Car won't start no crank good batt [Archive] - Forum


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05-21-2013, 08:48 PM
So the car won't start. Turn the key and no crank at all. No security light on the dash and car won't start in Park or Neutral.

Everything lights up on the dash, battery voltage is good at 12.6. Fuses are all good and relays show resistance (0.00) on the low side. No voltage on the starter relay plug low side when ignition is turned to start.

I'm thinking either neutral safety switch gone bad or bad ignition. Any other ideas? Anyone know how likely either problem is on our cars?

Vehicle is '03 GAGT

05-21-2013, 08:54 PM
I don't know how to read the relay, but I'd hit the starter with a hammer and try it.

If it starts, the bendix in the housing is stuck, and it's time for a starter. If it doesn't, then you may be on the right track lol

all I got man, the old school method

05-21-2013, 09:00 PM
Yea I'm reading that in a lot of other threads so I'll give it a shot and see what happens. Relay is easy to read if the diagram is on it like mine but I've been wrong before so best to double check. Thanks for the suggestion.

05-22-2013, 05:29 PM
all I got man, the old school method


I had a relatives Oldsmobile (99 i think) acting up and I found the safety switch was getting stuck, I just WD-40 a little bit and worked it and it has been fine since. But this case had sometimes no start and sometimes key stuck in ignition.

If the switch was acting up, wouldn't it not allow you to turn the key all the way back though? Or can it do that and still have a no start condition (via neutral safety switch failure)?

Update what you find though.

05-22-2013, 05:40 PM
Sure the starter didn't take a dump on you? How's the car been turning over? Strong? Weak?

My GAGT did this last year and it was the starter.

05-22-2013, 06:27 PM
;1215440']Sure the starter didn't take a dump on you? How's the car been turning over? Strong? Weak?

My GAGT did this last year and it was the starter.

Starter and solenoid is where I always start on any vehicle, I guess I had assumed the solenoid was not getting juice with ignition cranked over cause he was talking about checking relays etc.. Cause if the solenoid was clicking then I would say starter, connection to starter (not sure how ours is setup but a loose solenoid to starter connection on my brother Dodge ram caused it not to start once). When the solenoid is clicking, I first load test my battery then go from there.

Can you easily hear the solenoid on our cars click when the starter is bad and solenoid good?

ChaosweaveR: How did yours act before it died or did it just die? Just curious for future reference.

05-22-2013, 06:34 PM
When my starter died, it was DEAD SILENT. nothing from outside of the cabin area made any noise. That's when I hit 'er and it started, I drove to O'Reilly, left it running, and went straight to the garage to change it lol

05-22-2013, 07:24 PM
I haven't been able to rule anything out yet. Since the car is in a parking spot in a condo building's garage there's not much room to work on it. I'm looking for some T pins I can use to bypass the safety switch to confirm my suspicions on it being the culprit. I'm iffy on the idea of it being the starter since the relay won't even click when I try to start the car and like I said there is no voltage going through the relay plug when someone turns the key to start. Also when I turn the key to the start position with the head lights on they don't dim or go out.

As for what it looks like basically someone who hops into their car and tries to start it in any gear in any position except P or N. You turn the key to start the dash lights go out until you let go and when you do they come back and the gauges do their test sweep.

Btw is the starter accessible (to a hammer or volt meter) from the wheel well without removing the wheel?

05-22-2013, 07:29 PM
The starter is in front of the car near the radiator. It's a little tight but you cam get in there. Best to try and go from underneath.

05-22-2013, 07:30 PM
the starter is right in the center bottom of the engine. below the oil filter and oil pressure sensor.

05-22-2013, 07:49 PM
ChaosweaveR: How did yours act before it died or did it just die? Just curious for future reference.

It emulated a dying battery pretty spot on. Weak start, but the lights wouldn't dim.

05-27-2013, 10:39 AM
Anyone happen to have the wiring diagram for the neutral safety switch?

05-27-2013, 10:58 AM
This is the best I can find for what you're looking for.

Connector C1


These diagrams are for '99-03 which have two plugs on the switch as to the '04-05 have one. So this should work for you. Hope it helps.

Edit: Found this one too.

06-03-2013, 04:37 PM
Sweet. Thanks a lot for the info though I think I may have had you waste your time ;crap

I recently was able to mess with the car more and by jumping the relay plug was able to get it to bump over once but not again. Today I finally had the chance to jack up the car and put a screwdriver to the starter terminals. The gear spun but wouldn't engage. I lowered the car a little quicker than I should so the car got a good bump when it hit ground. I gave it one last try with the key before I gave up and got it started. Now it'll start but I'm on my way with a borrowed car to have the shop test the starter. Hopefully that will be the main issue.

