Car Randomly doesnt start - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 02-27-2003, 09:43 PM   #1
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Default Car Randomly doesnt start

So everyonce in a while my car doesnt start... after like 10 minutes.... and opening and closing the hood.... taking it in and out of park... and wiggling the battery wires and whatnot..... it will start..... WHAT IS WRONG?!?!..... im solost...


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Old 02-27-2003, 09:46 PM   #2
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The best I can come up with is the starter. I've had many GM cars that do this just before the starter goes.
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Old 02-27-2003, 11:19 PM   #3
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Depends! Remote Car Starter? Loose or corroded battery cables? Worn tumblers in ignition cylinder? VATS passlock Module/Ignition Cylinder?
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:59 AM   #4
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so im sitting here @ my girlfriend'* house.... 2 am... i want to go home.. .car wont start.... hmm... BAH.... im calling my mechanic tomorrow... so much for avoiding being in debt to my parents
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Old 02-28-2003, 03:43 AM   #5
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OKay... so i made it home(car finally startedd)... but im way to annoyed to sleep right now..
heres what i know about the issue.....

has been happening on and off for the past 2 years
-- my parents never did anything about it because it was too sparatic
My dad claims it must be something related to the car thinking it is not in park.... as usually the problem was corrected by turning the key to allow the car to be taken out of park.. and then wiggled and slammed into park.

im more inclined to agree with the starter idea, but how can i be sure?..... is there some way to test it.... and if so.... is this something i can do myself... even with a little PITA

and if we end up doing the starter... any basics about where...and what it looks like... how to get it off... things to know... etc would be much appreciated. My haynes manual is back at school and i am home for spring break.....

deathrat.... i dont have a remote starter... and if you could give me some suggestions on testing the other stuff and whatnot that would be great.




thanks guys... you rock
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Old 02-28-2003, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default need more info

I sounds like we assumed that when it would not start it wouldnt crank. We need more info. does it crank over and not start or will it not even crank over? If its cranking and then not starting we can rule out a starter. If its not cranking the next thing to do is use a meter or test light and check for juice at the small wire connecting to the starter. There should be 12V present at this wire when the car is in the start position. If 12V is there then its the starter, if not is in your starting circuit. The starting circuit includes the starter switch, neutral safety switch, and the antitheft circuits.
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Old 02-28-2003, 09:54 AM   #7
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No crank.... ill check the voltage and Post
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Old 02-28-2003, 11:59 AM   #8
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We can most likely rule out the starter for now. Two years is way too long for a starter that is going bad to last. I would check all the main connections from the battery to everywhere else. SStewart has the logical progression correct.
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Old 02-28-2003, 12:04 PM   #9
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Ok.... latest update....

car is up on stands in an enclosed (but not heated... brrrr) garage.
I cannot seem to find any way to get at the starter.... can someone throw me a bone as where exactly this is...and what the best way to get at it is. I had some other ppl tell me they had similar problems related to coroded battery terminals... so for arguement sake... i cleaned those too, although im not sure it really did anything. Also.... if my car is starting right now... then there should be voltage throughout the whole system right?... kinda makes troubleshooting it hard because its not an all the time thing. ANY other suggestions will be great..... im 1/2 way tempted to just leave it.... but im sure i would be screwed on my way back to marquette (from detroit---500 miles).... then i would be at the mercy of whatever mechanic i could tow it too or whatever...


thanks for your help

edit: maybe this is related to coroded cables?...... as i have complete battery power in the rest of the system... maybe the cable to thestarter is on its way out?...... if so... how much is it gonna hurt to replace cables (big PITA? )... thanks
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Old 02-28-2003, 03:29 PM   #10
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1) Do you have any better luck trying to start it in Neutral?

2) You don't have a Security light blazing away on the dash during times that it won't crank, right?
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