Intemittent No-Crank

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Box134, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    1996 SL2, very close to 100,000 km. Just in the last few months I had an
    occasion when I turned the key and nothing happened. I fooled with the shift
    and the emergency brake and it took off, so I thought I wasn't holding my
    tongue right or there was a bad connection in the interlock system.

    It's happened more times now and it's getting to be a problem. Today I had
    to try half a dozen times before it went, and when I got home I shut it down
    and tried re-starting and twice it wouldn't crank. I hear the click of a
    solenoid and nothing. On the next attempt it started. I know now that moving
    the shift lever through it's range doesn't have an effect. Then on my last
    errand it started fine on both ends.

    So what do you think? Starter? That's my suspicion.
    Box134, Jun 27, 2004
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  2. Box134

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    1996 SL2, very close to 100,000 km. Just in the last few months I had an
    I would start by tightening your battery may just havre a
    crappy connection.....
    BANDIT2941, Jun 27, 2004
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  3. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    Good point. I had the battery replaced last September. Maybe they didn't
    screw it down enough.
    Box134, Jun 27, 2004
  4. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    No luck there, the terminals were tight as a drum and clean as a whistle.
    Made one trip today with no problems and tried a few extra starts too.

    Needless to say, no trouble lights. I also checked the battery voltage and
    it was 14 V. Shouldn't be a problem there, it's not even a year old.

    So, I'm calling Saturn tomorrow to see what they say.
    Box134, Jun 28, 2004
  5. I had a similiar problem with my '97SC2. One of the battery cables
    was loose - not at the battery, but where it connects to the frame/ground.
    Robert Kinsman, Jun 28, 2004
  6. Box134

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    Thats just what I was going to suggest next.
    BANDIT2941, Jun 29, 2004
  7. Clutch switch?

    If the clutch switch has become misaligned or the clutch is not pressed all
    the way down because of the floor mat obstructing the travel, a similar
    symtom may result.

    Randall Banning, Jun 29, 2004
  8. I looked in the Haynes manual and it shows a set of normal open contacts
    inside the starter which are made when the starter solenoid gets energized
    to provide power to the starter motor. With time and the heavy current the
    contacts wear out and eventually wear out enough that they can't make
    contact any more and have to be replaced. That is why you hear the relay
    click but when the solenoid pulls it does not close the contacts to turn the
    motor. Since yours is intermittent it looks like it is in the verge of
    going. I had the same problem with my Toyota Camry and I took the starter
    out and removed the contacts and went to a local rebuilder and he sold me a
    new set for $10 which was a lot cheaper then a new starter.
    Alex Marcuzzi, Jul 2, 2004
  9. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    No clutch, it's an automatic. I get your drift though, there are interlocks
    in the drive selector that could cause the same problem. I thought that
    might be it too.

    I took it to Saturn and the tech thought the starter was the problem, at
    least he was 99.9 % sure. The only way to know for sure would be to
    disassemble the starter and to find the spot on the armature which caused
    the problem. Apparently the starter can stop over one of these "bad spots"
    and refuse to rotate. Naturally, no one is going to disassemble a starter.

    In any event, $561 CDN later I had a new starter. So far, zero problems, so
    I guess that was it.
    Box134, Jul 6, 2004
  10. Box134

    Oppie Guest

    Neighbor asked my opinion on his car that wouldn't start. He heard a click
    when the key was turned and the courtesy light dimmed a bit but no crank. He
    assumed that the starter motor was bad.

    I opened the hood and first looked at the battery. There was a lot of green
    corrosion on the battery terminals and battery Positive wires. Gave a good
    tug on the wires and the one to the starter pulled right off (only having
    been hanging on by a few strands from corrosion). Said, "Found your problem"
    to the amazed owner. Got a new clamp for $2, cleaned up the wire by cutting
    it back to good copper and called it a job well done.

    Owner is a wine conneseur and got me a bottle from his cellar. I suspect
    that I could trade the one bottle for a couple of cases of what I usually
    drink. <G>

    Oppie, Jul 6, 2004
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