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Old 04-05-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Century 2002 won't turnover

Hi - I'm new to the forum - so forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong spot.

Our 2002 Buick Century will not turnover. I've replaced the battery, so that'* not the problem. When the key is in the run position all the dash lights are on, however, the security light does not remain on.

I've tried the relearn procedure (turn key on for 11min / off - repeat 3 times) but it still won't start. Checked all fuses. No luck.

I've tried both keys. No luck. The key fobs will not lock/unlock the doors. Although, both key fobs have fully charged batteries.

We don't use the car regularly. Although, the last time we started the car, it started and ran fine. But that was about 1 month ago.

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:47 PM   #2
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If I gather right, your saying that when you turn the key to start, the starter doesn't turn the engine over?

If so, this isn't security related. I'm thinking bad starter. Sometimes you can get it to start again if you whack the starter with the side of a hammer.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike1995 View Post
If I gather right, your saying that when you turn the key to start, the starter doesn't turn the engine over?

If so, this isn't security related. I'm thinking bad starter. Sometimes you can get it to start again if you whack the starter with the side of a hammer.
When I turn the key to start, the starter doesn't get engaged at all (no clicking, cranking etc.). I have checked and there is current going to the starter, but I thought a malfunctioning Buick VATS system also shut down the fuel injectors etc. preventing the vehicle from starting.

It also seemed odd that both the key fobs had stopped locking/unlocking the doors - which seemed VATS related, but that'* a guess.

I do like the idea of a starter / gummed up solenoid better and will give it a whack with a hammer as suggested.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Last edited by canbuick; 04-06-2014 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by canbuick View Post
I've tried both keys. No luck. The key fobs will not lock/unlock the doors. Although, both key fobs have fully charged batteries.
Any help would be much appreciated!
You can try to re-synchronize the key FOBS by pressing & holding down both the Lock & Unlock buttons at the same time for about 10+ seconds until the lights flash or horn honks.
This hopefully will make the Fobs work again....
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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Thanks. I tried resetting the key FOBs by pressing lock/unlock at the same time for 10+ seconds - but no luck there either.

The key fobs have recently worked fine and both have good batteries (......and now both FOBS have stopped working) - so seems like I have something else going on.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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I agree...besides, you said the SECURITY light was going out......

Have someone hit the starter, not the solenoid, while turning the key.....if it cranks over, then like Mike says, it needs a starter.....

If it doesn't, then put a test light on the "*" terminal(purple wire) of the solenoid.....when the key is in the crank position, the test light should light....if it does, you need a starter...if it doesn't, you have to follow the circuit back though the P/N switch to the starter enable relay(if it has one) and to the ignition switch.....

One other thing you can check, is your underhood fuse block.....check if there is a starter enable or crank relay.....if there is one(early production had these), when someone turns the key to the crank position, you should "feel" the relay click....if it doesn't, try swapping with another relay.....

You can also apply the e-brake and trying to start the car in neutral....

The key fobs have nothing to do with starting the vehicle, unless there is a remote start button on your key fob.........

Just how did you determine there is "current" going to the starter?

Does your vehicle have PassKey(resistor on key) or PassLock?
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
I agree...besides, you said the SECURITY light was going out......

Have someone hit the starter, not the solenoid, while turning the key.....if it cranks over, then like Mike says, it needs a starter.....

If it doesn't, then put a test light on the "*" terminal(purple wire) of the solenoid.....when the key is in the crank position, the test light should light....if it does, you need a starter...if it doesn't, you have to follow the circuit back though the P/N switch to the starter enable relay(if it has one) and to the ignition switch.....

One other thing you can check, is your underhood fuse block.....check if there is a starter enable or crank relay.....if there is one(early production had these), when someone turns the key to the crank position, you should "feel" the relay click....if it doesn't, try swapping with another relay.....

You can also apply the e-brake and trying to start the car in neutral....

The key fobs have nothing to do with starting the vehicle, unless there is a remote start button on your key fob.........

Just how did you determine there is "current" going to the starter?

Does your vehicle have PassKey(resistor on key) or PassLock?

Tech II thanks for the response.

My neighbor was giving me a hand and used a screwdriver to close the circuit on the starter "solenoid?" while I had the key in the run position. The starter would spin but not engage. I'll use a tester as you suggested just to confirm - but as you pointed out - if that'* the extent of the issues (and no security involved) - then maybe a new starter will take care of it. I also need to try giving it a whack while turning the key......

This car uses the Pass-key II system which uses the resister to match the GM key to the car. I do not have remote start. I have tried starting in neutral, but no luck there either.

I've checked all fuses, but haven't checked into the relays. I see a mini-relay for the Starter solenoid, Ignition main (nothing labelled starter enable or crank relay though).

Not sure it helps with diagnostics, but in addition to the starter and the key FOBS not functioning, the interior electronic switches for the door locks, windows, and trunk release have also stopped working. The power seats continue to work though.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:37 PM   #8
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If the starter spins, but does not engage the flywheel, then the starter is toast. At the solenoid anyway.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:09 AM   #9
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But even if the starter is shot, shouldn't it spin on it'* own when I turn the key without having to manually close the circuit with a screwdriver.

It seems like something is preventing the signal to engage the starter from being received normally (and is also preventing the power windows, door locks, and the trunk release from functioning)..........just not sure what that would be.

Last edited by canbuick; 04-07-2014 at 01:10 AM. Reason: missed info.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:44 AM   #10
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I think its the way you phrased it in your previous reply.

Check for 12v at the small wire going to the starter when you turn the key to start.
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