02-26-2014, 07:04 PM
I hate this car...but that's old news. Wound up replacing the starter and car worked fine again. Now its back. Car won't start again. Same symptoms so back to the safety switch. Looking at the plug connector C1 any ideas on how to jumper it? Maybe jumper A or C to ground?

02-27-2014, 12:49 PM
Here is the full Starting wiring diagram.

02-27-2014, 06:46 PM
Looks like I can jumper Purple to Purple white to bypass the switch...I'm gonna have to try that then.

03-21-2014, 06:54 PM
I still can't get my daughter's 2002 to crank, much less start. Since I last posted, I installed the Passlock resistor bypass, removed the BCM and examined it for soldering defects, and checked all the fuzes. It won't crank at all despite a good battery.

I've jacked the car up an hit the starter with a hammer--nothing.

When the key goes to "Start" I do not hear the solenoid clicking, no sound at all coming from down there.

How do I test the solenoid?

Also!! Are there tricks to getting the starter/solenoid off?



03-21-2014, 08:28 PM
Get a test light. Properly ground the test light lead. Probe the upper large lug on the solenoid. It should be hot. If it's not, a problem exists in the power distribution circuit from the battery. Probe small terminal, then have daughter/wife/drinking buddy/random passerby move the key to crank - the small terminal should then be hot. If it's not, a problem exists on the control side. If the small terminal is hot when the key is moved to crank, probe the lower large lug, then have aforementioned associate move the key to crank again - the large lug should now be hot. If it's not, the solenoid is faulty. If it is hot and the starter still fails to operate, the starter is faulty.

Using the test light will NOT reliably reveal a voltage drop - if the starter is not cranking while testing, there is no load on the circuit, and the test light may light even if the circuit is incapable of delivering the current required (you've only proven the circuit capable of powering the test light, but not necessarily the circuit's primary load). Ideally, follow up any 'test light' tests with a voltmeter to check for a voltage drop.

03-21-2014, 08:49 PM
No tricks to getting the starter off. You just unbolt the cables, take off the splash shield, and take out two vertical bolts holding it up. You might not need to take it off though. Depends on if the problem is the starter/solenoid itself, or the ignition switch.

I had a Pontiac 6000 back in the day that the solenoid went bad on, but I could start it by jumping a screw driver shaft across the two posts on the end. This can be dangerous and it will make sparks, so if you try it wear gloves and eye protection. There is a magnetic coil in the solenoid, and when you turn the key the ignition switch closes and sends power through the coil to ground. The coil engages the starter gear and closes a switch to provide power to the starter motor at the same time. Basically my coil had gone bad and I as bypassing it with the screwdriver. Not the best for the starter since it doesn't engage the gear properly. Anyway...

You should be able to test if it's the ignition switch or solenoid that is bad. You'll need a few feet of decent size wire though (8-12 awg I'd say) preferably with some alligator clips on the ends, enough to reach from the battery to the starter. There should be 3 wires hooked to the posts on the solenoid: a large red one coming from the battery, a smaller blue one which is the fusible link coming from the alternator, and a purple one. The purple one goes through the ignition switch (which closes when you turn the key) and the park/neutral position switch (only closed and allows the car to start when it's in park or neutral). If either of those switches is bad, the solenoid won't get power and the car won't start. If you have a voltage tester or multi-meter you can always touch it to a ground and the post with the purple wire while someone turns the ignition key, and see if there's any power. If not, try hooking your larger wire to the positive battery post and touch it to the purple contact post. If the starter engages, congratulations... you've found a bad switch. If it still doesn't start, then it's possible the solenoid is bad. You can try jumping the posts then if you want. If it still does nothing, the starter itself may be shot... rare but not impossible.

I should note I make no guarantees with any of this advice. I think it should find the problem though, based on my reading of the wiring schematics and previous experience.

04-10-2014, 06:47 PM
At least for this 2002 6-cyl. It was the solenoid. The test light revealed a hot battery circuit (large top post), a hot control (small post) but a dead solenoid (large bottom post) when the key was turned to the start position.

The removal and replacement of the starter/solenoid combination went smoothly.

The car starts perfectly. :applause:

Thank you one and all!


04-10-2014, 07:11 PM
Sweet. Glad to hear you found the problem! :)