No crank symptom
Please note. If you hurt yourself itís your own fault.
Is the car totally without power? See steps 1-4
Do you have lights but things goes dim or dead when you try to crank it? see steps 1-3, 9
Do the idiot lights light up, everything is bright, but it doesnít turn over. 5-8
Do the idiot lights NOT light up, everything is bright, but it doesnít turn over. 6
Does the starter just go ďclickĒ or makes that ďZingggggĒ sound? 1, 9
1 Check the battery a full charged battery will have 12.6 volts in it. 10.5 volts shortly after a charge or after a couple of tries on the starter will indicate a bad cell. If itís ok, then clean battery cable ends and bolts. Also check where the bolts screw in to. Make sure it doesnít wiggle in the battery.
2 Clamp both the red and black ends of jumper cables on the negative side post bolt of the battery and, clamp the other end of the red to something metal on the body, the nuts on the struts would be a good spot and clamp the black cable on to something metal on the engine.
3 (You may have to jack the car up to get to the starter).
Use a second set of jumper cables and connect one end of the red jumper cable on the big lug on the starter solenoid. MAKE SURE IT ISNíT GOING TO TOUCH ANY OTHER METAL PARTS. Then connect the other end of it to the positive battery post directly and check for complaint.
4 Iím expecting you to have discovered your problem by now but you may have to check your fusible links. Someone with experience with the later models may correct me, but on most GM vehicles they are 2 or 3 wires connected to the big bolt (where the positive battery cable is) on the starter solenoid.
If your fusible links did blow, you have wire problems. It would have to be a large gage wire rubbing against something metal under your dash or something in the engine compartment.
5 Check fuses and fusible links.
6 As a general rule I like to start at the clutch switch since it is about in the middle.
(I for some reason think this connection is still there on automatics but have a jumper connector plugged in to them (if any one can say for sure Iíd like to update this post).
Check for power at the clutch switch connector when the key is in START on both sides, (I cant remember which wire goes to the ignition switch I thinks it the yellow one)
If you do not have power the ignition switch is bad or out of adjustment.
7 With key in the START position, press in the clutch. Now you should have power on the other side of the connector (I think it purple).
7(a) If itís an automatic, you will need to test the inhibitor switch but I donít know which wires to check. Someone with experience with an auto will need to fill in for me)
8 If every thing is testing ok then itís time for the jack.
Jack the car up and support it with jack stands. Connect a test light to the small lug with the wire going to it on the solenoid (most will have 2 small lugs the second one was used to supply the coil with full battery voltage back in the old days). If it lights up when someone turns the key to START then itís the starter.
9 Testing the starter (or How to have fun with sparks)
Use a jumper wire / screw driver / remote start switch and jump from the large battery cable lug on the solenoid to the small lug with a wire going to it. This will tell you if the starter can turn the engine over and itís faster than taking it off and going to the auto parts store. This will also prove that you have good battery to engine connection and good battery to starter connection. But only for the engine to battery, this does not prove that you have good body and chassis electrical connections. If the starter does fail at this point connect jumper cables from the battery to the starter. A lot of people have problems with poor connectors on the battery posts.
I posted this so it doesnít have to be retyped every time someone has this problem and I didnít readily find it in ogreís cave. Please add anything I missed.
[This message has been edited by buddycraigg (edited 02-28-2003).]