Ignition Switch or Starter Relay - 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 02-13-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Ignition Switch or Starter Relay

OK, I thought I knew what the problem was, but I might need a lil 'help'.

Ok, I put a new starter in, everything works great for 1 day.
Next day, it'* -15 outside car don't start, so I figured she just cold and I felt the same, so I let her rest.
2 days later, I crawl under there, touch the wires on the starter with a wrench, it engages but no starter turn. So I check the negative cable, got 1/8" turn or so out of it, fires like a dream. Ok, problem, right.......
Today, won't start again. Figured darn negative cable, nope. So I turn the ignition on again, crawl under there and touch wires and it starts.
So is it Ignition Switch or a Starter Relay, I found a schematic on here, but before I dig, anybody have a similiar issue??
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
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Hook a test lamp to the little wire running to the solenoid on the starter and ground. When you turn the key to start, the lamp should light. That will confirm that the ignition switch and the wiring to the starter solenoid from the ignition switch is OK. You also want to make sure that your battery cables are not corroded internally. You will need to pull back or cut the insulation on the ends to check this out. It is a common problem; especially look at the positive cable, battery end.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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ok, i'll try that, if it does light, then what would be the problem, and vice versa if it don't.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:09 PM   #4
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If the test lamp does not light, check for a bad ignition switch, power to the switch, ignition fuse, or wiring from the switch to the starter. This is a really simple circuit, so it should be pretty easy to check. But the ignition switch is hidden on top of the steering column, up under the dash as a theft preventive measure. It is a pain to get it out.

If the test lamp does light, check out the battery cables and the ground connection for the starter (made with the starter case against the engine block and the bolts). Were those nice and clean when you changed the starter out? If the battery is charged, cables are good, and wire from the ignition switch to the solenoid is all good, the only thing left is the starter or the starter solenoid.
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