help save my car from junk! 1993 bonnevile se won't 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 04-07-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default help save my car from junk! 1993 bonnevile se won't start.

I was driving on the 401 in Toronto the other day and the car died out from me and I was lucky enough to find a nice shoulder to park on. I had it towed back to my house and when I try to start, all I hear are "clicks", no rumbling sound like the engine is trying to start. I tried cleaning out my battery terminals, and there was some residue and I cleaned it, and i also checked the fuel pump fuse on the passenger side and the "crank" fuse on the driver side. They seemed fine... I checked the battery voltage at its terminals and it was 11.75 volts. I'm not very car saavy so I don't know what else to do! I noticed that when I turned the key one notch to give the car power, the battery meter usually says its around 13 - 14 volts, however, it seems to be reporting much less than that.

Should I try jump starting it first, or do you think it'* something else? The tow truck guy basically said the alternator is dead or your engine is dead... How do I check the operation of the alternator?
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #2
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You can try jumping it but it'* really best to have a good (& charged) battery in there.
Both the battery & alternator can be checked off the car at most auto part stores.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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thanks for the help ted... i think i'll have my battery load tested and alternator checked first... um just some more questions... how do i remove the serpentine belt to get to my alternator? do i need some sort of tensioning tool or can i just pull off the belt and slip it off somehow with a screwdriver? also, would you know the best place I can get an alternator the cheapest, in canada? i called partsource and they were all $190 or more!

also, does my alternator need to be working to have a successful jumpstart?
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:13 PM   #4
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Use a 15mm socket on a ratchet to release belt tension on the belt tensioner. It'* the pulley on the short aluminum arm.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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after you got it towed home and tried starting it you said it clicked you said you have voltage at the battery not lots but enough it should start i would check the starter i sounds to me like the selanoid maybe shot

but my prognosis is only part i would also recommend getting the battery and alternator checked first if those clear then go tackle the starter
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:59 AM   #6
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Right, I know here in the states a lot of auto parts stores will test your battery and alternator for free, and if your alternator does happen to be faulty, they will replace them and buy your old one back from you, so it doesn't cost quite as much as you may think.

I wouldn't panic too much, it'* most likely one of these things. I can hardly think of anyone I know with a decently old car who hasn't replaced the alternator at least once...
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
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As already said, check the cables and alternator. But also have that battery charged and checked. Though it was reading good volts, the amps may not be enough to turn the starter over.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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My 93 ate 2 or 3 alternators when it was in warranty. After the battery volts get so low, the electronics goes nuts and the motor dies (usually my gauges would dance all over just as it was dying). Finally had to replace the last one OUT of warranty, so went with aftermarket brand and it lasted 8 or 9 years. Mechanics around here told me it was a known problem back then, with the OEM ones and that aftermarket ones have the bugs worked out. BTW, did a quick check of prices on www.rockauto.com and prices are way cheaper. Don't know which one you need, but as cheap as $60+. So, that may help you find a more realistic price around there.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:47 PM   #9
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It'* already been mentioned, but I'd suspect battery cable corrosion, in particular the positive cable corrodes inside the insulating jacket throughout its length. If you have a known-good battery and charging system, and your lights seem dim when you do something like step on the brake pedal, seriously have your battery cables tested.

I've had the positive cable corrode on all 5 Pontiacs that I've owned.

Also, there'* a ground connector under the front seat carpet that is known to corrode badly, causing lots of electrical problems until people wirebrush it clean again.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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Default starts now! but still having major difficulties

okay... thanks so much for all the help so far. i installed an alternator ($70 from a rebuilder in toronto) and a new battery as they were both faulty. the dash and the headlights definitely seem brighter and that part of the car seems a lot better.

However when i went to test drive it, as i put on the gas, i noticed that the car didn't want to seem to go past 2nd gear and there was a very slight ticking sound. When I pushed more gas the RPMs went up, the car beeped, i lost power and the car had to be restarted in neutral while running. Then, as i was pulling into my driveway, my car died right over the sidewalk! That would have been a disaster as i couldn't leave it on the sidewalk nor the street overnight. It definitely still has trouble starting as well as i had to try a few times until i was finally lucky enough to get it back and up my driveway again. The car would crank, but would not stay running for more than 2 - 3 seconds, until finally, i got it to go...

So it seems i have two problems... Starting and gear shifting problems, or are these linked? My security light is on, and i've never really seen it on before, does this have anything to do with it? Does anyone know what I should check next?
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