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Old 12-14-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
mattalvy14
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Default '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

My '98 SL2 automatic wont start. It has about 199,000 miles on it. No cranking when key turned to start. Just a single click and then nothing. This started happening to my daughter about 2 weeks ago. Luckily, she was able to keep trying the key and eventually it started. Now car is at home and wont start at all.

Tried to jump start with another vehicle and no difference. I removed the starter and had it tested at autozone. They said it tested fine. Is it possible the starter could still be bad even though the in-store test showed it to be good?

Battery at 12.4 volts using my multimeter. Took battery to AZ and they tested it at 12.45 volts. They couldn't tell me what the CCAs were at. Had battery charged at AZ.

Constant hot wire to starter shows same volts as battery. Have not checked volts to S-terminal yet while trying to start. Tried to use a jump wire from battery directly to S-terminal, but same single click and then nothing (except some sparks). I was able to manually turn the engine. So I don't believe the engiine is seized.

Performed the neutral safety switch test as described on the Autozone. It seemed to show the switch was good, but I don't know if this test is legit or not. Have tried starting in Park and Neutral. Have also tried wiggling shift lever while trying to start. No difference with either attempt. Does anyone have another testing procedure I can try?

Radio, wipers, etc. work as usual with key in ACC position. All dash lights, chime, and driving lights come on as usual with key in ON position and all go off when key turned to START position.

Vehicle is not equipped with RKE system. No power windows, door locks, etc. Is ther still some sort of security system on the car I am not aware of?

Rear defroster has been intermittent since I got the vehicle about 4 years ago. I have always assumed it is a problem with the switch and haven't messed with it.

All fuses (under hood and inside vehicle) are good. "CHIME" fuse was blown when I checked, but replaced and is still okay.

Please help if you can.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
Highmile
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

Sounds like a bad starter to me.

Highmile
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closing in on 1/2 million miles

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

If its the original starter, replace it. Store tests are hit or miss. It would be easier for you to simply bang the starter with a piece of 2x4 and see if the starter runs. The very last check to do while under the engine would be to remove the small purple wire for a test; turning the ignition switch to the START position should show 12v on this wire to verify power going from the ign switch to the starter. Seeing 12v on this START wire eliminates everything but the starter.

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Old 12-14-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

Thanks for the responses. I am definitely leaning toward a bad starter as well.

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

I put a new starter in and it cranked right up. Needless to say, it was pretty frustrating to have previously removed the starter for testing and be told everything was good and then finally determine in the end that the starter was bad.

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Old 12-28-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

Been there, done that. I had a few starters that would test good at autozone and then test bad at Advance just a half mile down the street from Autozone.

Good that you got it replaced. Starters are definitely hit or miss when they start going bad.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Been there, done that. I had a few starters that would test good at autozone and then test bad at Advance just a half mile down the street from Autozone.

Good that you got it replaced. Starters are definitely hit or miss when they start going bad.
I know AZ and AAP and such use machines, but what's wrong with using a jump box to test a starter? Hook positive where the positive wire goes, hook negative to ground on the starter, and take a piece of #12 or #10 wire across starter positive and the S terminal and if it works, it's good.

it'd be interesting to see how the starter heat stroke condition can be tested... but on the flipside when you get that condition, the starter has to be replaced anyway.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

The local re-builder tested one of my starters for me. I just wanted to know if it worked or not. Unlike the parts stores that'll just declare it fine, he specifically said "It tests fine now, but that doesn't guarantee a day/week from now it'll be fine"
Stupid thing lasted less then 15 seconds on me. Lasted longer then the one that I left installed on the engine that worked fine 8 months ago.

Traded in one of my spare starters (had 3, now have 2) that needed the solenoid rebuilt in for a "new" rebuilt Vaelo for $110. I've never had an engine turn over so fast, especially below 32f
Would have brought it to the re-builder (instead of store core-turn-in) like I plan on with the 2 remaining spares but his turn around is about a week and I needed the car "now".

Intake studs in place of the bolts are your friend

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 12-28-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: '98 SL2 Wont Crank. Single Click then Nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
The local re-builder tested one of my starters for me. I just wanted to know if it worked or not. Unlike the parts stores that'll just declare it fine, he specifically said "It tests fine now, but that doesn't guarantee a day/week from now it'll be fine"
Stupid thing lasted less then 15 seconds on me....
Finding a local rebuilder and one that will inform you is the very best anyone can do when it comes to starters. Store clerks with little to zero experience cannot offer what a specialty shop can unless the store clerk was an experienced mechanic and willing to tell you.

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