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Old 07-18-2006, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Intermittent Starting

My car has an intermittent starting problem.

When the ignition is turned from “off” through “on” to “start” the car is dead, the starter does not crank, nothing happens. (I can sit at “on” prior to “start” and the radio works, the A/C fan works, all power windows and sunroof work) When the key is immediately cycled to “off” then back to “start” the car will start with no hesitation.

The battery is new; the power cables to the starter are new.

Car specifics: 1999 Pontiac Bonneville, 3.8L V6 engine, 95k miles.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:36 AM   #2
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Can you please try to start it a few more times noting what the security light does.

Try a spare key if you have one, the vats contacts may be getting dirty.
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:03 AM   #3
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After asking a few questions I was told that prior to the issue the security light stayed on all the time for about a month, then it went out and that is when the intermittant starting began. He swapped keys, now the security light operates as normal. So you may be on target with the key. I measured the contact width on the two keys and his key was pretty worn compared to the spare. We'll see what happens, thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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The contact pellet in the key is a resistor. Using an ohm meter...check both values. Also..the contacts inside the ignition could be worn or dirty.

This is the VATS system and can be over ridden pretty easily.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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Looks like he still has starting issues. He emtioned that sometimes the security light is on and that'* when it seems to start most often, and when it is off he has troubles starting.

It was mentioned the VATS system could be over ridden, I would be interested in trying it. What is the procedure?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:35 AM   #6
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You should try to rule out the starter/solenoid. Wire up a 12 volt light bulb between the neg. battery terminal & the small wire on the starter solenoid.

If the bulb lights but the engine doesn't turn over then it'* the starter, battery or connections. If the bulb doesn't light then the problem is vats, starter relay or Park/Neutral switch.
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