Starting problems

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Greetings and good day to all in the land of the great and powerful "Bitog." So, as of late, my 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera has been causing me a little bit of worry. What is happening is this - I put the key in the ignition, turn the ignition switch and the car starts with no problem. It works this way five or six times. Then, I put the key in the ignition, turn the key and nothing - no click, groan, moan - no noise at all. Sometimes, if I hold the key in the "crank" position for a few seconds, the car will suddenly start. Sometimes, if I continue to "cycle" the key, (turning it on and off) it will crank after two or three tries. I haven't checked anything so far, (not even battery terminals), but I thought I would thrown this problem into the ring for possible solutions/ideas before I broke out the wrenches. Said vehicle is a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with the 3.1 V-6 and automatic transmission. Thanks in advance - GreeCguy.
 
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Key cylinder, neutral safety switch, electrical short, could be a lot of things. The key is to follow through and post in this thread what the problem/fix was. You might help someone else.
 
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I kinda like the idea of ignition switch. I assume you'll follow the logic tree.
 
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If it was a bad starter or solenoid, the dash lights would still light up when you turn the ignition on. It just won't turn the engine over. If you turn the key and NOTHING happens (the dash lights do not light up), it's not the starter or solenoid, it's probably the ignition switch.
 
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The key chip reader also goes bad. My 1996 Lumina 3.1 did same thing with no light coming on. The security light should come on, mine didn't. GM dealer can scan the reader.
 

GreeCguy

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Originally Posted By: oldhp
The key chip reader also goes bad. My 1996 Lumina 3.1 did same thing with no light coming on. The security light should come on, mine didn't. GM dealer can scan the reader.
I should have posted this in the original post, but mine doesn't have the "chip in the key" type ignition. Before posting, I did do a "youtube" search and discovered that this is a common problem with GM cars that have the "chip reader." Apparently, there is a tiny wire next to the ignition cylinder that over time, becomes worn and breaks. I'm assuming this isn't the problem since my key has no chip and it's the older "silver" version of the ignition switch. I'm leaning toward starter/solenoid issues, but every other solenoid I've ever had to bad always made a "clicking" noise once it died. This one does nothing, (when it doesn't work). When it works, it works fine.
 
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Originally Posted By: oldhp
The key chip reader also goes bad. My 1996 Lumina 3.1 did same thing with no light coming on. The security light should come on, mine didn't. GM dealer can scan the reader.
this or the cylinder. trying a different key and jumping the back contacts or wires to see if power comes on when the problem is happening. That's what I would do first And second.
 
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Starter needs to be replaced. Know someone who had exact same issue..explained exactly like you did. Starter replaced..and problem solved. Good luck smile
 
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Lots of guessing going on here. To get started, you're going to need reinforcements. Enlist the aid of your wonderful and many talented wife. Have her run the key while you crawl under and probe the solenoid terminal on the starter. Usually a purple wire on GMs. When it doesn't start, pay attention to your test light. No light- not the starter. Light? Starter.
 
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next time it dont start check voltage at the starter while someone tries to crank it if it has 12v it is the starter. They are not expensive or hard to replace on that car.
 
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I like starter solenoid too, but:
Originally Posted By: turtlevette
battery terminals or cable to frame needs cleaning.
This too; I once had the same problem and it turned out to be a bad battery. Time for a test!
 
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First things first, you need a test light, not a starter or ignition switch or cables or right front tire, or head gasket. Test before you buy!
 
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