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Old 10-26-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default 94 Cutlass Won't Start

Hi all,

Like the thread title says, I have a 94 Cutlass Supreme SL (3.1L automatic) that is giving me trouble. It started as an intermittent problem - occasionally the starter would not crank at all when I tried to start it. After a few tries it would start and run fine. Then it refused to start at all - solenoid would not engage, starter would not crank. I removed the starter and tested it with jumper cables - and the solenoid was indeed bad. I replaced the solenoid and it still would not start. It was then that I finally discovered that the "security" light was flashing. I removed the lock cylinder and noticed that one of the wires going to it was frayed at the connection. Instead of trying to reconnect the wire (don't have a soldering iron), I simply put a resistor in the circuit to match the key resistance - no more security light . . .

But it will still not start. And I've noticed another problem for which I have no answer. Whenever the battery is connected, the small hot wire going to the solenoid is constantly hot at around 9V (the battery is charged at 12V). Any insight or suggestions (or a good detailed wiring diagram and/or ignition switch diagram) would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agni View Post
Hi all,

Like the thread title says, I have a 94 Cutlass Supreme SL (3.1L automatic) that is giving me trouble. It started as an intermittent problem - occasionally the starter would not crank at all when I tried to start it. After a few tries it would start and run fine. Then it refused to start at all - solenoid would not engage, starter would not crank. I removed the starter and tested it with jumper cables - and the solenoid was indeed bad. I replaced the solenoid and it still would not start. It was then that I finally discovered that the "security" light was flashing. I removed the lock cylinder and noticed that one of the wires going to it was frayed at the connection. Instead of trying to reconnect the wire (don't have a soldering iron), I simply put a resistor in the circuit to match the key resistance - no more security light . . .

But it will still not start. And I've noticed another problem for which I have no answer. Whenever the battery is connected, the small hot wire going to the solenoid is constantly hot at around 9V (the battery is charged at 12V). Any insight or suggestions (or a good detailed wiring diagram and/or ignition switch diagram) would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds like a bad cable or connection, soldoid needs at least 12vdc, 12.6 would be better! to work right.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:48 PM   #3
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sounds like same problem I having . the security system has the fuel and crank signal shut down to the ecm . here is a web site i found http:/new rockies.ca it will explain it a lot better than I would be able to . when I get off work at 5pm I have to go get my car from ace hardware and drag it home my be if im luky the other key will start it . my be the other guys or gal will have a better answer . the more bells and whistles the more problems !
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D Ryan View Post
Sounds like a bad cable or connection, soldoid needs at least 12vdc, 12.6 would be better! to work right.
I agree that this would explain the voltage drop between battery and solenoid, but it doesn't explain why I'm getting constant hot to the solenoid, even when the key is not in the ignition. I inspected the ignition switch and all of the contacts looked fine, and it tested @ 12V when turning the key, so I'm afraid there may be a problem elsewhere - either in the theft deterrent relay, TDM, or park/neutral position switch. I want to trace the wire, but the online Chilton'* manual I have sucks. Can someone point me in the right direction here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hock View Post
sounds like same problem I having . the security system has the fuel and crank signal shut down to the ecm . here is a web site i found http:/new rockies.ca it will explain it a lot better than I would be able to . when I get off work at 5pm I have to go get my car from ace hardware and drag it home my be if im luky the other key will start it . my be the other guys or gal will have a better answer . the more bells and whistles the more problems !
If the security system was still having problems, wouldn't the dash security light still be flashing? Also, the little "chip" in my key is just a resistor, right? The TDM doesn't know the difference.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D Ryan View Post
Sounds like a bad cable or connection, soldoid needs at least 12vdc, 12.6 would be better! to work right.
I agree that this would explain the voltage drop between battery and solenoid, but it doesn't explain why I'm getting constant hot to the solenoid, even when the key is not in the ignition. I inspected the ignition switch and all of the contacts looked fine, and it tested @ 12V when turning the key, so I'm afraid there may be a problem elsewhere - either in the theft deterrent relay, TDM, or park/neutral position switch. I want to trace the wire, but the online Chilton'* manual I have sucks. Can someone point me in the right direction here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hock View Post
sounds like same problem I having . the security system has the fuel and crank signal shut down to the ecm . here is a web site i found http:/new rockies.ca it will explain it a lot better than I would be able to . when I get off work at 5pm I have to go get my car from ace hardware and drag it home my be if im luky the other key will start it . my be the other guys or gal will have a better answer . the more bells and whistles the more problems !
If the security system was still having problems, wouldn't the dash security light still be flashing? Also, the little "chip" in my key is just a resistor, right? The TDM doesn't know the difference.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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Switch your starter relay with a fan relay to test it.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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Can you remove the small wire from starter sol. and re-check for current? This would at least rule out any "voltage bleed" thru the sol.

Joel
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #9
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where can I get a free pdf download service/repair manual ffor a 1999 eighty eight?

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agni View Post
Thanks for the replies.



I agree that this would explain the voltage drop between battery and solenoid, but it doesn't explain why I'm getting constant hot to the solenoid, even when the key is not in the ignition.
battery cable + to the starter is allways hot. If you have voltage drop either clean it or replace it!
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