No-start, suspecting starter solenoid or ign. switch - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-22-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default No-start, suspecting starter solenoid or ign. switch

This is on my newly aquired '88 LeSabre T Type. Vin C, 164k miles.

Recent work: Delco II coils/ICM, new plugs (AC rapidfires I had laying around), new air filter, O2 sensor, basic maintenance and cleaning

This no-start issue has happened in the past to the previous owner, but it started up just fine the next day. This the is the first time its happened to me, but in the past 3 or 4 days that I've tried to restart it once in a while it just will not.

Also, I've had to hold the key in the "start" position for a couple seconds before or very hard before I would hear the motor start to crank over.

Symptoms:

I can jump in the car, put in the key, turn the key to "on", hear the fuel pump prime, and then turn the key to "start" but absolutely nothing happens--no crank, no clicking of the starter, no buzzing, dinging, or anything. The only thing that does happen is the SES light on the dash comes on and the radio display goes off.

Same symptoms for when I had jumpercables and my running T connected to it.

Volt gauge is showing around 9 (past the red) when I turn the key to "on".

So far, I have checked the following:

-corrosion on battery cables: None. Clean as a whistle.
-Tried jump-starting, no dice.
-ICM/Coils are good.
-Tried jiggling the column when turning to key to "start"

So.... what I'm thinking is that either the starter solenoid took a dump on me and thats why I don't hear it click or anything or that the ignition switch on the column is bad and isn't sending the 12 volt signal its supposed to to the starter.

I just wanted to know what you other 3800 gurus had to say... I'm thinking about pulling the starter and having it tested, but everything is iced over right now so I can't really get to it.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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I'd say either the starter Solenoid / Starter Brushes, or possibly a Bad Park Neutral Saftey Switch.... Have you tried starting it in Neutral ?

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Old 02-22-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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Neutral? Hadn't thought of that...

Lemme go try!

Edit: Whoa... it worked! It didn't go the first try, but after I shifted it into drive, tried turning the key and then into N it started right up. I shut it down, tried it again in P and nothing. Moved to N and it started right back up again.

Why didn't I think of that before? Thanks much for the suggestion, O 3800 Guru!

So.... I'm going to search the forum, but to change it out I just need a new P/N switch and swap it in, right? ...that makes life much easier....
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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I was originally going to have you test for 12v in park at the Switch while someone held the key for you...

If the power was there you would have had another issue....

If it continues to start in Neutral and not park then yes you will most likely need a new Park/Neutral Swith

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Old 02-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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I've tried it a couple times now and so far its only wanting to start in park. Shouldn't be too hard to swap out, although I do seem to recall that a drill is needed for something.

I have a factory service manual so I'll look up the procedure in there.

Thanks again

Edit: Well, the car actually started in P today. Drove it to the grocery store and parked it. Went out to start it again and it only started in N. Weird. Oh well, as long as it starts in N long enough for me to play with the car before I swap in a new P/N switch then thats fine by me.
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