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Starting Not To Start

Q. I have a 1987 Buick LeSabre that has A/C, Power Steering, and it is an Automatic with a 3.8L engine. It also has cruise control with a burglar system that does not work. Anyhow what is happening is the car won't start when you turn the key, but it can start from the starter underneath the car. We thought it was the solenoid and changed it, it worked for 2 months than the problem started again. My brother thinks it's a relay switch, but we honestly don't know.

Thanks,
Tracy

A. A couple of easy ones and now you throw me a curve Tracy. I knew I should have gone to medical school like my Mother wanted me to do.

Electrical problems like this are always a little tough to find. Generally what you do is start at the starter and work back. When it will not start, take a test light and put it on the small terminal on the starter solenoid. Have someone turn the key to the start position and if the light lights, then everything up to there is fine. Now the problem is either in the starter or the starter solenoid. This is the case about 95% of the time.

Take a hammer and tap the starter motor then try to start it. Tap it fairly hard but don't beat it to death. This will, sometimes, unstick a sticky starter. If that doesn't help, then I would replace the starter and solenoid as a pair. In fact, all new and rebuilt starters come with new solenoids. It really doesn't make much sense to replace one without the other.

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