Sluggish, weak starting - 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 11-08-2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Sluggish, weak starting

My parent'* car starts very weak, similar to a low/weak battery and it'* been a problem for about the last year. In that time I've had the starter checked and found it working fine, then replaced the Alt. 3 times, the battery twice, and the battery cables once. It still turns over very slow, and usually the first time it stops all together, then the second turn of the key it ruh, ruh, ruh, ruh then kicks over and runs. What else can I check?
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:49 PM   #2
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Was it or does it get worse now that its colder out? I used to have a starter that wouldn't work at all when cold; I had to rap it with a hammer. It would work great while it was warm. I finally replaced it and no problems siince.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:22 AM   #3
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No difference, we had trouble all summer with it as well.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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Mine did the same thing to me for about a month. Eventually it just died and I got a new one from NAPA.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:49 AM   #5
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Slow would normally be the things you've replaced.

Poor connection at battery/starter
Corrosion in cables
Low charge on battery

Have you ever checked the compression on the motor?

What model/year are we talking about here? There was a gear reduction starter in the SSEi'* that would probably spin your car over quicker. Jr's3800 swapped one into one of his cars IIRC.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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You can rule out the battery or alternator as you have changed both. Go after the starter and ground connctions as suggested.
How old is the starter? It could have worn brushes and a binding armeteur.
Another common problem with slow starting is the starter gear is binding or too tight against the flywheel. That is the purpose of the shims. Someone could have replaced the starter and left out the shim plate.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Just went through this with the 92. Been fighting a starting problem, you would have to crank and crank before it would start. Cranking speed was fine. Replaced bat, alt, fuel rail, fpr. The original starter finally quit this week. Got a jy starter for $25, and now it starts right up. I'm thinking the old starter was using too many amps, not leaving enough for ignition.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:18 PM   #8
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If the gear was binding and too close to the flywheel, what would cause it to start doing this all of a sudden, when it was not doing this before and the started has not been replaced? When it first started doing this, I pulled the starter and bench tested it....and it was fine. I then replaced all the bat. cables, battery, alt. etc.... with no luck. It sounds like the battery is dead, after replacing the battery, still does the same thing. I'm beffuddled............
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:30 PM   #9
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The only problem with bench testing is there is no load applied to the starter.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:05 PM   #10
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You could pull the end cap off the starter and check the brushes for wear. Probably all gunked up like my SSE was.
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