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Old 09-07-2013, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default 95 Regal intermittent starting issue

Hello everyone.

I'm having a starting problem with a 95 Regal 3800. Most of the time the car starts fine, but occasionally it won't do anything. Usually it happens after driving the car for awhile and then trying to restart it. When this is happening, and you let the car set for awhile, sometimes an hour or so, then it will start. The battery has around 12.4 volts, and I am also getting 12.4 at the big post for the battery cable on the starter solenoid. When the car starts, the "*" terminal on the solenoid gets about 10 volts on the multimeter for the few seconds it is cranking. However, when the car is not starting it only has around 6 volts at the "*" terminal when the key is turned to the crank position.

Should the "*" terminal always have battery voltage when the key is turned to crank? If not, what might be causing the drop in voltage? Also, I was thinking that the starter might not be working properly due to getting too hot, since it usually does this after heat soaking on a drive. I can get it to act up if I start, stop, and restart the car over and over as well. I did try to replace the starter and solenoid a few months ago, but that starter didn't work whatsoever. I put the old one back in and it started right up. Maybe that was just a faulty starter, who knows?

Any help would be appreciated. This is my mom'* car and I don't want her stranded somewhere when the car doesn't want to start up for her. It'* hot here in Arizona and she can't sit in the parking lot waiting for the thing to decide to start up for her.

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:10 AM   #2
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Sounds like the starter motor is suffering from heat bind. Replace the starter motor.
On one of my olds, I had a plate welded on top of the exhaust pipe closest to the starter as it crossed under it too close and was causing my starters to wear early with binding issues. I had to wait for stater to cool way too often. On average I was having to install starters every 3 years until I had the plate welded on. Check the exhaust on that car and see if the exhaust is running too close to the starter.
Clean and corrosion free terminals and cables that are tight are important.
Having a battery load test is also important as a starter need amps and if your battery is getting weak a load test will tell you time for a new battery. I generally have my batteries load tested once a year in the fall, before the winter.
I also like to trickle charge my batteries overnight every 3 months, just to keep em up.
A good fully charged battery should be above 12.75 volts.
If you have removable caps on the battery an easy way to tell the specific gravity reading is with a hydrometer. Handy to have one and inexpensive.
https://www.gmforum.com/attachments/...ine=1330239737
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:39 AM   #3
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Also I forgot to mention..heat not only can effect the starter but the cables going to it.
Less amps are delivered when wires get hot, and aging smaller diameter cables can be refreshed with an upgrade, to provide way better power delivery.
It may be worthwhile to consider replacing the cables with a thicker gauge wire.
Check the wires closely, inspect for wear and terminal ends. Use 2ga if you feel a replacement is necessary.
I recently used Anchor Marine tin copper wires that I made for the back of High output alternator to an Odyssey battery in 2 gauge..nice quality and mega power under the hot zone.
How many CCA is your Mom'* battery rated at? After a load test ....see how it does... Many of the GM cars came with only 640 CCA when in new condition.
When time comes to replace the battery look for the most CCA you can fit under the hood like 800CCA or better!!! That will be better in the Arizona heat wave too.
Still nothing beats an odyssey battery!
ODYSSEY Batteries - Auto and Light Truck
From midtronics load tester..1219 CCA!! that might crank your starter over with ease even when hot!
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
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ground cable and positive cable should be cleaned first. then the battery should be load tested. if neither of those works it could be the starter.

not really in favor of needing a super expensive battery for most people it would be a waste. most people dont put aftermarket stuff on it and it was fine for what it was designed for. a good stock rated interstate is almost always what i recommend for stock cars
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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I checked the battery. Its rated for 700 cca, and passes a load test. I don't know the actual cca because my load tester doesn't do that (its the style with the gauge readout and that heats up when you hold the button) but it stayed in the "good" region. I'll put it on the charger tonight anyway just to help rule that out. All the connections are in good shape and I didn't notice any bulges in the wires where there might be some corrosion underneath the insulation.

The front exhaust manifold has a heat shield attached to it. It connects to the rear manifold through a crossover pipe that goes over the transmission rather than under where the starter is. I'm going to pull the starter and put in a new one and see how that goes. I do agree that this might be a heat related issue. Hopefully it'll work and the other replacement starter I tried was just faulty out of the box.

Thanks again. If you think of anything else to check, please let me know.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:25 AM   #6
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you cant tell a wire connection by how it looks. you have to take it apart and clean it and the spot they attach to.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #7
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Can't remember for sure but does it have two cables at the positive post? Because most people don't pull the cables apart and clean the spacer between the two cables. Sometimes if there is a lot of corrosion I have had to cut the rubber sheeth off to get all the white fuzz off.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Lots of corrosion..not good.
That is the problem with lead acid batteries that are not sealed. Venting is the cause.
One thing for sure is that you will never get science projects with an odyssey battery or most AGM for that matter.
In the old days, I would use baking soda and warm water in a paste to neutralize the battery acid at terminals and wires/ends. Then a good stiff wire brush for cleaning it with a warm rinse after.
I would once everything is clean apply Vaseline petroleum jelly to terminal/ends to keep them more resistant. Emory cloth also works well for getting into the ends & surfaces.
Do what ever it takes to get connections clean free from all science projects!
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:31 AM   #9
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I've changed the starter and, while it'* not as often, we still have the problem.

There are two wires that connect to the big post on the starter. All connections were pretty clean when I took them apart to remove/install the starter. I didn't clean them since I didn't find anything on them, but tommorrow I'm going to take apart all the connections and wire brush them good just to rule that out.

Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:54 AM   #10
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Here is a video describing what I am talking about with the GM duel positive cable. They used it on many different models.
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