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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got dropped off by the tow truck :pain: . I went to In N out to get a burger in the El Co. When I was leaving my house I turn the key on the car and it didnt start, but after 1 second it turns over. I drive to IN n OUT and eat, then I come back outside and try to turn it over and NOTHING,no clicking,no noise no nothing... I tightened the posts on the battery(just bought new on sunday) and I try again and nothing..... This has to be the starter right?
 

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or the solenoid that is mounted on the starter..................

Could also be heat affecting the starter...was it hot when you tried to start it?. Try it again when it cools down. If it starts, the heat of the exhaust is doing it.

Might also be a wiring problem. Do the accesories work...radio etc?...If not, the main accessory wire attaches to the large post of the starter on a lot of GMs. It may have rotted off.
 

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yeah. sounds more like the selenoid then the starter. because if the starter kicks over then that shouldn't have a problem at all. I'd replace the selenoid first then do the starter if that doesn't solve the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just went outside and tried to start it and it didnt start. It's been a couple hours so I dont think it's the heat affecting it.... Has to be the starter.......
 

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Check the fusible link. It should have one. If it's not fried check it for power. Make sure your ground wire is making decent contact and isn't frayed or broken.

If the wires are intact, have good contact and the ignition switch functions proprely - jump the two hot wires on the solenoid. If the starter spins all you need is a solenoid. If not you need a complete starter.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I ended up fixing this but it wasnt the stater.. I replaced the starter cable and ground cable anyways though.All I had to do was mess with the Transmission shifter while it was is park to get it to turn on... Anybody know what I have to do to fix this problem so I dont have to mess with the shifter while tryin to start the car? Transmission linkage is loose or something? Please help me out....

Thanks in advance.
 

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If it's an automatic try adjusting the neutral safety switch located on the steering column or under the shifter cover if it's a floor shift automatic. They usually have an elongated bolt hole so after you loosen the nuts you can slide it back and forth to put it in the right position so the car will only start in park or neutral.If it's a standard, then depending on the year it could have a clutch override switch that only allows the car to start only when the clutch is engaged. I hope that helped . Good luck Rick :thumbup:
 

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The neutral safety switch could be going south on you. I have had several of those that only seemed to need adjustment and worked fine for a while after the adjustment but still failed fairly soon afterwards.
 

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agree with Willyboy

You need a new neutral safety switch.

To save a tow fee, you can jumper across the switch, the switch is there so there is power to the solonoid only in P or N and the key is on "start".

Jump the switch, car in Drive/Reverse etc, ign switch to start, the starter will engage and go. Be careful

sometimes this will work, put it in N, let it just barely start to roll, put it back in P WITHOUT using the brakes. Again be careful.
 

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Don't just replace it because that is our best guess. Get a test light and follow the currant path checking at every component or juncture until you find the place the currant stops.
Making guesses and throwing parts at it isn't the way to fix it. Isolate the problem first.
 

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willowbilly3

Absolutely agree, diagnose it first.

Disagree, don't buy a $5 test light, it only tells you continuity

Buy a basic digital volt meter $30 anywhere.

Read and totally agree with your post, "use a meter".
Maybe a better idea than explaining "ohms" and voltage drop etc.?
A series of trouble shooting and performance tips with a meter.

Ex: OHMs = think of, "constipated/regular/or trots", how hard do I have to push (amps) to get an electron thru the wire

Just how good are those "super duper" $$ plug wires?
Take one of your plug wires off, set the volt meter to 5k ohms scale. Make a contact to both terminals.
"Roughly":
more than 3200, wires are shot
2000-3000, typical carbon/graphite?,
1000-2000, typical good spiral wound, my choice for street
<1000, you need it to burn nitro
TAKE YOUR VOLT METER WITH YOU to the store, test a wire before you waste your money.

EX:Voltage drop: your house would be all DC and safer BUT the power station would have to be in your back yard. The longer the wire and/or the more connections and splices in the wire, the lower the voltage at the far end. Loose volts, you lost (watts) power.

Want some "free HP", motor off/ ignition on, meter on 20VDC scale, touch the leads to the batt + and -, gona read 11.8 or so.
Now touch the meter + to the coil + and meter - to an engine ground.
#'s match, perfect
one half volt drop, kinda normal stock wiring
more than one volt, your starving the coil for electrons (volts), your 40k coil is putting out more like 30k (?) spark voltage.
Look for splices, worn ign switch, corroded wires, etc.
 

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I think the test light should be the first piece of test equipment to buy. It is much easier to walk before you run, or maybe crawl before you walk. And it will find the majority of common electrical problems with just a basic idea of the power path. The next thing to conquer is resistance, or ohms.
And while the volt drop test is not that complcated they seem hard to explain to beginners. Every time I try to explain it in the simlest possible terms I get greeted by this blank stare like I just tried to explain the theory of relativity or something.
I find that even many experienced mechanics are intimidated by electrical diagnostics and have some kind of mental block.
 

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from what it sounds like to me is possibly a linkage problem... is there any play in the linkage? has the trans been worked on recently? is everything tight/shift arm bushings in tact(if it came with them)?i wouldnt go digging into electrics until ive gone through the physical aspects 1st.
 

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willowbilly

a test light gets to be a bad habit.......my good mechanic friends all have that bad habit.

I thought I explained ohms clear enough.

Here's another try at a easy way to understand the basic principle of DC voltage drop:

The batt to solonoid to starter motor wire is usually about 4 feet of size 6 (?) wire. Car starts fine, 12V x 20amp starter motor = 240watts
Move the batt to the trunk, use 16 feet of #6 wire to the solonoid, starter can barely crank, you have "roughly" 9-10V x 20 amps = 180-200 watts of power for the starter.
(and that's why you use a size #2 or #4 wire for the 16' so more electrons can flow)
 

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Well none of that is arguable but if you had a system that was working and now it isn't, what is a bad habit about using a test light to trace the power path?
And I'm not sure what kind of car you have but 20 amps won't spin the starter on any I have ever worked on. Have you ever used a Vat40 or a Snap-on AVR? If you had you would know it takes more than 10 times that to spin a V8 over and more like 350 to 400 initial amps when the starter kicks in
I do however agree with what you are saying about needing larger wire for longer distance.
 

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Like i simply said, check the neutral safety switch. Some things are just what they are and no amount of technical testers are going to change that. Before you run out and buy anything, loosen the switch, slide it a little forward and a little back while holding the key in the start position. Make sure of course that it's in neutral or park. If it triggers a response lock it down then check to make sure it won't start in any of the drive settings. If it's ok, great. If not, get a test light. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to discover path of flow principles in an already existing system.
 

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willowbilly3, geeze,

I was intending for the example of voltage drop to explain the Principal only.
I wrote the numbers only to show the results.
Heck, maybe it's 50cc electric start scooter example at 20 amps.

I picked that example because only using a test light would send alot of people off to the store to buy a new batt/solo/starter.

When the problem is the wire size and loss of volts which you can only see with a volt meter.

I've learned my lesson, no more, ......

and for the failing neutral switch in this thread, a test light is fine
 
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