'98 SSEI won't start -- electrical? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-25-2004, 04:17 PM   #1
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Default '98 SSEI won't start -- electrical?

Hey folks -- I've fixed a couple of things on my '98 SSEI thanks to your help, but I'm having a bit of trouble with my current problem. I went to start my car this morning and it won't turn over. It'* been cranking a little bit harder for about the past month -- instead of just starting when I turn the key, it would crank for a second and then start up. Usually this was the first time in the day that I would start the car, then the rest of the times I would try to start it that day it would just start up normally (immediately).

So, now it won't start. I noticed the interior lights were dim the first time I tried this morning, the fan was sputtering, etc. I tried jumping it off of my roommates car, which had no effect. Now nothing happens at all when I try to start it except a really sickly sounding chime, there aren't even any lights on in the interior any more.

I'm thinking starter or alternator? Anyone have any ideas? Let me know if you need any more specifics of the situation. Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2004, 04:53 PM   #2
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The first thing to address is the apparent low-voltage. Disconnect your battery from the car, and get it charging from a friend or a battery charger.

While that'* happening, I suggest disconnecting all cables at both ends. Battery and destination, including chassis grounds.

You have major feeds going to the following:
1. Alternator
2. Starter
3. Main electrical distribution, on my car it'* the maxifuse center on the firewall, yours may differ slightly.

Also get the ground where it attaches to the engine. Just follow the cables.

Use a stiff wire brush on all cable ends and some electrical contact cleaner. Do the same with the mating surfaces.
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
The first thing to address is the apparent low-voltage. Disconnect your battery from the car, and get it charging from a friend or a battery charger.
Got it. It was fortunately a pretty minor problem. Went to disconnect the battery, but gave the postive terminal a tug prior to unbolting it from the battery. To my surprise it came right off -- including the part that is supposed to stay on the battery!! It looks like the acid had corroded through the battery itself. So I cleaned off the positive and negative terminals, gave the bolts a good scrub with the wire brush, and installed a new battery. Not too surprisingly it started up, though it did crank a little bit longer than I would like the first time. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

At any rate, thanks for the help. I guess since I'm at 63k and it'* the original battery I should have looked to it as the obvious first guess.
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:51 PM   #4
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Good find. The extra crank time was probably because shelf batteries don't carry a full charge. I bet you'll be fine.
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Old 09-25-2004, 08:21 PM   #5
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That, and your engine could have had extra fuel in the crankcase, causing the it to need extra time to burn off the extra. When I replaced my battery [old one crapped out, to the point it wouldn't hold a charge, and jumping it couldn't even get the car to turn over], it took well over 30 seconds of cranking to get her started. Thanks to the fact she was flooded. This was in the middle of winter, and there was black/yellowish discolouration in the snow by the tail pipe, telling me that the car was extremly flooded.


-justin
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Old 09-27-2004, 10:39 AM   #6
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It'* actually still cranking a bit extra on cold starts -- like "crank, crank, crank, start" instead of "start" when I turn the key. Should I check all the electrical connectors as previously suggested?
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