the pump once, so that is suspect too. be sure your battery is fully charged, will burn up the starter if it drops below 9 volts....

10-30-2009, 04:14 PM
Good stuff JsGold. I think GM system will shut the motor off if the battery volts falls too low. Which can happen even if the alternator is fine. So for all we know it could be his battery all along. He might have a starter problem too though.

I just think he needs to get the battery and starter squared away and get a good cranking going before moving on to whatever else.

10-31-2009, 01:47 PM
We had figured out that it was the fuel pump. Now it's just replacing it that's the issue.

10-31-2009, 09:41 PM
We had figured out that it was the fuel pump. Now it's just replacing it that's the issue.

Is the fuel pressure testing low or not running? Keep in mind if the battery is low (which from your earlier description sounded like it) the fuel pump may not develop full pressure. Good luck.

11-01-2009, 10:22 AM
What tools do I need to drop the fuel tank?

11-12-2009, 12:28 PM
You will need four jack stands,a 1/2 inch drive deep socket for the mounts.
A floor jack and I use a brass bar to loosen the lock ring. A hammer,screw driver and probably a 1/4 drive socket set. I would use wood under the tank so you don't punch a hole in the tank.

11-12-2009, 09:55 PM
Mine just acted up today. Wouldn't turn over. Turned out to be the park position sensor. Had to jiggle the gearshift then it started.

Add your comment to this topic!