No Power To My Starter

mister_alSeptember 12, 2010

I got home and turned off my car then went inside the house and opened my garage door. But, when I tried to start my car again to move it inside nothing happened.

Everything else works--wipers, headlights, backup lights, electric windows and locks, electric mirror, radio, turn signals, brake lights, dash lights, etc.... When you turn the switch on you can hear the electric fuel pump come on for a few seconds then it turns off. The starter has power to the solenoid straight from the battery but no power through the ignition switch to it, and if I jump the solenoid the starter works.

None of the lights dim when I try to start it, and I've tried cranking it in every gear (automatic Trans.) but no luck.

The car is a 92 Pontiac Grand Am, automatic with air, full power, and has a v6 engine.

All/Any help to solve this problem is welcomed.



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I forgot to mention it earlier but the battery is fully charged and the cables have been cleaned and tightened.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 3:27PM
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"if I jump the solenoid the starter works"

You found the problem. Replace the solenoid or replace the whole starter. Your choice depending on what you're comfortable with doing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 10:17PM
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I took the starter to Autozone and had it tested. It, and the solenoid, are fine.

I also tried replacing the neutral switch and the ignition switch with no luck. I'm going to replace the ECM tomorrow and see what happens.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 11:43PM
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The symptom you describe points to the starter solenoid nearly 100% of the time. Other causes would be a switch issue, or the wiring inbetween. There used to be a rod that runs down the steering column to the switch. It's possible that the rod isn't traveling far enough to engage the starter, or that switch is shot. I'll admit that I'm 30 years behind the times when it comes to auto repair, but I don't see the ECM as being the problem. Since this isn't a high value car, a cheep and simple solution might be to add a 'start' button to your dash. Turn the key to 'run', push the button to spin the starter. jmo

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 10:37AM
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Does this car have a VATS system?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:46PM
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The car doesn't have a VATS system, just standard ignition switch.

I replaced the ECM and it didn't help either.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Do you have power on the purple wire at the solenoid when the key is in the start position?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 5:46PM
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A friend of mine came by today and helped me figure out what was wrong with my car. Somehow, something got inside of the ignition lock cylinder and kept it from turning just enough to keep the ignition switch from fully going into the start position. We kept fooling with it and finally got it freed up and everything started working like it should.

I'm going to get another ignition lock cylinder for it tomorrow and that should fix it. But, after the way things have been going lately, I'm waiting to see it happen before I get too confident about it working right.

I'll post back after I get it installed and see how it works.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 11:17PM
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I installed another ignition lock cylinder today and the car has been starting like it should.

I want to than everyone on this forum for their help and support. This was probably the strangest car problem I've ever dealt with and I'm grateful for every suggestion I received.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:39PM
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