my bonnie doesn't want to start - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-19-2004, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default my bonnie doesn't want to start

My car will not start up. It acts almost as if the battery was dead - the lights and electronics come on when i turn the ignition key, but when i try to start it, it will not crank. However, I know for a fact that the problem is not in the battery, because i have tried several different batteries, that were fully charged. Also, starting it with booster cables from my mom'* Malibu did not work. I turn the ignition key, the car gives me a "click", and the engine & alternator remain motionless. I was driving the car a day before the problem occurred, and with every short trip i made that day, i noticed that the car had more and more trouble starting, until it finally died. If anyone knows what the problem may be, i'd appreciate the help.
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Old 07-19-2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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You don't get any sound at all other than the click? The starter doesn't spin, etc?

I would wager that the starter is bad. Double check the connections of your plug wires just in case, though.
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Old 07-19-2004, 04:07 PM   #3
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No, it doesn't spin. I just get that one click and thats about it. The last time i got her running, the starter cranked really slowly, and now it doesn't move at all.
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Old 07-19-2004, 07:06 PM   #4
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Probable causes are (in order)
1) failing battery
2) corrosion in the battery cables particularly in the multi-section postive terminal to the battery.
3) burnt solenoid contacts
4) bad starter in general (hanging)

Slow turning is most likely 1 or 2. Is it one click or does it click several times if you hold the key at start ?
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:08 PM   #5
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Check the battery cables. The starter isn't whirring or making any noises, so theoretically the juice isn't getting to it. It could be that the starter solenoid is bad, the wiring to the starter is bad, any number of things.

Fortunately, I don't have much experience with the starters of our cars
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:03 AM   #6
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how hard is a starter to replace on a 87-91 bonnie?

mines is ready to poop the bed any morning now.i replaced the atlernater and battery..and it still cranks ever so slowly!
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:41 PM   #7
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20 minute job, less if you do not bother to jack it up. Two bolts and a number of wires. Yes it can be wiggled around the A/C but you must be careful.

Make certain you install the same number of shims with the new one unless it explicitly says not to.

Note: the problem could still be in the cables.
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Old 07-20-2004, 06:42 PM   #8
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If your getting a pop from the solenoid and no cranking then one way to try and get it to start is get a hammer and have someone in the car try to start it while you rap on the starters housing with the hammer. This will move the inerds of the starter maybe just enough to get her to turn.
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Old 07-20-2004, 06:54 PM   #9
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random: neutral safety switch, if at all applicable?
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Old 07-20-2004, 07:06 PM   #10
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nuetral safety switch is really,really easy to replace,just take the 2 screws of the thing,unbolt the tranny plug and pop it off,its a big 6 pin plug also too,you have to remove.

i can grab a nuetreal safety switch off any GM 440T4 tranny based car.ciera,oldsmobile,6000....
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