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Old 10-08-2003, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default Car will not start

My wife has a 97 Bonneville SLE with about 74,000 miles on it. Just last Thursday she went to start it and it did not start, there was no clicking of the starter, there was lights however. Being that it was the original battery I went out and changed it, I hooked up the new battery and it still would not start however now I was getting the clicking of the starter. I thought that possibly the new battery was not fully charged so I tried to jump the car but still it was clicking but got no further than that.

A friend brought over a load tester for the battery and it looked fine. When we tried to start the car with the load tester on the amps dropped. We hit the starter with a hammer to see if we could coax it to engage but no luck. We both thought that it was the starter. I called around for a replacement and everyone said that you need to change the whole starter not just the relay. I just changed the starter last night and it still will not start, it still is clicking, it appears to be engaging or cranking the engine slightly further than before but still it will not turn over. I also tried to jump start again but it did no good.

Any advice on what to check on or for next????
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Old 10-08-2003, 12:50 PM   #2
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I had a friend who'* car had some similar symptoms and it turned out that it was his fly wheel. I hope you can figure it out, and that it'* something electrical. For example, try following the battery cables. Good luck
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Old 10-08-2003, 02:20 PM   #3
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That happend to us twice when we first bought the car. The thing that fixed it was pushing the car a few feet to sort of move the gears around or something... I don't know... The mechanic at GM said it was the crank position sensor, and the repair bill wasn't exactly something you like to hear, so we just left it and it seems to have went away over the months.. Hasn't happend for quite a while.

Oops!!! (She probably heard me say that so now she'* going to break down..)
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Old 10-08-2003, 02:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car will not start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weeg
I just changed the starter last night and it still will not start, it still is clicking, it appears to be engaging or cranking the engine slightly further than before but still it will not turn over. I also tried to jump start again but it did no good.

Any advice on what to check on or for next????
I think I would check the battery cable connections, at _both_ ends of each cable. You've presumably got a good connection to the new starter, but you should check the battery ground cable, especially at the engine block.

Also check for corrosion on the contact rings in the battery terminals. You'll need to unscrew the battery cable, then push out the bolt in the cable terminal to get at the contact ring underneath. Wire-brush it and wipe a little Vaseline on it before putting it back together.
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Old 10-08-2003, 03:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Car will not start

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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weeg
I just changed the starter last night and it still will not start, it still is clicking, it appears to be engaging or cranking the engine slightly further than before but still it will not turn over. I also tried to jump start again but it did no good.

Any advice on what to check on or for next????
I think I would check the battery cable connections, at _both_ ends of each cable. You've presumably got a good connection to the new starter, but you should check the battery ground cable, especially at the engine block.

Also check for corrosion on the contact rings in the battery terminals. You'll need to unscrew the battery cable, then push out the bolt in the cable terminal to get at the contact ring underneath. Wire-brush it and wipe a little Vaseline on it before putting it back together.
Also, this sounds just like DrJay'* problem when starting, er trying to start, his engine after the rebuild. He cleared the the ground from the battery, but also had to clean the ground from the starter, which has it'* own ground. It wouldn't ground through the new paint.
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Old 10-08-2003, 07:09 PM   #6
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An easy way to check the cables if they are good is by doing a voltage drop test. Using a voltmeter, connect the ground to the battery negative and the positive to the engine block (anywhere you can get a good connection) have a buddy turn it over (or try) note the voltage that shows up there. You should only see about a tenth of a volt. (the cables still have a very slight bit of resistance to them and it does use voltage to travel from one side to the other). Do that on the positive cable as well although it has to be from the battery positive to the starter postive (the other end of the cable). You should get next to no voltage drop. If you are getting 1 volt or more you have a real problem. Now connect the positive to the battery positive and the negative to the battery negative and try to turn over. You should see the voltage go down to about 10 volts or so. If it is lower - you probably have a bad battery. You need at least 9-10 volts to trun the engine over.

If those are fine try turning the engine over by the vibration damper (crank).

Try those out.

