please help ... i went out to start my 2002 malibu the other day...the instrument panel wouldnt work except the blinkers and when i tried to start the car it would turn over but wouldnt crank. i also noticed that the radio thou it would still work now has a cal err on it. i has a friend at autozone put it on the handheld computer and the computer wouldnt even show that the key had been turned.....any help would be appreciated.
Last edited by nwalt; 08-13-2011 at 07:46 PM.
Reason: better title
Well, you have to understand this is a shot in the dark, scan tools diagnose this kind of stuff, not forums but since you have no instrument panel illumination, I wonder if the ignition switch has gone bad. The key turns, the engine cranks but never runs. Just for the heck of it keep trying to start it, just keep cycling the key from off to crank, if it doesn't start, try it a few times and leave it alone for a few minutes. Maybe if the battery is in decent shape, leave the key on for a miute or two in the run position. What usually happens is one of the circuits inside the ignition switch goes bad and instead of supplying full battery voltage to the circuit, it might pass 4 or 5 volts and that just isn't enough. Some times if you leave the key in run for a minute or two, for some reason the voltage will come up to full voltage and the car will start. If it starts, get it to a garage unless you want to gamble on the ignition switch yourself. Really should be properly diagnosed but that's your call.
would the ignition switch give me a cal err on my radio???
However, before you panic, what I've had to do a time or two in the past is to take the radio out, reach behind the ignition cylinder to the switch, waggle it around and push it towards the back of the car, then start it.
Got her running.
(You remove the radio so you can get your hand in, BTW.)
335K miles on original motor and tranny (only motor work 2 x LIM replacement), Monroe SensaTrac struts front and back (new at approx. 300K miles), and Alero discs in back. LS fogs added with custom wiring. HID high beams, HIR low and halogen fogs. Raybestos Pro Grade front rotors and Bendix D747 ceramic pads on front.
Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
When did the cal err message start appearing or did you just happen to notice it? Usually cal err means the VIN was lost in the radio, could be an internal radio issue, could be a loss of voltage reset the radio, shouldn't really be that way but it happens. Need a radio setup procedure run to clear that mesage. You can play with those ignition switches all you want, they have a high failure rate as they age. You may have two different issues. The radio wasn't removed/exchanged or anything was it? Not a salvage yard unit is it?
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