Car Issues

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Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:52 pm

As most know I drive an 88 Regal. Well, it has a new issue now. About 3 weeks ago I was doing a bit of running around trying to drop off resumes. Well after starting and stopping the engine a 5 times in a short period of time, I went to start it up to move on to another place. However my car had different plans, I turn the key and have no starter but full power-everything electrical is fully operational. I call autozone, and describe my issue, the guy said it sounded like a starter and to attempt to smack it with a hammer, thinking it was binding up. So I give it a few smacks and it then tries to start, a few more smacks and had nothing again. I call a friend to tow it for me and after about 2 hours, it started once he gave me a ride to go tow it. After that for a few days, it started normally, but only drove it without stopping the engine, fearing it would not start back up again. Then I drove it around the back of my house to drop the starter, to go ahead and get it tested. Took it to autozone, it tested strong but got very hot after only testing it twice. So I was advised to replace it, since it was stock. I replace it a few days later, and its all normal for about a week-week and a half. Which leads to today. I left school to go home, but decided to get gas before since I had the cash and was near a station. I stop the engine to go pay and pump gas, then go to get in to take off, BAM! same issue as previously. except today I only drove it to school and left it sit for about 5 hours until I went to another building to catch up with a former classmate. It sat there for about an hour before I went to get gas. So I call a buddy to tow me, he shows up about half an hour later and it still wouldnt start. After towing me home (15 minute drive) I see if it will start and it fires right up. So, what do you guys think my issue is? I'm leaning towards ignition module or neutral safety switch. I dont want to start replacing parts for no reason. I also don't want to crawl underneath it and fool with the starter again. The starter is horizontal between the bell housing, oil pressure switch and oil filter and has to slide past the frame to position it properly. Which is oh so fun.... not.. Any ideas/thoughts or solutions would be appreciated.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:56 pm

Your ignition module shoouldn't affect your starter. The neutral safety switch will. Are you using a side terminal battery? How are the cables and connectors?
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:02 pm

I thought about the neutral safety switch, but i cant get to it very easily. I'm not trying to remove 10 things so i can get to that side of the transaxel. Yes, i'm using a side post battery, the connections are tight, but the bolts need replaced. I have new ones, just dont want to fool with them. Battery is only 6 months old. All the starter connections are tight, I just double checked them. I even checked the battery to engine ground cable, and its nice and tight.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:26 pm

You didn't say if you hear anyrhing when you try to start it. Does it click or is it silent? Try moving the shift lever while holding the key in the start position. If you can make it start this way your neutral switch is worn or out of adjustment.

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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:04 pm

It doesn't make a sound when the key is turned. I tried holding the gear shift lever up past park while trying to start it, and it does not make a difference. I was reading online that sometimes the crank position sensor goes bad, but I did not see an OBDI code for it online. Just pulled codes, and it gave me a code 23. This is what is says:manifold air temperature (mat) sensor or circuit (1990 and earlier models) 23- intake air temperature (iat) sensor circuit (fuel-injected models) I have no idea what that means.

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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:24 pm

I had a '73 Olds Cutlass Supreme with side term batteries that had similar starting problems to your car. The connectors were as tight as they could be and still it would intermittently start. I found that the bolts that held down the connectors bottomed out in the battery terminals before the connector lugs made good contact with the battery. when the starter was switched on, a little wisp of smoke came up from the positive terminal.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:43 pm

The starter circuit should be purely electro-mechanical, meaning no sensor is going to effect cranking...  In that that light you need a wiring diagram to determine the circuit to energize the starter, but it's basically going going to consist of the ign switch in column, neutral safety switch, the starter and wiring to tie it all together... Some vehicles have a relay in the circuit, supplied voltage via the neutral safety switch...
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:20 pm

There are a few relays in the electrical box under the hood. However I do not know if they are normally open or normally closed or even if they could be a combination of both in one relay. I will try to change my positive terminal bolt and see if that makes a difference.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:28 pm

When you replaced the starter, did you also replace the solenoid? Sometimes the starter motor is sold without the solenoid and they are transferred from the old motor to the new and many times it continues to be the source of the problem.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:02 pm

Well, just changed both terminal bolts. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The guy at NAPA tried to change them for me when I replaced the battery, but it was February then. No change after that, but they needed replaced anyways. The new starter came with a new solenoid on it. I know the solenoid goes bad more often than the starter itself. I would really prefer not to drop it again since its not an easy job. Hopefully I can get it into the school soon, so the auto students can look at it.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:20 pm

Have you considered taking your car to a certified mechanic and just pay him to fix it?

