No Start

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by bkmont, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. bkmont

    bkmont Veteran Member

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    My car has had a couple of no start instances while over at the Cruising the Coast venue. All have been after several hours of driving. The battery is new and holding charge. The 418 starter has been rebuilt. All connections seem to be tight. The symptom has been while turning the key - nothing happens. No sound at all from the starter. Power to everything else. The lights will dim when turning the key to start when the engine will not turn over. Then minutes later, it will be a perfect start. No drag at all. It's like a hit and miss situation.
    It's happened a couple of times.

    Where to begin?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    How much are the lights dimming when you turn the key? If it is just a tiny bit, that is OK. If they go almost out, look at battery connections for corrosion.
     
  3. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Starter was rebuilt... Was the solenoid replaced?
     
  4. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    ^^^^^^If the connections are good,a power test at solenoid would be a great help-no power to crank terminal,neutral safety switch circuit I would think.If power there bad solenoid.Is your car auto or manual? Wiggle the horseshoe shifter if auto while it is acting up,just had that at a car show this year-goobers are hitting the starter with a rock,I mentioned thru the window jiggle the shifter,and it fired right up.manual has switch on clutch pedal.I also had a similar situation on a 70 chevelle a million years ago,it was the actual ignition switch down on the column,the contacts were bad inside from use,you could see the discoloration on the "white" housing of the switch from the heat.Also make sure switch is adjusted properly so the rod from lock cylinder is actuating it fully.
    Very helpless feeling away from home when that happens-it will never do it in your driveway when you have tools handy!!
    Hope this helps a little Steve!!
     
  5. bkmont

    bkmont Veteran Member

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    Lights dimmed just a bit, like I would expect. The top side looks good. I made sure of that when it happened the 1st time.

    The solenoid was replaced. That could be the culprit. I didn't click each time when it was not wanting to start. Maybe there some type of hit and miss situation going on with it.

    On that note, let me elaborate further - The 1st "no start" I had a buddy of mine watching the engine while I was attempting to crank the engine. After several failed attempts, I tried it again. Then wallah! It cranked perfect. I asked what did you do? He said "nothing, I just layed my hand on the battery". After the crank, I immediately drove it back to where we were staying and pulled it under the garage. I didn't want to get stranded along side the road. The drive back is about 45 minutes away. No issues at all during the drive. I pulled in, shut the motor off and tried to start back up. It started perfectly, so I thought okay, so heat isn't a issue.

    The next morning the motor cranked right up too. I drove from Bay St Louis to Ocean Springs without a hitch and no issues when I cranked for the return trip back to Bay St. Louis.

    The next morning the motor cranked perfect for the 2.5 hour trip back to home to Pensacola. I'm thinking, well the mystery "no start" seems to have cured itself.

    The 2nd "no start" happened when I pulled into a rest area about 2 hours into the trip. Same symptoms. Turn the key and nothing. Power everything else. Luckily a fellow cruiser was at the rest area too. We went over the topside of the engine. Checked wire connections on battery, voltage regulator and everything else we could think of in the engine compartment. My car has the reverse lockout hooked so I ran the shifter through that feature to make sure that something wasn't hanging up in the column. I wiggled the column sleeve to make sure it was turning like it should. Everything appeared to check out fine.

    Still "no start". Since my car is a 4 speed we decided to do a push start. Motor cranked right up and drove it the rest of the way home. I pulled into the garage and shut the motor down. I tried a restart and again, wallah! The motor turned over and cranked right up. So now it sits. My guess is it will fire right up and It'll happen again when I'm out and about :whine:. So now I'm leery about driving it until I get it figured out:(.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  6. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    Being able to push start it is good,to me that means you have adequate power to the coil and ignition circuit,still ounds like the crank circuit-neutral safety switch or as mentioned by others the solenoid itself.I'm pretty sure on our 4 speeds the column only does the back-up lights,the clutch pedal has the neutral start switch,I had to adjust my backdrive to sych the lock and back-ups and never had a start prob.I remember years ago jumping the clutch pedal switch out on my beater 73'z' so I could crank it thru the window.
    I hate throwing parts at things but if it were me I'd try a new solenoid of the best quality I could find,and park where I could bump start it until I trust it/figure it out! Good luck with the quest! Steve!!
     
  7. Vettenick

    Vettenick Vettenick

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    Check to see if you're getting 12 volts at the S terminal on the starter solenoid when the key is in the crank position. The wire is usually pink, and it's the largest wire other than the battery cable. If not, then you need to back track to find out why you're not getting that 12 volts. Is your ignition switch adjusted properly? Is it loose? Just the fact that you were able to push start means that you bypassed the starter circuit. So, it has to be in that circuit.
    One other item to check....When you try to start it, can you hear the solenoid clicking. If so, then the problem lies in the solenoid, or the starter. IMHO, since this is not consistent, it's probably a loose connection, or even a loose/bad ignition switch. Good luck.
     
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  8. Jeep43

    Jeep43 Veteran Member

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    Check the hot lead junction terminal on the firewall to the left of the master cylinder. I never tightened the nut after redoing the firewall and I had an intermittent no-start. Checking the battery connections and slamming the hood was good enough to get enough contact until next time.
     
  9. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

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    I had a bad solenoid this year on my 57 chevy car.. It worked fine sometimes and other times it failed.
    I noticed the failed times were times of heat soak.
    I fixed the issue a few times by dumping cool water on it. Bottled water I had.

    I had a Pontoon in tow behind it at the gas pumps and it took a gallon of water on the starter and solenoid to make it start.
    I have a bypass wire ran from battery to the solenoid on a push button to eliminate any electrical stuff in the rest of the car.
    It would not even make it crank.
    Contacts in the solenoid were fine.. and it would dim the lights a bit if you tried cranking it but the solenoid and starter did not want to play nice.

    Just because you have a replacement one that does not mean it is a good one.
     
  10. bkmont

    bkmont Veteran Member

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    Hey guys I appreciate all the advice. Maybe I'll get a chance to dig into it this weekend. I did look through my parts stash and found an AC Delco solenoid.
     

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