Intermittent Starting when Turning Key - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-14-2003, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Intermittent Starting when Turning Key

My 94 SE with 116K on it has started to not turn over and start when I turn the key. I'll turn the key and hear nothing. I'll then turn it to the off position and then back to start and it will start or require me tto try that one more time. The starter seems to turn the engine over fine with no hesitation. Does this sound like the electrical part of the ignition switch or is there a realy between the switch and the starter solenoid.

It doesn't happen all the time - maybe once out of every 3 times I try to start it.

If it was the starter, wouldn't I hear a clicking as the solenoid tried to engage.

Any diagnostic procedures reader can suggest.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:01 AM   #2
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Start with the easy check. On your key you have that little resistor (square metal piece in the middle of the key). Make sure the resistor is clean. If it is dirty it can give a bad contact when in the key cylinder causing the car to read an invalid key code and disable the ignition. This isn't a real likely suspect but it is cheap and easy to test.

Also, when you try turning it over (and it doesn't go), do the ligths stay bright, dim, or go off completely? May want to also disconnect your battery terminals and clean them. A poor connection at the battery can cause a scenario like this as well.
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
Start with the easy check. On your key you have that little resistor (square metal piece in the middle of the key). Make sure the resistor is clean. If it is dirty it can give a bad contact when in the key cylinder causing the car to read an invalid key code and disable the ignition. This isn't a real likely suspect but it is cheap and easy to test.
I kind of doubt that theory here, because the disable would happen immediately and cause a three-minute wait, during which time the Security light is blazing away on the dash. I think he would have mentioned that if it was happening in this case.

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Also, when you try turning it over (and it doesn't go), do the ligths stay bright, dim, or go off completely? May want to also disconnect your battery terminals and clean them. A poor connection at the battery can cause a scenario like this as well.
Agreed. I'm also wondering if the Neutral safety switch is a little out of adjustment, since what he describes here sounds like what you'd see happening if you tried to start the car in Drive.
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:18 PM   #4
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Default Intermittent Starting

Strangely enough, I wonder if it related to the key resistor. Last week I got caught in a downpour and my keys in sat in the pocket of my wet jeans all day. That night when I went home the car started fine but I noticed the security light came on. After a day or so it went out and it'* still out but the car began this starting thing about the same time. Maybe coincidence but I'm going to switch keys with my wife and see if the trouble persists.

The next time it won't start I'll jiggle the shifter to see if that helps.

Thanks for the ideas.

Mike
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:29 PM   #5
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How very very very odd. This problem just started happening to me this morning! on a 93 bonneville with 180K+ miles on it.

Talking to a friend, he suggested that it may be a problem with the solenoid, so I will probably go and replace that tomorrow. $20, not bad to check if that is the problem. Nothing odd has happened to my car lately.

I have to agree that it is not the resistor problem, because your car would not start for 3 minutes if you had tried to start it and your resistance was wrong. I recently tested the resistance in my key, for my vats bypass. I will check it again tonight just to verify that it is not the resistor pellet.

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Old 10-14-2003, 04:55 PM   #6
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heres some old posts that may have some info also.

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...light=solenoid

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...light=solenoid

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...light=solenoid

maybe after you and i get our problems figured out they should add a techinfo on this problem.

Randy
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Old 10-24-2003, 12:00 AM   #7
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I am having the same problem, and the dealer thought it was the key. We had two more made with the same unfortunate result.

The dealer tells us now that part of the ignition switch in the column is intermitant, and a common problem. Parts estimate $ 80. , labor $ 100.

Haven't done it yet, move the key around whiel starting seems to work as an interim step.

Fred
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Old 10-24-2003, 12:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
Also, when you try turning it over (and it doesn't go), do the ligths stay bright, dim, or go off completely? May want to also disconnect your battery terminals and clean them. A poor connection at the battery can cause a scenario like this as well.
Well.. I can atest to that.. I had a striped socket on my positiver terminal of my battery and it would make enough contact to turn everything on except the starter.. do you hear a CLICK when you try to start? If so that maybe it..


I have yet to own any cars with the selnoid problem ( closest thing was a old work truck F150 89 that you can start it up without having a key in it )
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Old 10-24-2003, 02:11 AM   #9
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I fired my wagoneer up like that once, ran wires from the battery to the coil, then took a screw driver to the solienoid pumped the accelerator pump on the carb and vroom, i had to move it straight back which was good cos the steering was locked..sorry for the off-topic postwhoring!
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