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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:38 pm

Can't afford a shop. I'm still going to school and trying to find a job in the HVAC field in my local area but every time I have free time my car fails. It would be nice to take it to a shop, but when most are 50.00/hour and up it's not happening. I wish I could just sell it as is and get something better but its not happening.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:14 pm

Well, maybe the auto school can help. I know how things are whhen money is tight. There are worse cars than the Regal to keep in driving condition. Your Haynes guide should have a decent wiring diagram.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:28 pm

I'm going to try to keep it, as long as it can be repaired reasonably. I wish I had a Haynes manual, but I don't. I may see if my school library has some type of manual. I used to prefer Chilton, but that was before Haynes were popular.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:12 am

The reason Haynes manuals became so popular, is because they have info on the electronic systems and wiring layouts. You might go on Ebay and see if they have any used ones, or check used book stores.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:30 am

I spotted one for a little over 6.00. I'll get it as soon as I can.
I just went out to my car to see if it decided to do anything, but it didn't.. I then decided I would try to pull codes again to see if it would spit something new, but noticed my "check engine" light wasn't flashing, so I unhooked the jumper wire. After unhooking it, I noticed I had no indicator lights at all. When the key is on it's supposed to display a few lights but it's not displaying anything. I checked all the possible fuses, and all were good. Now that makes me think there is an electrical issue, possibly a short in either the ignition module or starter solenoid. Makes me want to see if there is any current being pulled on the positive side while nothing is running or any lights are on.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:01 pm

Ignition module as well as codes have ZERO to do with cranking... Can toss the ECM into the street and the starter should still operate...

Reread my previous post...
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:22 pm

I totally understand what you are saying. My problem lies with the starter itself. Which means I need to have my starter pulled, then taken to autozone to get my money back. Then I will either get one from NAPA or CarQuest.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:46 pm

Read this should help...

http://www.samarins.com/glossary/starter.html

Also on this site is pict of how to test starter on car, assumes there is power on the main cable...

http://ramva.org/dragenwagen/starter.html

If you want to trouble shoot instead of shotgunning it, use a test light(not meter) to verify there is voltage on the battery cable at starter and solenoid when switch is turned... If there is no voltage at solenoid it isn't going to crank...
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:49 pm

Have you checked the battery voltage level to see if it currently has a charge?
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:29 pm

Voltage is good at the battery and starter. I attempted to bypass the ignition switch by connecting the stater battery wire to the solenoid. I had a section of #10 wire and touched it to the battery wire then touched it to the solenoid connector and all I got were sparks. No clicking or sounds at all. Yes, I had the ignition turned on. So that basically tells me the solenoid is not closing when it should be. Which means it is either defective, stuck open or stuck closed.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:04 pm

tuberadiogeek wrote:Voltage is good at the battery and starter. I attempted to bypass the ignition switch by connecting the stater battery wire to the solenoid. I had a section of #10 wire and touched it to the battery wire then touched it to the solenoid connector and all I got were sparks. No clicking or sounds at all. Yes, I had the ignition turned on. So that basically tells me the solenoid is not closing when it should be. Which means it is either defective, stuck open or stuck closed.

Stuck closed it would be cranking continuously, otherwise agreed... Only issue at that point would possibly be low battery voltage, but if it's still showing at least 10v while jumping solenoid, then it should crank...
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:17 pm

Right, that makes sense now that I think about it. Voltage is at a solid 12 volts. Battery is just over 6 months old. Even when the old battery was at 10% capacity it would still crank, but after sitting overnight it would just crank a bit sluggish. Now I just gotta put in a work order at school so I can get the students to repair it. As its a free benefit since i'm going to school there.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by jerryhawthorne on Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:39 pm

I agree that it sounds like the starter/solenoid problem. Running a #10 wire probably would not give enough current to energize. Better would be to hook your meter to the starter solenoid and have someone try the key in the start position to see what voltage you obtain there. If you get 12V going to the solenoid certainly sounds like the starter/solenoid assembly. Make certain the starter is tightened down well as that is the ground for it. If you get voltage with the key to the solenoid but it is low (way below 10-12V) it indicates a weak battery or poor connections. Don't forget to check the negative connection from the battery to the block. Some cars took the negative to the frame of the car and had braided strap from the frame to the block.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:10 pm

I agree the problem is starter/solenoid related but for future electrical trouble shooting. The correct voltage for a fully charged battery is very close to 13.2 volts DC. The battery should read approximately 15 volts DC while charging/running. Reading 12 volts DC would indicate a slight discharge.

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Re: Car Issues

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