JM
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Old 10-12-2003, 06:00 AM   #7
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Well you can try and eliminate your starter from the problem. Get in the car and turn the ignition to RUN. Crawl under the front of the car with a screw driver that has a thick plastic or rubber handle. MAKE SURE IT IS MADE OF SOMETHING KNOWN NOT TO CONDUCT ELECTRICITY AND THAT YOU DO NOT TOUCH THE METAL!!!. Now use the screwdriver shaft to make a connection between the two terminals on the starter. One is the neutral safety switch and the other is a positive lead from the battery. When you do this don't worry about the large spark just connect the two and listen for the starter to turn the car over. If it works the car should fire right up and that'll tell you that the starter works. If it doesn't work its your starter. Like it was said earlier I had a similar problem and if it turns out that your starter works then go to the Neg terminal on the battery and about 6" from the terminal the wire should split off and ground somewhere on the engine. Probably around the coil packs. Pull the bolts holding the coil packs and use a small piece of sand paper to sand EVERYTHING. Sand the wire connector, the bolts, both ends of the mounting bracket and the side of the head it connects to and install everything. If that doesn't work you need to pull the starter and sand the area around where the bolts go into the block. Its really not that hard, in the '93 its only two bolts holding it in plus the two wires connected to it. Oh and of course make sure you clean the terminals on the battery and the terminals on the starter while you have it off. This really should fix whatever problem you're having.
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Old 10-12-2003, 06:21 AM   #8
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Captain Obvious says:

Be very careful when doing the above procedure. Lots of electricity, and cars are very heavy and do not feel good when rolled over body parts.

If it were me doing it, I would have someone dial 9-1 and wait...
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Old 10-12-2003, 03:28 PM   #9
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hahaha yea its always important to keep safety in mind. Its really not all that dangerous unless you decide to grab the terminal and lick the body of the car. If you're a little scared you can always go to your local parts depot and pick up a "starter button" which has clips that hook to the terminals on the starter and you press a button to make the connection. Not sure how much they cost, can't picture too much its just a high amp switch with gator clips.
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Old 10-13-2003, 01:40 PM   #10
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Default Car will not start - Update

Thanks for all the input and suggestions regarding the problem. Friday night a friend and I decided to do a little more checking.

First we checked all the battery connections/terminals/wires, the readings were all fine. Then we decided to check the volts that the starter was receiving from the battery. The reading was under 10 volts. We tried to bypass the starter wires with jumper cables to see if possibly the drop in volts was related to the wires. The readings were the still the same. It did not seem as if the starter was getting enough volts upon trying to start.

However we did notice that the battery was emitting a sulfur smell upon trying to start and that there was a bubbling/popping noise coming from inside the battery. All indications pointed to either a bad battery, but the volts read fine. It appears that something was shorting out and that was causing the battery to cook. The bubbling or popping noise of the battery evened occurred when we just tried to turn on the front lights without the key in the ignition!

We then starting going thru the shop manual trying to troubleshoot. The manual said to find the right hand inside passenger side fuse block. It wanted us to pull one of the fuses that would prevent startup but also test whether or not the starter was bad. We pulled the fuse out but the volts/amp readings to the starter indicated that the starter was fine. The shop manual now said to proceed to the next step. However, when I put the fuse back I decided to check that all the rest of the fuses and relays were in nice and tight. A couple slid in a little more but one of them seemed to be pretty far so I pushed that one in and made sure all the rest were in good. I then decided to try and restart the car and it started up!!!

We wanted to be certain however that we had found the cause of the problem. But no matter what we did, we still could not determine which fuse or relay in this fuse block would cause the conditions that the car would not start or give the battery that popping or bubbling noise upon start. We tried pulling out some of the suspected fuses that could have been loose but none would regenerate the condition of the no start.

The car started up three or four times while up on the floor jacks. Thinking that we had possibly "found" the problem we then buttoned everything up, lowered the car off the floor jacks and decided to call it a night. I was also going to drive it all week to see if the problem reoccurred. Well first thing Saturday morning I tried to start the car and it would not start!

I think we have isolated where the cause of the problem is, but we are unsure as to what fuse, relay or short in this area would cause the problem of not starting??? I will have to take the kick panel off later tonight or tomorrow and see if I can find which wire, etc is shorting that could cause the no start.

Any additional help or comments would be appreciated.

Louis
97 Bonneville SLE
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